Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring anti-oxidant increasingly used as a dietary supplement to enhance cardiovascular health. The objective of the current research was to study the effect of CoQ10 on cardiovascular hemodynamics and ATP metabolism in the red blood cells (RBC). Normotensive Sprague Dawley rats (SDR) with an implanted carotid artery catheter, weighing between 250 and 300 g were each housed in a freely moving caging environment with free access to drinking water. CoQ10 was dissolved in a vehicle made up of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and normal saline (1:1) for injection (5 mg/mL). Each rat received 4 doses of either 10 mg/kg of CoQ10 or the vehicle (n = 8 in each group) twice daily by subcutaneous (sc) injection. Blood samples (0.3 mL each) were collected before the injection of the last dose (T0), and at 0.08, 0.25 and 1 hour after the last dose for measurement of RBC concentrations of ATP and its catabolites by a validated high performance liquid chromatography assay (HPLC). Hemodynamic recordings were collected continuously throughout the experiment. Data between the two groups were compared and differences considered significant at p < 0.05 (Student’s t-test). Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and heart rate (HR) before the last CoQ10 injection was significantly lower in the CoQ10 treatment group (SBP 124 ± 3 vs 137 ± 3 mm Hg; DBP 101 ± 3 vs 111 ± 4 and HR 414 ± 6 vs 440 ± 7 bpm (p < 0.05)). The RBC concentrations of ATP were higher in the CoQ10 treatment group (1.97 ± 0.28 vs 1.13 ± 0.23 mM, p < 0.05). However, the acute effect on hemodynamics or RBC ATP concentrations measured up to 1 hour after the last injection was not significant (p > 0.05 by paired t-test). It was concluded CoQ10 decreased BP and HR and increased RBC concentrations of ATP after multiple doses in normotensive rats.
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