Research Divisions

Oxidative Stress Knowledge and Advanced Research Group

Group LeaderLocation and ContactMembersHistory of the GroupLines of ResearchNotable PublicationsProjectsPhD ThesesPatents and TrademarksNews
Dra. Ana Coto

Ana Coto-Montes is Professor of Cell Biology at the Universidad de Oviedo. She has completed research postings in Denmark, Germany and the United States, and has been head of the translational Ageing-cROS research group, which is a consolidated research group within ISPA, for over ten years.

She has been principal investigator on over 20 RDI projects, has supervised 8 PhD theses and has published over 100 international articles and books. Since summer 2017, she has been Chair of the Board of the spin-off, Muscle Technology SL.

Departamento de Morfología y Biología Celular

Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo

Avenida Julián Claveria. 33006 Oviedo, Spain.

Telephone: +34 985102779


Group Twitter: @cROSuniovi

Ana María’s Twitter: @cotomontesa

Name Organisation Activity Euraxess classification
Arche Coto, José Miguel SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Bermejo Millo, Juan Carlos Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Bermúdez Menéndez de la Granda, Manuel SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Caballero García, Beatriz Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Coto Montes, Ana Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R4
Fernández Fernández, María SESPA Research/Clinical R2
García González, Claudia FINBA Research R2
González Blanco, Laura Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Gutiérrez Rodríguez, José SESPA Research/Clinical R2
López Álvarez, Eva María SESPA Research/Clinical R2
Menéndez Valle, Iván Universidad de Oviedo Research R1
Potes Ochoa, Yaiza Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R3
Rubio González, Adrián Universidad de Oviedo Research R2
Solano Jaurrieta, Juan José SESPA Research/Clinical/Teaching R3
Solla Suárez, Pablo Enrique SESPA Research R1
Vega Naredo, Ignacio Universidad de Oviedo Research/Teaching R2
Diñeiro García, Yolanda SERIDA Research No classification
García Antuña, Eduardo Universidad de Oviedo Research No classification
Oliván García, María del Carmen SERIDA Research No classification
Sierra Sánchez, Verónica SERIDA Research No classification
ISPA personal del grupo de investigación CROS
ISPA staff in the CROS research group

The Cellular Response to Oxidative Stress research group has been working together for over ten years and was established by two university lecturers – Drs Delio Rubén Tolivia Fernández and María Josefa Rodríguez Colunga – and a “Ramón y Cajal” researcher, Professor Ana María Coto Montes, who has been the group’s principal investigator since it was created. Taking oxidative stress as the overarching concern of their work, these researchers focused their research on three main areas, two in applied research and the other in basic research.

Ana Coto-Montes is a University Professor and her research group currently includes: two assistant lecturers, a technician, two PhD students (funded by grants) and two Master’s students from the Universidad de Oviedo, a Geriatrics department head and four consultants in geriatrics from Hospital Monte Naranco in Asturian Health District IV, a researcher from SERIDA, a PhD student (on a paid contract) with two technicians from SERIDA (Regional Agri-food Research and Development Service of Asturias).

Our research group is multidisciplinary, with a team of clinical and basic researchers, university teaching staff and PhD and postdoctoral researchers. These researchers explore the biological processes in which oxidative stress can be altered, both within physiological situations and pathological processes. Characterisation of the autophagic processes present in a range of animal models is another key element of our research.

Our line of basic research explores autophagy and proteolysis processes in a general sense. The two lines of applied research focus, respectively, on ageing and its associated diseases, and markets of meat tenderisation and quality. To ensure that we produce high-quality applied research, we are working in collaboration with two cutting-edge groups in epidemiological and animal production research from Asturias: Dr Juan Jose Solano Jaurrieta’s group in Hospital Monte Naranco, which performs epidemiological research on ageing; and Dr Mamen Oliván García’s research group from SERIDA, which investigates animal production and meat quality. We have therefore established an interdisciplinary group that enables us to produce robust knowledge in each of our lines of research.

The group was accredited by the Agencia Nacional de Evaluación y Prospectiva (National Agency for Assessment and Prospective Studies) in 2011, enabling it to join the Universidad de Oviedo’s Campus of International Excellence in Biomedicine. It forms part of ISPA-FINBA as a consolidated research group.

