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Ubiquinol decreases monocytic expression and DNA methylation of the pro-inflammatory chemokine ligand 2 gene in humans

Alexandra Fischer1, Simone Onur1, Constance Schmelzer2 and Frank Döring1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Human Nutrition and Food Science, Department of Molecular Prevention, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany

2 Research Unit Nutritional Physiology “Oskar Kellner”, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:540  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-540

Published: 1 October 2012



Coenzyme Q10 is an essential cofactor in the respiratory chain and serves in its reduced form, ubiquinol, as a potent antioxidant. Studies in vitro and in vivo provide evidence that ubiquinol reduces inflammatory processes via gene expression. Here we investigate the putative link between expression and DNA methylation of ubiquinol sensitive genes in monocytes obtained from human volunteers supplemented with 150 mg/ day ubiquinol for 14 days.


Ubiquinol decreases the expression of the pro-inflammatory chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 2 gene (CXCL2) more than 10-fold. Bisulfite-/ MALDI-TOF-based analysis of regulatory regions of the CXCL2 gene identified six adjacent CpG islands which showed a 3.4-fold decrease of methylation status after ubiquinol supplementation. This effect seems to be rather gene specific, because ubiquinol reduced the expression of two other pro-inflammatory genes (PMAIP1, MMD) without changing the methylation pattern of the respective gene.


In conclusion, ubiquinol decreases monocytic expression and DNA methylation of the pro-inflammatory CXCL2 gene in humans. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN26780329.

Coenzyme Q10; Ubiquinol; Gene expression; DNA methylation; Inflammation