Dietary coenzyme Q10 does not protect against cigarette smoke-augmented atherosclerosis in apoE-deficient mice

C. Gary Gairola, Deborah A. Howatt, Alan Daugherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Dietary coenzyme Q10 reduces spontaneous atherosclerosis in the apoE-deficient mouse model of experimental atherosclerosis. We have shown previously that exposure to sidestream cigarette smoke (SSCS) enhances atherosclerotic lesion formation in apoE-deficient mice. The aim of the present study was to determine if CoQ10 protected against SSCS-mediated atherosclerosis. Female apoE-deficient mice were fed a saturated fat-enriched diet (SFD) alone, or supplemented with 1% wt/wt coenzyme Q10 (SFD-Q10). Mice in each diet group were exposed to SSCS for 4hrs/day, 5days/week in a whole-body exposure chamber maintained at 35±4mg smoke particulates/m3. Mice kept in filtered ambient air served as controls. Mice were euthanized after either 6 or 15weeks of SSCS exposure and following measurements were performed: i) lung 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity; ii) plasma cholesterol and CoQ10 concentrations; iii) aortic intimal area covered by atherosclerotic lesions; and, iv) pathological characterization of lesions. Lung EROD activity increased in SSCS mice of both diet groups, confirming SSCS exposure. Plasma concentrations of CoQ10 in SFD-Q10-fed mice were increased markedly in comparison to SFD-fed mice. Plasma cholesterol concentrations and distributions of cholesterol in lipoprotein fractions were unaffected by SSCS exposure. Dietary supplementation with CoQ10 significantly reduced atherosclerotic lesions in control mice. As reported previously, exposure to SSCS increased the size of lesions in apoE-/- mice at both time points. However, dietary supplementation with CoQ10 had no effect on atherosclerotic lesions augmented by SSCS exposure. The results suggest a role of oxidative processes in smoke-augmented atherosclerosis that are different than those mitigated by CoQ10.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1539
Number of pages5
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Dietary antioxidant
  • Mouse model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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