Our research group has a series of overarching objectives associated with each of its current lines of research. These objectives are as follows:


The overarching objective for this line of research is:

To search for markers predicting frailty in elderly people.

The issue of elderly people’s loss of autonomy not only has a drastic impact on the individual’s quality of life, but affects society as a whole. Families are required to deal with a significant workload to care for their impaired relatives; if loss of autonomy results in individuals having to enter an elderly care home, there can be an excess of demand for such facilities; and finally, meeting these people’s needs can have significant economic repercussions. For all these reasons, it would be much more efficient to prevent this loss of autonomy. However, it is currently difficult to determine in advance which people may be more susceptible than others to suffering from a condition of frailty in the near future. It is clear that situations such as the loss of a spouse, accidents and illnesses can accelerate the process by which a self-sufficient person ends up having to depend on others to carry out the most basic daily tasks. But we do not currently know the main causes leading two people of the same age and apparently similar clinical features to end up with a significantly different functional capacity after a short period of time.

Within this context, the team members responsible for the group’s research on ageing aim to complete a range of projects, all of which focus on searching for possible markers of future frailty. We are currently working on the following projects:

A) Sarcopenia and frailty. Through systemic local studies, we aim to detect those markers which vary in situations of sarcopenia, providing information on a person’s capacity for recovery (or lack thereof) in the rehabilitation process for hip fractures in the elderly.

b) Disease and ageing. There are multiple pathological processes that affect large numbers of the population aged over 75 years. We are therefore performing studies on elderly people with the most common clinical features, initially trying to identify markers of potential frailty and subsequently developing predictive indices for these processes, which enable us to start to more clearly define the molecular pattern of a person who is at risk of frailty.

c) Oxidative stress in ageing. While all studies suggest that oxidative stress is involved in the ageing process, there are significant discrepancies about how it contributes to this process. Our work in this area therefore focuses on characterising the oxidative stress of the populations and cohorts that we work with. This study will enable us to identify the role played by oxidative stress in each specific case and, probably, its role in ageing in general.

Autophagy and Programmed Cell Death

Autophagy is a mechanism deployed by the cell, through which autophagic vesicles are formed that digest different parts of the cell, from protein aggregates to damaged organelles. A decade ago, this process became a central concern of research on cell death, its deployment and morphological characteristics having led it to be classified as type II programmed cell death, because it is at crucial points in the individual’s development or deterioration that the cells entered into really widespread processes of autophagy. Subsequently, researchers learned that processes classified as autophagic were actually much more complex. The cell initially deploys autophagy as a survival mechanism, in an attempt to tackle a wide range of adverse situations, from a lack of nutrients to an excess of free radicals. If, in spite of these efforts, the cell does not manage to eliminate enough of the adverse markers, autophagy continues until it causes the cell’s death and elimination, without causing subsequent inflammation, and this is the process that is actually defined as type II programmed cell death.

Oxidative stress and autophagic processes coexist in pathological situations that range from infectious processes to ageing, but it has yet to be discovered whether the deployment of these processes of survival / programmed cell death are a cause or consequence of the oxidative stress that occurs in such situations.

Our group therefore aims to characterise the changes caused by alterations in oxidative stress, not only in processes of programmed cell death (autophagy and apoptosis) but also in the cell’s proteolytic capacity in general, and how these processes may be modified by alterations to the dominant oxidative stress.

Tenderisation and Animal Wellbeing

This line of research involves detailed study of the enzymatic, biochemical, molecular and cellular processes associated with the transformation of muscle into meat (tenderisation), with the objective of identifying biological markers (biomarkers) that enable situations of animal stress to be detected and the final quality of the meat to be predicted, when combined with organoleptic studies.

The studies performed to date, funded by the INIA (National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology) and the Spanish National R&D Plan, have provided us with important new information on the role of the processes of programmed cell death and the biochemical (oxidative, proteolytic) changes that occur in meat during the post-mortem ageing process, and their effect on the quality of the product.

