Ameliorative effects of SkQ1 eye drops on cataractogenesis in senescence-accelerated OXYS rats

  • Yuliya V. RumyantsevaEmail author
  • Elena I. Ryabchikova
  • Anjela Z. Fursova
  • Nataliya G. Kolosova
Basic Science



Antioxidant supplements have been suggested as a strategy to decrease the risk of age-related cataract, but there is no evidence that antioxidants can reduce the signs of the disease. Recently, we showed that the mitochondrial antioxidant SkQ1 can partially reverse cataract signs in senescence-accelerated OXYS rats. The aim of the present study was the histomorphological examination of the influence of SkQ1 eye drops on the cataract development in OXYS rats.


OXYS rats received SkQ1 eye drops (250 nM) from 9 to 12 months of age. Ophthalmoscopic examination was carried out before and after treatment. Light and electron microscopy were used for histomorphological examination. Expression of the Cryaa and Cryab genes was determined using real-time PCR. αB-crystallin expression was detected using Western blotting.


SkQ1 completely prevented the cataract development in OXYS rats, and in some of the animals diminished the signs of the disease. Light and electron microscopy showed that SkQ1 attenuated the (typical for cataract) alterations in the lens capsule and epithelial cells, ameliorated disturbances of the hexagonal packing geometry of lens fibers, and improved ultrastructure of the epithelial cells. The levels of mRNA of α-crystallins genes which encode small heat shock proteins αA- and αB-crystallin that play a central role in maintaining lens transparency were significantly lower in the OXYS rats’ lenses than in Wistar rats (control). SkQ1 normalized the level of mRNA of Cryaa, and significantly increased the level of Cryab mRNA as well as αB-crystallin protein in the lens of OXYS rats to the level of the control Wistar rats.


SkQ1 eye drops hold promise as a treatment of cataract.


Cataract Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 Alpha-crystallin OXYS rats 



Microscopy was performed at the Microscopy Center of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, SB RAS, Russia. This study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Grant # 14-04-00376) and by budgetary project No 53.2.3.

Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuliya V. Rumyantseva
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elena I. Ryabchikova
    • 2
  • Anjela Z. Fursova
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nataliya G. Kolosova
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Cytology and GeneticsSiberian Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia
  2. 2.Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental MedicineSiberian Branch of Russian Academy of SciencesNovosibirskRussia
  3. 3.Novosibirsk State Regional Clinical HospitalNovosibirskRussia
  4. 4.Novosibirsk State UniversityNovosibirskRussia

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