Metformin protects against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity: Involvement of the adiponectin cardiac system
- Heart Failure Unit, Cardiology Department, University Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca, 30120 Murcia, Spain
- Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Murcia, 30120 Murcia, Spain
Doxorubicin has cardiotoxic effects that limit its clinical benefit in cancer patients. Metformin exerts cardioprotective actions via AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and increases the expression of adiponectin and its receptors (adipoR1 and adipoR2) in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue, but its effect on cardiac tissue is still unknown. This work aimed to study whether metformin exerts any protective action against the cardiotoxicity of doxorubicin and whether the cardiac system of adiponectin is involved in any such action. The addition of doxorubicin (5 μM) to adult mouse cardiomyocytes (HL-1 cell line) induced apoptosis, which was characterized by a loss of cell viability, activation of caspases, and fragmentation of the genetic material. Doxorubicin treatment also caused a decrease in the activity of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase. Pretreatment with metformin (4 mM, 24 h) provided protection against doxorubicin-induced damage. This pretreatment significantly increased cell viability, attenuated the activation of caspases and the fragmentation of genetic material, and restored the antioxidant activity. In addition, metformin up-regulated the expression of adiponectin and its receptors, adipoR1 and adipoR2, in cardiomyocytes. In contrast, silencing either adipoR1 or adipoR2 with siRNA inhibited the AMPK activation and the protective effects of metformin. Taken together, these results demonstrate that metformin protects cardiomyocytes from doxorubicin-induced damage and that the cardiac adiponectin system plays an important role in this protective action.