We are also employing proteomic analysis techniques and research on autophagy to identify markers in the muscle tissue for situations of animal stress before and during slaughter.
Within this line of research, our work focuses on two main areas:

  • Studying markers of quality in the meat sourced from Asturias’ indigenous cattle breeds.
  • Studying the oxidative effects of stress created during the process of ageing pork and ham.
  1. AUTHORS: Rubio-González A, Bermejo-Millo JC, de Luxán-Delgado B, Potes Y, Pérez-Martínez Z, Boga JA, Vega-Naredo I, Caballero B, Solano JJ, Coto-Montes A;
    TITLE: Members of Research Team cROS (cellular Response to Oxidative Stress). Melatonin Prevents the Harmful Effects of Obesity on the Brain, Including at the Behavioral Level. Mol Neurobiol. 2018;55(7):5830-5846. doi: 10.1007/s12035-017-0796-8.
    Impact factor: 6.190 Quartile: Q1
  2. AUTHORS: Bermejo-Millo JC, Guimarães MRM, de Luxán-Delgado B, Potes Y, Pérez-Martínez Z, Díaz-Luis A, Caballero B, Solano JJ, Vega-Naredo I, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: High-Fructose Consumption Impairs the Redox System and Protein Quality Control in the Brain of Syrian Hamsters: Therapeutic Effects of Melatonin. Mol Neurobiol. 2018. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-0967-2.
    Impact factor: 6.190 Quartile: Q1
  3. AUTHORS: Oliván M, González J, Bassols A, Díaz F, Carreras R, Mainau E, Arroyo L, Peña R, Potes Y, Coto-Montes A, Hollung K, Velarde A.
    TITLE: Effect of sex and RYR1 gene mutation on the muscle proteomic profile and main physiological biomarkers in pigs at slaughter. Meat Sci. 2018 Jul;141:81-90
    Impact factor: 3.126 Quartile: Q1
  4. AUTHORS: Barbosa IA, Vega-Naredo I, Loureiro R, Branco AF, Garcia R, Scott PM, Oliveira PJ.
    TITLE: TRAP1 regulates autophagy in lung cancer cells. Eur J Clin Invest. 2018;48(4). doi: 10.1111/eci.12900
    Impact factor: 2.714 Quartile: Q1
  5. AUTHORS: Loureiro R, Mesquita KA, Magalhães-Novais S, Oliveira PJ, Vega-Naredo I.
    TITLE: Mitochondrial biology in cancer stem cells. Semin Cancer Biol 2017; 47:18-28
    Impact factor: 9.141 Quartile: Q1
  6. AUTHORS: Potes Y, Oliván M, Rubio-González A, de Luxán-Delgado B, Díaz F, Sierra V, Arroyo L, Peña R, Bassols A, González J, Carreras R, Velarde A, Muñoz-Torres M, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: Pig cognitive bias affects the conversion of muscle into meat by antioxidant and autophagy mechanisms. Animal. 2017;11(11):2027-2035.
    Impact factor: 1.921 Quartile: Q1
  7. AUTHORS: Potes Y, de Luxán-Delgado B, Rodriguez-González S, Guimarães MRM, Solano JJ, Fernández-Fernández M, Bermúdez M, Boga JA, Vega-Naredo I, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: Overweight in elderly people induces impaired autophagy in skeletal muscle. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017;110:31-41. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.05.018.
    Impact factor: 5.606 Quartile: Q1
  8. AUTORES: de Luxán-Delgado B, Potes Y, Rubio-González A, Caballero B, Solano JJ, Fernández-Fernández M, Bermúdez M, Rodrigues Moreira Guimarães M, Vega-Naredo I, Boga JA, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: Melatonin reduces endoplasmic reticulum stress and autophagy in liver of leptin-deficient mice. J Pineal Res 2016;61(1):108-23.
    Impact factor: 10.391 Quartile: Q1
  9. AUTHORS: Coto-Montes A, Boga JA, Tan DX, Reiter RJ.
    TITLE: Melatonin as a Potential Agent in the Treatment of Sarcopenia. Int J Mol Sci 2016;17(10)
    Impact factor: 3.226 Quartile: Q1
  10. AUTHORS: Silva AM, Barbosa IA, Seabra C, Beltrão N, Santos R, Vega-Naredo I, Oliveira PJ, Cunha-Oliveira T.
    TITLE: Involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in nefazodone-induced hepatotoxicity. Food Chem Toxicol 2016; 94:148-58
