Mitochondrial decay in the brains of old rats: ameliorating effect of alpha-lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine.
Neurochem Res. 2009 Apr;34(4):755-63. Epub 2008 Oct 10. PMID: 18846423
To investigate the mitochondrial decay and oxidative damage resulting from aging, the activities/kinetics of the mitochondrial complexes were examined in the brains of young and old rats as well as in old rats fed R-alpha-lipoic acid plus acetyl-L-carnitine (LA/ALC). The brain mitochondria of old rats, compared with young rats, had significantly decreased endogenous antioxidants and superoxide dismutase activity; more oxidative damage to lipids and proteins; and decreased activities of complex I, IV and V. Complex I showed a decrease in binding affinity (increase in K(m)) for substrates. Feeding LA/ALC to old rats partially restored age-associated mitochondrial dysfunction to the levels of the young rats. These results indicate that oxidative mitochondrial decay plays an important role in brain aging and that a combination of nutrients targeting mitochondria, such as LA/ALC, could ameliorate mitochondrial decay through preventing mitochondrial oxidative damage.