Study Title:

Q10 and Cataract Prevention

Study Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cataract is one of the most prevalent eye disease and a major cause for legal blindness in the world. Beside others, cumulative light-exposure and apoptotic cell death are significantly associated with cataract development. In contrast, supplementation with antioxidants has been suggested to prevent premature cataractogenesis. This study investigates possible protective effects of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) regarding light-induced stress and apoptotic cell death in human lens epithelial cells (LEC).

METHODS: Human LEC were either pre-incubated with CoQ10 or not and then exposed to white light. After 10-40 min of irradiation viability, induction of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), apoptosis and cell death was determined. Expression of apoptotic BAX and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein and their mRNA were determined by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis.

RESULTS: Light exposure decreased LEC viability and Bcl-2 expression and increased intracellular ROS, apoptotic cell death, and BAX expression in a time-of-irradiation-dependent manner. Phototoxic cell death and apoptosis, as well as decrease of Bcl-2 and increase in BAX expression was significantly reduced, when cells were pre-incubated with CoQ10.

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, CoQ10 significantly reduced light-induced LEC-damage and attenuated phototoxic effects on BAX and Bcl-2 expression. Therefore, CoQ10 supplementation might also be useful in preventing LEC death and consecutive cataract formation in vivo.

Study Information

Kernt M, Hirneiss C, Neubauer AS, Ulbig MW, Kampik A.
Coenzyme Q10 prevents human lens epithelial cells from light-induced apoptotic cell death by reducing oxidative stress and stabilizing BAX / Bcl-2 ratio.
Acta Ophthalmol.
2010 May
Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany

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