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From the August 1st, 1996 issue of Smart Drug News [v5n2]. Copyright (c) 1996, 1998. All rights reserved.

Mitochondria and AIDS

AZT interferes with mitochondrial DNA polymerase which, with long-term use, can cause skeletal and cardiac myopathies in both humans and rodents. Aged rats exhibit similarly impaired mitochondrial respiration as young rats treated with AZT. In a recently published study [Linnane et al., 1995], AZT-treated rat muscles were able to maintain only half the mechanical force of control rats. During the 16 minute stress test, AZT-treated muscles stabilized at 35% of the initial force, compared to 70% in the control (non-AZT-treated) muscles. Rat muscles treated with AZT plus coenzyme Q-10 retained much more strength. After 16 minutes, muscle force stabilized at 60% of initial value, 50% above AZT-only animals and only 15% below controls. ——SWF