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© Borgis - New Medicine 4/2003, s. 112-116
K. Kujawski1, M. Koter1, P. Duchnowicz1, Kornelia Kedziora-Kornatowska2, Tomasz Kornatowski3, Leszek Szadujkis-Szadurski3, Jozef Kedziora4, Leszek Markuszewski1, R. Blaszczak1
The impact of Q10 on selected structural and functional parameters of red blood cells in old-age patients with primary hypertension
1 Department of Biophysics, University of Lodz, Poland
2 Department of Geriatrics, L.Rydygier Medical Academy of Bydgoszcz, Poland
Head: Kornelia Kedziora-Kornatowska, MD, PhD
3 Department of Pharmacology and Therapy, L.Rydygier Medical Academy of Bydgoszcz, Poland
Head: Leszek Szadujkis-Szadurski, MD, PhD
4 Department of Biochemistry, L. Rydygier Medical University of Bydgoszcz, Poland
Head: Jozef Kedziora, MD, PhD
The free radical theory of ageing assumes that in the older organism its oxidative balance gets shattered. Both arterial hypertension and oxidative stress cause structural and functional changes in the erythrocytes. Q10 is a compound which plays important roles in the cell and in its antioxidative properties, and may to a certain extent prevent unfavourable changes in the erythrocyte. Its amount in the human organism gradually decreases with age. The aim of this research was to evaluate membrane lipid peroxidation, inner microviscosity, and membrane ATPase activity in old-age normotensive and primary hypertensive patients before and after applying Q10.
The study was performed on 42 patients divided into three groups. The first two composed old-age patients with and without an accompanying hypertension. The third, control group consisted of healthy patients aged 51-59. In all three groups are shown the original parameters of red blood cells. In the case of elderly people the parameters were additionally recorded after three and six weeks of the Q10 application.
Membrane lipid peroxidation was found to be strongest in the both groups of elderly people, and the weakest in the control group. The application of Q10 resulted in a decrease in this parameter in both groups. The activity of total and Na+K+ dependent ATPase appeared the greatest in the control group, and the lowest in the group with hypertension. Q10 supplementing in the two groups caused the intensification of total and Na+K+ dependent ATPase activity. The highest value of inner microviscosity was observed in people with hypertension, and the lowest in the control group. After the application of Q10 it declined in both groups.
The results may point to a very beneficial effect of supplementary and metabolic therapy on structural and functional parameters in elderly people, especially with an accompanying arterial hypertension.
The main reasons for mortality in elderly people are cardiovascular diseases (1, 2, 3), where one of the major risk factors is arterial hypertension. According to epidemiological data, 60 to 80% of people over 65 suffer from hypertension (4).
The free radical theory of organism ageing is based on the phenomenon of oxidative stress, i.e. pro- and antioxidative homeostasis disturbances contributing to generation of an increased reactive oxygen form (ROF) (5). The impact of ROF on the human organism is widespread and complex. Among others, the red blood cell is affected by increased membrane lipid peroxidation, aggregation of membrane proteins, and an increase in permeability or decrease in membrane deformation (6), all of which lead to structural and functional changes, shortening of their life and, as a result, compensated or decompensated anaemia (7). Consequent on the ROF activity, a direct or indirect effect may appear on the rise in susceptibility of large arterial vessels, endothelium functional disorder, or enhanced atheromatous processes, which may indicate their taking part in the pathogenesis of primary hypertension (8, 9). The main mechanisms responsible for protection from ROF are low molecular antioxidative enzymes (8). One of the low molecular antioxidants is Q10 (10, 11).
Q10 (2,3-dimetoxi-5-methyl-6-poliizoprenyl-bensochinon, international name – ubidekarenon) also referred to as ubichinon (ubitarius – widespread, chinon – cyclic compound consisting of two ketone groups) is chinon derived, similar to vitamins A, E and K. Q10 is a crucial compound in the existence of every cell. It is generated in all tissues and cells, from tyrosine and fatty acids, is fat-soluble, and takes two forms: oxidized (ubichinon) and reduced (ubichinol). Q10 is an integral part of the respiratory chain, playing the role of a mobile electron carrier from reduced coenzymes to cytochromes. Its reduced form (ubichinol) is an antioxidant with two-layered activity: direct organism protection against the harmful activity of free oxygen radicals, and indirect activity by the reduction of vitamin E to an active antioxidative form (10, 11, 12, 13, and 14). Q10 also influences the biosynthesis of ATP, cAMP (15).
Many researchers confirm the beneficial activity of Q10, among others, in cardiomyopathy, heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, and arrhythmia (10). Moreover, it has been noted that Q10 in the human organism decreases in old age, and hence its supplementation in patients after 65 seems to be well-founded (10).
The research aimed at assessing the degree of membrane lipid peroxidation, the inner viscosity and membrane ATPase activity of red blood cells in elderly primary hypertensive and normotensive people before and after Q10 application.
The subjects of the research were 20 people over 65 (average lifespan 71 ± 2) (group I – normotensive) and 11 patients over 65 with (average lifespan 69 ± 3) (group II – with mild and moderate hypertension according to Rapport VI JNC). The control group embraced 20 healthy people age 50 to 59. It is to be noted that smokers, people abusing alcohol, patients suffering from other cardiovascular diseases, secondary hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia, neoplastic disease, overweight and obesity, as well as people taking medicines with known antioxidative properties were excluded from the research. The qualification of research subjects took place on the basis of: history and physical examination, body mass index, routine lab tests (full blood count, serum biochemistry, lipids profile, urinalysis), which were meant to discover earlier accompanying diseases likely to influence the oxidation-reduction organism balance as well as secondary hypertension. People in old age were given Q10 (medicines named: Envit, Polfa Pabianice) in a daily dose of 60 mg. Patients with hypertension were subjected to monotherapy with thiazide or thiazide-derived diuretics. Selected structural and functional parameters of red cells were assessed before the Q10 application and after 3 and 6 weeks of its use.
The inner viscosity of erythrocytes was examined by means of spin markers with the help of electron paramagnetic resonance (16, 17). The peroxidation degree of membrane lipids was defined by Stocks and Dormandy´s method using the reaction of the final peroxidation product of unsaturated fatty acids – malonic dialdehyde with tiobarbituric acid (TBA). The results point to the share of all compounds reacting with TBA-TBARS (18) in the test. The activity of total ATPase and Na+K+ dependent ATPase was tested by a method based on the measurement of released orthophosphate level, according to Bartosz (19, 20).
Statistical calculations were made with the help of the „Statistica” program and F-Fisher and T-Student tests.
The inner viscosity of erythrocytes was the lowest in the control group, medium in the group I and considerably the highest (from the statistic point of view) in the group II. The applied Q10 supplement, for 3 and 6 week, decreased in viscosity in groups I and II with statistically important value (after 6 weeks of supplementation) in the group II (chart I, table 1).
Chart I. Inner microviscosity
Explanations of charts I, II, III i IV:
Group names in use: K – control group; BEZNAD1 – group without hypertension before applying Q10; BEZNAD2 – group without hypertension after 3 weeks of Q10 application; BEZNAD3 – group without hypertension after 6 weeks of Q10 application; NAD1 – group with hypertension before applying Q10; NAD2 – group with hypertension after 3 weeks of Q10 application; NAD3 – group with hypertension after 6 weeks of Q10 application.
Table 1. Inner microviscosity of red blond cells in particular groups.
 Mean valueMaximum valueMinimum valueStandard deviation
* p <0.05 (NAD1 vs K), ** p <0.05 (NAD3 vs NAD1)

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New Medicine 4/2003
Strona internetowa czasopisma New Medicine