Idebenone: when an antioxidant is not an antioxidant
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-20, 19:46 authored by Nuri GuvenNuri Guven, Pranathi RavishankarPranathi Ravishankar, Rajaraman Eri, Rybalka, E
Idebenone is a well described drug that was initially developed against dementia. The current literature widely portrays this molecule as a potent antioxidant and CoQ10 analogue. While numerous papers seem to support this view, a closer look indicates that the pharmacokinetics of idebenone do not support these claims. A major discrepancy between achievable tissue levels, especially in target tissues such as the brain, and doses required to show the proposed effects, significantly questions our current understanding. This review explains how this has happened and highlights the discrepancies in the current literature. More importantly, based on some recent discoveries, a new framework is presented that can explain the mode of action of this molecule and can align formerly contradictory results. Finally, this new appreciation of the molecular activities of idebenone provides a rational approach to test idebenone in novel indications that might have not been considered previously for this drug.
Publication titleRedox Biology
Department/SchoolSchool of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Place of publicationNetherlands
Rights statementCopyright 2020 the Authors