Coenzyme Q10 improves the survival, mesenteric perfusion, organs and vessel functions in septic rats

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jul;91:912-919. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.05.017. Epub 2017 May 11.


Background: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring, lipid-soluble antioxidant and an essential electron carrier in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In sepsis, CoQ10 deficiency induced by mitochondrial failure can lead to hypoxia, hypoperfusion, oxidative organ damage and finally death. We aimed to investigate the effects of CoQ10 on survival, mesenteric artery blood flow (MABF), vascular reactivity, oxidative and inflammatory injuries in cecal ligation and puncture (CLP)-induced sepsis.

Methods: Wistar rats were divided into Sham, CLP, Sham+CoQ10, CLP+CoQ10 subgroups. CoQ10 (10mg/kg/day) or vehicle (olive oil; 1mL/kg/day) was intraperitoneally injected for 15days. At 16th day, Sham or CLP operation was performed. 20h after the operations, MABF and phenylephrine responses of isolated aortic rings were measured. Tissue samples were obtained for histopathological and biochemical evaluations. Furthermore, survival rates were monitored throughout 96h.

Results: CoQ10 prevented mesenteric hypoperfusion and aortic dysfunction induced by CLP. Survival rate was %0 at 46th h in CLP group, but in CLP+CoQ10 group it was 37.5% at the end of 96h. CLP-induced elevations of serum AST, ALT, LDH, BUN, Cr and inflammatory cytokine (tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-1 beta and interleukin-6) levels were blocked by CoQ10. CoQ10 restored the increased liver, lung, spleen and kidney malondialdehyde levels and as well as reduced liver and spleen glutathione levels. The protective effects of CoQ10 on multiple organ damage were also observed histopathologically.

Conclusions: CoQ10 showed protective effects in sepsis due to its preservative effects on mesenteric perfusion, aortic function and also its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.

Keywords: Coenzyme Q10; Mesenteric arterial blood flow; Multiple organ damage; Sepsis; Survival; Vascular hyporeactivity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / drug effects
  • Aorta / metabolism
  • Cecum / drug effects
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Ligation / methods
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Mesenteric Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Mesenteric Ischemia / metabolism
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Renal Circulation / drug effects
  • Sepsis / drug therapy*
  • Sepsis / metabolism
  • Survival Rate
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology


  • Cytokines
  • Protective Agents
  • Ubiquinone
  • Malondialdehyde
  • coenzyme Q10