Topical Coenzyme Q10 demonstrates mitochondrial-mediated neuroprotection in a rodent model of ocular hypertension

Mitochondrion. 2017 Sep;36:114-123. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2017.05.010. Epub 2017 May 24.


Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a mitochondrial-targeted antioxidant with known neuroprotective activity. Its ocular effects when co-solubilised with α-tocopherol polyethylene glycol succinate (TPGS) were evaluated. In vitro studies confirmed that CoQ10 was significantly protective in different retinal ganglion cell (RGC) models. In vivo studies in Adult Dark Agouti (DA) rats with unilateral surgically-induced ocular hypertension (OHT) treated with either CoQ10/TPGS micelles or TPGS vehicle twice daily for three weeks were performed, following which retinal cell health was assessed in vivo using DARC (Detection of Apoptotic Retinal Cells) and post-mortem with Brn3a histological assessment on whole retinal mounts. CoQ10/TPGS showed a significant neuroprotective effect compared to control with DARC (p<0.05) and Brn3 (p<0.01). Topical CoQ10 appears an effective therapy preventing RGC apoptosis and loss in glaucoma-related models.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Glaucoma; Membrane biophysics; Neuroprotection; P-glycoprotein; Retinal ganglion cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Neuroprotection*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Ocular Hypertension / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ubiquinone / administration & dosage
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Ubiquinone
  • Vitamin E
  • coenzyme Q10
  • tocophersolan