Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(7):698-704. doi:10.7150/ijms.19800 This issue
1. Affiliation: Department of Cardiology, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China;
2. Affiliation: Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
Background: Increased cardiomyocyte apoptosis under high glucose condition contributes to diabetic cardiomyopathy. Degradation of cardiac Connexin43 (Cx43) has been associated with cardiac dysfunction in diabetic heart. Clinical and experimental studies suggested that metformin (Met) exhibits cardioprotective properties against diabetes.
Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect and underlying signaling mechanisms of metformin on apoptosis and Cx43 expression in H9c2 cells presenting with hyperglycemia conditions.
Methods: In the present study, H9c2 cardiac cells were incubated with 5.5 mM glucose, 33.3 mM glucose, 33.3 mM glucose with metformin at two dose (100 μM, 1 mM) for 96 hours, and 1 mM metformin with chloroquine (50 μM) in 33.3 mM glucose medium. Cell viability was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2-H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) cell survival assay. Cytotoxicity was determined by the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). The expression of Cx43, autophagic maker protein (LAMP-1, Beclin-1, p62 and LC3) and apoptosis maker protein (Bcl-2 and Bax) were determined by western blot.
Results: The results showed that high glucose increased apoptosis and decreased Cx43 expression. Interestingly, metformin attenuated hyperglycemia-increased apoptosis and restored Cx43 expression. Moreover, this treatment caused autophagy as well, which indicated by up-regulation of autophagy-related proteins LAMP-1, Beclin-1, p62 and reduction in the ratio of LC3-II/LC3-I. In addition, administration autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) did not block the effect of metformin on Cx43 expression while increasing Cx43 content, together with an increased apoptosis.
Conclusion: Administration metformin can protect the H9c2 cells against hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis and Cx43 down-regulation, in part, mediated through the induction of autophagy pathway.
Keywords: autophagy, connexin43, hyperglycemia, metformin, apoptosis.