    Impact factor: 3.778 Quartile: Q1
  11. AUTHORS: Klionsky DJ. Coto-Montes A. Vega-Naredo I. Zughaier SM.
    TITLE: Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy 2016; 12(1):1-222.
    Impact factor: 8.593 Quartile: Q1
  12. AUTHORS: Sampaio SF, Branco AF, Wojtala A, Vega-Naredo I, Wieckowski MR, Oliveira PJ.
    TITLE: p66Shc signalling is involved in stress responses elicited by anthracycline treatment of rat cardiomyoblasts. Arch Toxicol 2016; 90(7):1669-1684
    Impact factor: 5.901 Quartile: Q1
  13. AUTHORS: Lebiedzinska-Arciszewska M, Oparka M, Vega-Naredo I, Karkucinska-Wieckowska A, Pinton P, Duszynski J, Wieckowski MR.
    TITLE: The interplay between p66Shc, reactive oxygen species and cancer cell metabolism. Eur J Clin Invest 2015; 45 Suppl 1:25-31
    Impact factor: 2.687 Quartile: Q1
  14. AUTHORS: Manchester LC, Coto-Montes A, Boga JA, Andersen LP, Zhou Z, Galano A, Vriend J, Tan DX, Reiter RJ.
    TITLE: Melatonin: an ancient molecule that makes oxygen metabolically tolerable. J Pineal Res 2015; 59(4):403-19
    Impact factor: 9.314 Quartile: Q1
  15. AUTHORS: Loureiro R, Magalhães-Novais S, Mesquita KA, Baldeiras I, Sousa IS, Tavares LC, Barbosa IA, Oliveira PJ, Vega-Naredo I.
    TITLE: Melatonin antiproliferative effects require active mitochondrial function in embryonal carcinoma cells. Oncotarget 2015; 6(19):17081-96.
    Impact factor: 5.008 Quartile: Q1
  16. AUTHORS: Rubio-González A, Potes Y, Illán-Rodríguez D, Vega-Naredo I, Sierra V, Caballero B, Fàbrega E, Velarde A, Dalmau A, Oliván M, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: Effect of animal mixing as a stressor on biomarkers of autophagy and oxidative stress during pig muscle maturation. Animal 2015; 9(7):1188-94
    Impact factor: 2.056 Quartile: Q1
  17. AUTHORS: García-Macia M, Rubio-Gonzalez A, de Luxán-Delgado B, Potes Y, Rodríguez-González S, de Gonzalo-Calvo D, Boga JA, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: Autophagic and proteolytic processes in the Harderian gland are modulated during the estrous cycle. Histochem Cell Biol. 2014;141(5):519-29.
    Impact factor: 3.054 Quartile: Q1
  18. AUTHORS: García-Macia M, Sierra V, Palanca A, Vega-Naredo I, de Gonzalo-Calvo D, Rodríguez-González S, Oliván M, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: Autophagy during beef aging. Autophagy. 2014;10(1):137-43.
    Impact factor: 11.753 Quartile: Q1
  19. AUTHORS: de Luxán-Delgado B, Caballero B, Potes Y, Rubio-González A, Rodríguez I, Gutiérrez-Rodríguez J, Solano JJ, Coto-Montes A.
    TITLE: Melatonin administration decreases adipogenesis in the liver of ob/ob mice through autophagy modulation. J Pineal Res. 2014;56(2):126-33
    Impact factor: 9.600 Quartile: Q1
  20. AUTHORS: Vega-Naredo I, Loureiro R, Mesquita KA, Barbosa IA, Tavares LC, Branco AF, Erickson JR, Holy J, Perkins EL, Carvalho RA, Oliveira PJ.
    TITLE: Mitochondrial metabolism directs stemness and differentiation in P19 embryonal carcinoma stem cells. Cell Death Differ. 2014;21(10):1560-74.
    Impact factor: 8.184 Quartile: Q1
Principal Investigator Title Funding Body Duration Amount
Ana Coto Montes Differential markers of dependency in human sarcopenia: the role of satellite cells and clinical opportunities (PI17/02009) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. Instituto de Salud Carlos III 01/01/2018 – 31/12/2020 €99,220
Jorge Arias Experimental light-based deep brain stimulation and its application to mental and neurological disorders (PSI2015-73111-EXP) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad 01/05/2017 – 30/04/2019 €54,450
Ignacio Vega-Naredo Assessing and unravelling sarcopenia: the role of mitochondrial quality control by redox signalling during age-related muscle wasting (FCT, IF/01316/2014) Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology 26/06/2015 – 31/10/2016 €50,000
Ignacio Vega-Naredo The relevance of mitochondrial quality control by autophagy for cancer-stem-cell differentiation and resistance to chemotherapy (ACB14-20) Marie Curie COFUND / Clarín grant from the Gobierno del Principado de Asturias 31/12/2014 – 25/06/2015 €102,000
Ana Coto Montes cROS – Cellular Response to Oxidative Stress Consejería de Economía y Empleo del Principado de Asturias (GRUPIN14-071) 31/12/2014 – 31/12/2017 €120,000
Ana Coto Montes Predictive biomarkers of functional recovery in elderly hip surgery patients. (PI13/02741) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. Instituto de Salud Carlos III 01/01/2014 – 31/12/2017 €49,610
Juan J Solano Jaurrieta RETICEF (Cooperative Research Thematic Network in Ageing and Frailty). An epidemiological study in the elderly (RD12/0043/0017) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. Instituto de Salud Carlos III 01/01/2013 – 31/12/2017 €105,800
Juan J Solano Jaurrieta The MID-Frail Study: a randomised clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a multi-modal intervention in frail and pre-frail older people with type 2 diabetes on frailty and quality of life. (FP7-HEALTH-2011-two-stage-278803) European Union FP7 3/2012 – 2/2016 €5,975,821
Paulo J Oliveira Pathophysiology of Persistent Doxorubicin Cardiotoxicity: a Mitochondrial-Epigenetics Link (FCT, PTDC/DTP-FTO/1180/2012) Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology 1/5/2013 – 30/4/2015 €175,000
Ana Coto Montes RETICEF Factors associated with the development of frailty and its consequences (RD12/0043/0030) Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. Instituto de Salud Carlos III 01/01/2013 – 30/03/2017 €115,884.84
Vega-Naredo The role of mitochondrial p66Shc in drug-induced mitochondrial toxicity memory (FCT, PTDC/SAU-TOX/117912/2010) Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology 2012 – 2014 €79,291
María Carmen Oliván García Identification of quality biomarkers in meat, related to stress before and during slaughter (AGL2011-30598-C03-03) Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación 2012 – 2015 €96,800
PhD Student Supervisors Title Year Honours
Beatriz de Luxán Delgado Ana Coto Montes
Ignacio Vega-Naredo
Characterisation of hepatic damage caused by leptin deficiency obesity : possible attenuation by melatonin 2016
Katia de Almeida Mesquita Ignacio Vega-Naredo
Emilia Duarte
The role of mitochondria and DNA damage responses in cancer stem cells’ resistance to chemotherapy 2016
Marina García Macía Ana Coto Montes
Beatriz Caballero García
Several autophagy processes in the Harderian gland of the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus): hormone regulation in the oestrous cycle 2014 European Honours
Inventors Title Registration Number
Ana María Coto Montes; Susana María Rodríguez González; Beatriz de Luxán; Delgado; Yaiza Potes Ochoa; Ignacio Vega Naredo; Beatriz Caballero García; Jose Antonio Boga Riveiro; María de Oña Navarro; Juan José Solano Jaurrieta; José Gutierrez Rodríguez; Marta Elena Álvarez Argüelles; María Fernández Fernández; Manuel Bermudez Menéndez de la Granda; María Carmen Oliván García; Marcela Rodrigues Moreira; Jose Miguel Arche Coto THE UTILITY OF THE NIRS TECHNIQUE IN PREDICTING MUSCULAR QUALITY AND THE DEGREE OF MUSCLE TISSUE DETERIORATION IN THE ELDERLY (AGED MUSCLE NIRS) 05/2016/212
Beatriz Caballero García; Beatriz de Luxán Delgado; Yaiza Potes Ochoa;
Adrian Rubio González; Susana María Rodríguez González; Ignacio Vega Naredo; Jose Antonio Boga Riveiro; Pedro Abizanda Soler; Luis Romero Rizos; Pedro Manuel Sánchez Jurado; Juan José Solano Jaurrieta; Manuel Bermúdez Menéndez De La Granda; Ana María Coto Montes