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Coenzyme Q10 supplementation improves metabolic parameters, liver function and mitochondrial respiration in rats with high doses of atorvastatin and a cholesterol-rich diet

Ma Antonia Jiménez-Santos1*, Isela E Juárez-Rojop2, Carlos A Tovilla-Zárate1, María Teresa Espinosa-García3, Marco A Juárez-Oropeza3, Teresa Ramón-Frías2, Deysi Y Bermúdez-Ocaña1 and Juan C Díaz-Zagoya3*

Author Affiliations

1 División Académica Multidisciplinaria de Comalcalco, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco, Comalcalco, Tabasco, México

2 Centro de Investigación, DACS, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco (UJAT), Villahermosa, Tabasco 86150, México

3 Departamento de Bioquímica, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM, México, D.F, México

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:22  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-22

Published: 25 January 2014

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to evaluate the actions of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on rats with a cholesterol-rich diet (HD) and high doses of atorvastatin (ATV, 0.2, 0.56 or 1.42 mg/day).

Methods

Two experiments were done, the first one without coenzyme Q10 supplementation. On the second experiment all groups received coenzyme Q10 0.57 mg/day as supplement. After a 6-week treatment animals were sacrificed, blood and liver were analyzed and liver mitochondria were isolated and its oxygen consumption was evaluated in state 3 (phosphorylating state) and state 4 (resting state) in order to calculate the respiratory control (RC).

Results

HD increased serum and hepatic cholesterol levels in rats with or without CoQ10. ATV reduced these values but CoQ10 improved even more serum and liver cholesterol. Triacylglycerols (TAG) were also lower in blood and liver of rats with ATV + CoQ10. HDL-C decreased in HD rats. Treatment with ATV maintained HDL-C levels. However, these values were lower in HD + CoQ10 compared to control diet (CD) + CoQ10. RC was lessened in liver mitochondria of HD. The administration of ATV increased RC. All groups supplemented with CoQ10 showed an increment in RC. In conclusion, the combined administration of ATV and CoQ10 improved biochemical parameters, liver function and mitochondrial respiration in hypercholesterolemic rats.

Conclusions

Our results suggest a potential beneficial effect of CoQ10 supplementation in hypercholesterolemic rats that also receive atorvastatin. This beneficial effect of CoQ10 must be combined with statin treatment in patient with high levels of cholesterol.

Keywords:
Coenzyme Q10; Atorvastatin; Hypercholesterolemia