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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 6103457, 8 pages
Review Article

Decavanadate Toxicology and Pharmacological Activities: V10 or V1, Both or None?

1Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve, Campus of Gambelas, 8005-135 Faro, Portugal
2CCMar (Centre of Marine Sciences), University of Algarve, Campus of Gambelas, 8005-135 Faro, Portugal

Received 26 September 2015; Accepted 24 December 2015

Academic Editor: Juan Llopis

Copyright © 2016 M. Aureliano. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This review covers recent advances in the understanding of decavanadate toxicology and pharmacological applications. Toxicological in vivo studies point out that V10 induces several changes in several oxidative stress parameters, different from the ones observed for vanadate (V1). In in vitro studies with mitochondria, a particularly potent V10 effect, in comparison with V1, was observed in the mitochondrial depolarization (IC50 = 40 nM) and oxygen consumption (99 nM). It is suggested that mitochondrial membrane depolarization is a key event in decavanadate induction of necrotic cardiomyocytes death. Furthermore, only decavanadate species and not V1 potently inhibited myosin ATPase activity stimulated by actin (IC50 = 0.75 μM) whereas exhibiting lower inhibition activities for Ca2+-ATPase activity (15 μM) and actin polymerization (17 μM). Because both calcium pump and actin decavanadate interactions lead to its stabilization, it is likely that V10 interacts at specific locations with these proteins that protect against hydrolysis but, on the other hand, it may induce V10 reduction to oxidovanadium(IV). Putting it all together, it is suggested that the pharmacological applications of V10 species and compounds whose mechanism of action is still to be clarified might involve besides V10 and V1 also vanadium(IV) species.