Antioxidants/antihypoxants: the missing puzzle piece in effective pathogenetic therapy for COVID-19

V.V.Zakusov Research Institute of Pharmacology, Moscow, Russian Federation

This review focuses on the specific characteristics of COVID-19 disease, which leads not only to respiratory impairments (bronchoalveolar epithelium does not retain oxygen, etc.), but also decreases the level of hemoglobin and its ability to transfer oxygen to the organs and tissues and increases the level of heme, resulting in anoxemia, hypoxia in all organs and tissues, and oxidative stress. Mexidol, a drug developed in Russia, is widely used in clinical practice, including the treatment of diseases accompanied by ischemia and hypoxia. Mexidol has antihypoxic and antioxidant effects, can treat mitochondrial respiratory dysfunction, thereby affecting the key processes in different cells of organs and tissues that develop due to hypoxia. Mexidol can be useful in the comprehensive therapy of patients with COVID-19. Key words: COVID-19, antioxidant, antihypoxant, hemoglobin, hypoxia, Mexidol, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress.

The effect of Mexidol on cerebral mitochondriogenesis at a young age and during aging


1 Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, Moscow, Russia;

2 Zakusov Research Institute of Pharmacology, Moscow, Russia

Objective. To study the ability of mexidol to induce cerebral mitochondriogenesis in the brain of young and aging rats. Material and methods. Expression level of marker proteins of cerebral mitochondriogenesis was evaluated during treatment with mexidol (20, 40, 100 mg/kg; 20 days; intraperitoneally) in the cerebral cortex of young (3 month) and aging (6, 9, 12, and 15 month) outbred male rats, using the Western blot analysis. Results. It has been shown for the first time that the course injections of mexidol in doses of 40 and 100 mg/kg is accompanied by dose-dependent induction of the succinate receptor SUCNR1 and protein markers of mitochondrial biogenesis: transcription coactivator PGC-1α, transcription factors (NRF1, TFAM), catalytic subunits of respiratory enzymes (NDUV2, NDUV2,cytb, COX2) and ATP synthase (ATP5A) in the cerebral cortex of young and aging outbred male rats. Mexidol-dependent overexpression of subunits of mitochondrial enzymes and PGC-1α is observed only with the course of the drug. Conclusion. The results indicate the ability of mexidol to induce cerebral mitochondriogenesis and eliminate mitochondrial dysfunction in young and aging animals and, thus, exert an effect on one of the key pathogenetic links of the development of disorders in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: aging, mitochondrial dysfunction, mexidol, succinate receptor, cerebral mitochondriogenesis, transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α, respiratory enzyme subunits, rats, Western blot analysis.