Ubiquinol promotes retinal ganglion cell survival and blocks the apoptotic pathway in ischemic retinal degeneration.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 09 18 ;503(4):2639-2645. Epub 2018 Aug 11. PMID: 30107910
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ) protects retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in experimental retinal ischemia and glaucoma by scavenging reactive oxygen species. We tested whether a diet supplemented with ubiquinol, the reduced form of CoQ, promotes RGC survival and blocks the apoptotic pathway in ischemic mouse retina induced by acute high intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. Ubiquinol (1%) treatment significantly promoted RGC survival at 2 weeks after ischemia/reperfusion. The ubiquinol treatment significantly blocked activation of astroglial and microglial cells in the ischemic retina at 2 weeks. While the ubiquinol treatment significantly decreased active Bax protein expression in the ischemic retina, phosphorylation of Bad at serine 112 and Bcl-xL protein expression were preserved in the ubiquinol-treated ischemic retina at 12 h. Consistently, the ubiquinol treatment prevented apoptotic cell death by blocking caspase-3 cleavage. These results suggest that the ubiquinol enhances RGC survival by modulating the Bax/Bad/Bcl-xL-mediated apoptotic pathway in the ischemic retina. Ubiquinol has therapeutic potential for ameliorating elevated IOP-induced ischemic retinal degeneration.