Metformin Suppresses Diabetes-Accelerated Atherosclerosis via the Inhibition of Drp1-Mediated Mitochondrial Fission

Metformin is a widely used antidiabetic drug that exerts cardiovascular protective effects in patients with diabetes. How metformin protects against diabetes-related cardiovascular diseases remains poorly understood. Here, we show that metformin abated the progression of diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis by inhibiting mitochondrial fission in endothelial cells. Metformin treatments markedly reduced mitochondrial fragmentation, mitigated mitochondrial-derived superoxide release, improved endothelial-dependent vasodilation, inhibited vascular inflammation, and suppressed atherosclerotic lesions in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic ApoE–/– mice. In high glucose–exposed endothelial cells, metformin treatment and adenoviral overexpression of constitutively active AMPK downregulated mitochondrial superoxide, lowered levels of dynamin-related protein (Drp1) and its translocation into mitochondria, and prevented mitochondrial fragmentation. In contrast, AMPK-α2 deficiency abolished the effects of metformin on Drp1 expression, oxidative stress, and atherosclerosis in diabetic ApoE–/–/AMPK-α2–/– mice, indicating that metformin exerts an antiatherosclerotic action in vivo via the AMPK-mediated blockage of Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission. Consistently, mitochondrial division inhibitor 1, a potent and selective Drp1 inhibitor, reduced mitochondrial fragmentation, attenuated oxidative stress, ameliorated endothelial dysfunction, inhibited inflammation, and suppressed atherosclerosis in diabetic mice. These findings show that metformin attenuated the development of atherosclerosis by reducing Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission in an AMPK-dependent manner. Suppression of mitochondrial fission may be a therapeutic approach for treating macrovascular complications in patients with diabetes.

Diabetes Complications

Metformin Suppresses Diabetes-Accelerated Atherosclerosis via the Inhibition of Drp1-Mediated Mitochondrial Fission was first posted on December 27, 2016 at 6:16 pm.
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Amrita Wellness Medicine Clinic

Alina Porojan has been working as a natural medicine practitioner for the past twelve years, constantly educating herself and deepening her knowledge and clinical experience. Alina believes that health and healing is inherent to each of us, and sees her role as re-connecting us to our already existing potential for optimal health and wellness.