Original Article

Metformin attenuates pressure overload-induced cardiac hypertrophy via AMPK activation

Authors: Yong-nan Fu, Han Xiao, Xiao-wei Ma, Sheng-yang Jiang, Ming Xu, You-yi Zhang
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2010.229


Aim: To identify the role of metformin in cardiac hypertrophy and investigate the possible mechanism underlying this effect.
Methods: Wild type and AMPKα2 knockout (AMPKα2−/−) littermates were subjected to left ventricular pressure overload caused by transverse aortic constriction. After administration of metformin (200 mg·kg−1·d−1) for 6 weeks, the degree of cardiac hypertrophy was evaluated using echocardiography and anatomic and histological methods. The antihypertrophic mechanism of metformin was analyzed using Western blotting.
Results: Metformin significantly attenuated cardiac hypertrophy induced by pressure overload in wild type mice, but the antihypertrophic actions of metformin were ablated in AMPKα2−/− mice. Furthermore, metformin suppressed the phosphorylation of Akt/protein kinase B (AKT) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in response to pressure overload in wild type mice, but not in AMPKα2−/− mice.
Conclusion: Long-term administration of metformin may attenuate cardiac hypertrophy induced by pressure overload in nondiabetic mice, and this attenuation is highly dependent on AMPK activation. These findings may provide a potential therapy for patients at risk of developing pathological cardiac hypertrophy.

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