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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 9281519, 17 pages
Research Article

Mitochondria-Targeted Antioxidant SkQ1 Prevents Anesthesia-Induced Dry Eye Syndrome

1Department of Cell Signaling, Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119992, Russia
2Department of Biology and Pathology of Domestic, Laboratory and Exotic Animals, Skryabin Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology, Moscow 109472, Russia
3Institute of Molecular Medicine, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow 119991, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed to Evgeni Yu. Zernii; ur.usm.yksrezoleb@inrez and Ivan I. Senin; ur.usm.yksrezoleb@nines

Received 29 May 2017; Accepted 14 August 2017; Published 12 October 2017

Academic Editor: Deborah A. Ferrington

Copyright © 2017 Evgeni Yu. Zernii et al. 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.


Dry eye syndrome (DES) is an age-related condition increasingly detected in younger people of risk groups, including patients who underwent ocular surgery or long-term general anesthesia. Being a multifactorial disease, it is characterized by oxidative stress in the cornea and commonly complicated by ocular surface inflammation. Polyetiologic DES is responsive to SkQ1, a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant suppressing age-related changes in the ocular tissues. Here, we demonstrate safety and efficacy of topical administration of SkQ1 at a dosage of 7.5 μM for the prevention of general anesthesia-induced DES in rabbits. The protective action of SkQ1 improves clinical state of the ocular surface by inhibiting apoptotic and prenecrotic changes in the corneal epithelium. The underlying mechanism involves the suppression of the oxidative stress supported by the stimulation of intrinsic antioxidant activity and the activity of antioxidant enzymes, foremost glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase, in the cornea. Furthermore, SkQ1 increases antioxidant activity and stability of the tear film and produces anti-inflammatory effect exhibited as downregulation of TNF-α and IL-6 and pronounced upregulation of IL-10 in tears. Our data suggest novel features of SkQ1 and point to its feasibility in patients with DES and individuals at risk for the disease including those subjected to general anesthesia.