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Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant therapy with MitoQ ameliorates aortic stiffening in old mice.

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Gioscia-Ryan, Rachel A 
Battson, Micah L 
Cuevas, Lauren M 
Eng, Jason S 
Murphy, Michael P 


Aortic stiffening is a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, cognitive dysfunction, and other chronic disorders of aging. Mitochondria-derived reactive oxygen species are a key source of arterial oxidative stress, which may contribute to arterial stiffening by promoting adverse structural changes-including collagen overabundance and elastin degradation-and enhancing inflammation, but the potential for mitochondria-targeted therapeutic strategies to ameliorate aortic stiffening with primary aging is unknown. We assessed aortic stiffness [pulse-wave velocity (aPWV)], ex vivo aortic intrinsic mechanical properties [elastic modulus (EM) of collagen and elastin regions], and aortic protein expression in young (~6 mo) and old (~27 mo) male C57BL/6 mice consuming normal drinking water (YC and OC) or water containing mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ (250 µM; YMQ and OMQ) for 4 wk. Both baseline and postintervention aPWV values were higher in OC vs. YC (post: 482 ± 21 vs. 420 ± 5 cm/s, P < 0.05). MitoQ had no effect in young mice but decreased aPWV in old mice (OMQ, 426 ± 20, P < 0.05 vs. OC). MitoQ did not affect age-associated increases in aortic collagen-region EM, collagen expression, or proinflammatory cytokine expression, but partially attenuated age-associated decreases in elastin region EM and elastin expression. Our results demonstrate that MitoQ reverses in vivo aortic stiffness in old mice and suggest that mitochondria-targeted antioxidants may represent a novel, promising therapeutic strategy for decreasing aortic stiffness with primary aging and, possibly, age-related clinical disorders in humans. The destiffening effects of MitoQ treatment may be at least partially mediated by attenuation/reversal of age-related aortic elastin degradation. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We show that 4 wk of treatment with the mitochondria-specific antioxidant MitoQ in mice completely reverses the age-associated elevation in aortic stiffness, assessed as aortic pulse-wave velocity. The destiffening effects of MitoQ treatment may be at least partially mediated by attenuation of age-related aortic elastin degradation. Our results suggest that mitochondria-targeted therapeutic strategies may hold promise for decreasing arterial stiffening with aging in humans, possibly decreasing the risk of many chronic age-related clinical disorders.



aging, artery, mitochondrial antioxidant, Animals, Antioxidants, Aorta, Cytokines, Elastin, Endothelium, Vascular, Inflammation, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mitochondria, Oxidative Stress, Pulse Wave Analysis, Reactive Oxygen Species, Superoxides, Vascular Stiffness, Vasodilation

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J Appl Physiol (1985)

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American Physiological Society
Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00015/3)
Wellcome Trust (110159/Z/15/Z)
Medical Research Council (MC_U105663142)