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Minerva Ginecologica 1999 October;51(10):385-92

language: Italian

The antioxidant (coenzyme Q10) agents in the maternal and fetal physiopathology

Noia G., Romano D., De Santis M., Cavaliere A. F., Straface G., Alcaino S., Di Domenico M., Petrone A., Caruso A., Mancuso S.


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Background. Coenzyme Q10 (ubidecarenone) is a torpeniod molecule mainly located in bacterial and mitochondrial membranes. It is a part of a specific enzyme system and acts primarily on the transport of electrons in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. It performs an antioxidant action. We studied both fetal and maternal coenzyme Q 10 plasma levels in physiological conditions and also in the presence of some pathologies.
Methods. As regards the maternal side, we selected 483 pregnancies, performing 615 blood samples, and divided them into four groups: A: physiological pregnancies; B: spontaneous abortions; C: threatened abortions; D: threatened late abortions and threatened pre-term deliveries. We then selected 61 pregnancies which differed from the previous ones and determined Q10 levels in fetal samples obtained by cordocentesis. We divided a control group from pathological groups: intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR); Rh-isoimmunizaton (with intra-uterine transfusion), non immune fetal hydrops, fetal malformations. Coenzyme Q10 levels were determined in only one laboratory by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Coenzyme Q10 concentrations were expressed as mg/ml, the data as the mean+SD. Statistical analysis was performed employing a linear regression model and the student ''t''-test.
Results. After working out a normality curve of CoQ10 levels in maternal blood, we noticed that the levels of Coenzyme Q10 were low in spontaneous abortions, in threatened late abortions and in threatened pre-term deliveries. We determined the value of 0.3 mg/ml as a cut-off to differentiate the fetal from the adult values. Moreover, CoQ10 values turned out to be increased only in fetuses affected by non-immune fetal hydrops.
Conclusions. Accordingly, we can say that maternal CoQ10 plasma levels can be considered as a marker of pathological uterine contractile activity. There is a substantial increase in CoQ10 fetal plasma levels in fetuses affected by hypoxic hypoxia and also in those affected by non-immune fetal hydrops.

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