The mitochondria-targeted anti-oxidant mitoquinone decreases liver damage in a phase II study of hepatitis C patients.

TitleThe mitochondria-targeted anti-oxidant mitoquinone decreases liver damage in a phase II study of hepatitis C patients.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGane, EJ, Weilert, F, Orr, DW, Keogh, GF, Gibson, M, Lockhart, MM, Frampton, CM, Taylor, KM, Smith, RAJ, Murphy, MP
JournalLiver Int
Date Published2010 Aug
KeywordsAdministration, Oral, Adult, Alanine Transaminase, Antioxidants, Antiviral Agents, Aspartate Aminotransferases, Biological Markers, Double-Blind Method, Female, Genotype, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Chronic, Humans, Interferons, Liver, Male, Middle Aged, Mitochondria, Liver, Organophosphorus Compounds, Ribavirin, RNA, Viral, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, Ubiquinone, Viral Load

BACKGROUND: Increased oxidative stress and subsequent mitochondrial damage are important pathways for liver damage in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection; consequently, therapies that decrease mitochondrial oxidative damage may improve outcome. The mitochondria-targeted anti-oxidant mitoquinone combines a potent anti-oxidant with a lipophilic cation that causes it to accumulate several-hundred fold within mitochondria in vivo.

AIMS: In this phase II study, we investigated the effect of oral mitoquinone on serum aminotransferases and HCV RNA levels in HCV-infected patients.

METHODS: Thirty HCV patients who were either non-responders or unsuitable candidates for standard-of-care (pegylated interferon plus ribavirin) were randomized to receive mitoquinone (40 or 80 mg) or placebo once daily for 28 days, and serum aminotransferases and HCV RNA levels were measured.

RESULTS: Both treatment groups showed significant decreases in absolute and percentage changes in serum alanine transaminase (ALT) from baseline to treatment day 28 (P0.05). There was no change in HCV load on mitoquinone treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Administration of the mitochondria-targeted anti-oxidant mitoquinone significantly decreased plasma ALT and aspartate aminotransferase in patients with chronic HCV infection, and this suggests that mitoquinone may decrease necroinflammation in the liver in these patients. As mitochondrial oxidative damage contributes to many other chronic liver diseases, such as steatohepatitis, further studies using mitochondria-targeted anti-oxidants in HCV and other liver diseases are warranted.

Alternate JournalLiver Int.
Citation Key10.1111/j.1478-3231.2010.02250.x
PubMed ID20492507
Grant ListMC_U105663142 / / Medical Research Council / United Kingdom