Metformin ameliorates ionizing irradiation-induced long-term hematopoietic stem cell injury in mice

Guoshun Xu, Hongying Wu, Junling Zhang, Deguan Li, Yueying Wang, Yingying Wang, Heng Zhang, Lu Lu, Chengcheng Li, Song Huang, Yonghua Xing, Daohong Zhou, Aimin Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) increases the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) not only by the radiolysis of water but also through IR-induced perturbation of the cellular metabolism and disturbance of the balance of reduction/oxidation reactions. Our recent studies showed that the increased production of intracellular ROS induced by IR contributes to IR-induced late effects, particularly in the hematopoietic system, because inhibition of ROS production with an antioxidant after IR exposure can mitigate IR-induced long-term bone marrow (BM) injury. Metformin is a widely used drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Metformin also has the ability to regulate cellular metabolism and ROS production by activating AMP-activated protein kinase. Therefore, we examined whether metformin can ameliorate IR-induced long-term BM injury in a total-body irradiation (TBI) mouse model. Our results showed that the administration of metformin significantly attenuated TBI-induced increases in ROS production and DNA damage and upregulation of NADPH oxidase 4 expression in BM hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These changes were associated with a significant increase in BM HSC frequency, a considerable improvement in in vitro and in vivo HSC function, and complete inhibition of upregulation of p16Ink4a in HSCs after TBI. These findings demonstrate that metformin can attenuate TBI-induced long-term BM injury at least in part by inhibiting the induction of chronic oxidative stress in HSCs and HSC senescence. Therefore, metformin has the potential to be used as a novel radioprotectant to ameliorate TBI-induced long-term BM injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-25
Number of pages11
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Free radicals
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Metformin
  • Oxidative stress
  • Radioprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry

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