Metformin has been considered a potential adjunctive therapy in treating poorly controlled type 1 diabetes with obesity and insulin resistance, owing to its potent effects on improving insulin sensitivity. However, the underlying mechanism of metformin’s vascular protective effects remains obscure. Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP), a key regulator of cellular redox state induced by high-glucose concentration, decreases thioredoxin reductase activity and mediates apoptosis induced by oxidative stress. Here we report that high glucose-induced endothelial dysfunction is associated with induction of TXNIP expression in primary human aortic endothelial cells exposed to high-glucose conditions, whereas the metformin treatment suppresses high-glucose-induced TXNIP expression at mRNA and protein levels. We further show that metformin decreases the high-glucose-stimulated nuclear entry rate of two transcription factors, carbohydrate response element-binding protein (ChREBP) and forkhead box O1 (FOXO1), as well as their recruitment on the TXNIP promoter. An AMP-activated protein kinase inhibitor partially compromised these metformin effects. Our data suggest that endothelial dysfunction resulting from high-glucose concentrations is associated with TXNIP expression. Metformin down-regulates high-glucose-induced TXNIP transcription by inactivating ChREBP and FOXO1 in endothelial cells, partially through AMP-activated protein kinase activation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology