The impact of α-lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, and caloric restriction on life span and gene expression patterns in mice

Cheol Koo Lee, Thomas D. Pugh, Roger G. Klopp, Jode Edwards, David B. Allison, Richard Weindruch, Tomas A. Prolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated the efficacy of three dietary interventions started at middle age (14 months) to retard the aging process in mice. These were supplemental α-lipoic acid (LA) or coenzyme Q10 (CQ) and caloric restriction (CR, a positive control). LA and CQ had no impact on longevity or tumor patterns compared with control mice fed the same number of calories, whereas CR increased maximum life span by 13% (p < .0001) and reduced tumor incidence. To evaluate these interventions at the molecular level, we used microarrays to monitor the expression of 9977 genes in hearts from young (5 months) and old (30 months) mice. LA, CQ, and CR inhibited age-related alterations in the expression of genes involved in the extracellular matrix, cellular structure, and protein turnover. However, unlike CR, LA and CQ did not prevent age-related transcriptional alterations associated with energy metabolism. LA supplementation lowered the expression of genes encoding major histocompatibility complex components and of genes involved in protein turnover and folding. CQ increased expression of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation and reduced expression of genes involved in the complement pathway and several aspects of protein function. Our observations suggest that supplementation with LA or CQ results in transcriptional alterations consistent with a state of reduced oxidative stress in the heart, but that these dietary interventions are not as effective as CR in inhibiting the aging process in the heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1057
Number of pages15
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Ave
  • Average
  • CQ
  • CR
  • Caloric restriction
  • CoA
  • Coenzyme A
  • Coenzyme Q
  • Double strand
  • Ds
  • FAO
  • FC
  • Fatty acid β-oxidation
  • Free radicals
  • Gene expression
  • Heart
  • Microarray
  • α-Lipoic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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