Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 reduces age-related alterations in the ultrastructure of the lacrimal gland

Lora E. Bakeeva, Chupalav M. Eldarov, Irina M. Vangely, Nataliya G. Kolosova _ and Valeriya B. Vays

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:80208-80222. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13303

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Lora E. Bakeeva1, Chupalav M. Eldarov1, Irina M. Vangely1, Nataliya G. Kolosova2,3 and Valeriya B. Vays1

1 Lomonosov Moscow State University, Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, Russia

2 Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Pr. Acad. Lavrentieva, Novosibirsk, Russia

3 Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk, Russia

Correspondence to:

Natalia G. Kolosova, email:

Keywords: aging, dry eye syndrome, ultrastructure of lacrimal gland, mitochondria, mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, Gerotarget

Received: April 27, 2016 Accepted: November 02, 2016 Published: November 11, 2016


Dry eye syndrome is an eye disorder affecting many people at an old age. Because dry eye syndrome is accelerated by aging, a useful approach to the prevention of this syndrome may be an intervention into the aging process. Previously, we showed that the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 delays manifestations of aging and inhibits the development of age-related diseases including dry eye syndrome. Nevertheless, the link between SkQ1’s effects and its suppression of age-related changes in the lacrimal gland remains unclear. Here we demonstrated that dietary supplementation with SkQ1 (250 nmol/[kg body weight] daily) starting at age 1.5 months significantly alleviated the pathological changes in lacrimal glands of Wistar rats by age 24 months. By this age, lacrimal glands underwent dramatic deterioration of the ultrastructure that was indicative of irreversible disturbances in these glands’ functioning. In contrast, in SkQ1-treated rats, the ultrastructure of the lacrimal gland was similar to that in much younger rats. Morphometric analysis of electron-microscopic specimens of lacrimal glands revealed the presence of numerous secretory granules in acinar cells and a significant increase in the number of operating intercalary ducts. Our results confirm that dietary supplementation with SkQ1 is a promising approach to healthy ageing and to prevention of aberrations in the lacrimal gland that underlie dry eye syndrome.

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