Coenzyme Q10 encapsulated in micelles ameliorates osteoarthritis by inhibiting inflammatory cell death

PLoS One. 2022 Jun 24;17(6):e0270351. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270351. eCollection 2022.


Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common degenerative joint disease and is characterized by breakdown of joint cartilage. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) exerts diverse biological effects on bone and cartilage; observational studies have suggested that CoQ10 may slow OA progression and inflammation. However, any effect of CoQ10 on OA remains unclear. Here, we investigated the therapeutic utility of CoQ10-micelles.

Methods: Seven-week-old male Wistar rats were injected with monosodium iodoacetate (MIA) to induce OA. CoQ10-micelles were administered orally to MIA-induced OA rats; celecoxib served as the positive control. Pain, tissue destruction, and inflammation were measured. The expression levels of catabolic and inflammatory cell death markers were assayed in CoQ10-micelle-treated chondrocytes.

Results: Oral supplementation with CoQ10-micelles attenuated OA symptoms remarkably, including pain, tissue destruction, and inflammation. The expression levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and MMP-13, and of the inflammatory cell death markers RIP1, RIP3, and pMLKL in synovial tissues were significantly reduced by CoQ10-micelle supplementation, suggesting that CoQ10-micelles might attenuate the synovitis of OA. CoQ10-micelle addition to cultured OA chondrocytes reduced the expression levels of catabolic and inflammatory cell death markers.

Conclusions: CoQ10-micelles might usefully treat OA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage, Articular* / metabolism
  • Cell Death
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Iodoacetic Acid
  • Male
  • Micelles
  • Nociceptive Pain* / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis* / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives


  • Micelles
  • Ubiquinone
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Iodoacetic Acid

Grants and funding

Initials of the authors who received each award: S.H.P. Grant numbers awarded to each author:HI20C1496 The full name of each funder: the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea URL of each funder website: The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.