Hypothesis Volume 3, Issue 11 pp 1045—1050

SkQ1 treatment and food restriction — two ways to retard an aging program of organisms

Vladimir P. Skulachev1, ,

  • 1 Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia

Received: December 8, 2011       Accepted: December 12, 2011       Published: December 12, 2011      

How to Cite

Copyright: © 2011 Skulachev et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Effects of the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 and food restriction are compared. In both cases there is a remarkable increase in the median lifespan of organisms belonging to many different taxonomic ranks. Essentially, both SkQ1 treatment and restriction in food intake retard development of numerous adverse traits of senescence. This relationship could be predicted assuming that SkQ1 and food restriction inhibit the execution of an aging program. It is hypothesized that food restriction is perceived by organisms as a signal of starvation, which can be catastrophic for the population. Under these conditions, the organism switches off an aging program that is favorable for evolvability of the species but counterproductive for the individual. Unfortunately, food restriction is accompanied by some other effects, e.g., constant anxiety and attempts to scan as large a space as possible looking for food. Such side effects seem to be absent in the case of inhibition of the aging program by SkQ1.


ROS: reactive oxygen species; SkQ1: plastoquinonyl-10(6′-decyltriphenyl)phosphonium.