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Metformin attenuates hyperlipidaemia-associated vascular calcification through anti-ferroptotic effects.

Free radical biology & medicine (2021-01-30)
Wen-Qi Ma, Xue-Jiao Sun, Yi Zhu, Nai-Feng Liu

Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that involves metabolic dysfunction resulting from iron-dependent excessive lipid peroxidation. Elevated plasma levels of free fatty acids are tightly associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in patients with obesity, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. Metformin (Met) is an antidiabetic drug with beneficial cardiovascular disease effects. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of Met on ferroptosis induced by lipid overload and the effects of these changes on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) calcification. We developed a hyperlipidaemia-related vascular calcification in vivo model with rats fed a high-fat diet combined with vitamin D3 plus nicotine, and palmitic acid (PA), the most abundant long-chain saturated fatty acid in plasma, was used to induce lipid overload and develop an oxidative stress-related calcification model in vitro. The results showed that Met inhibits hyperlipidaemia-associated calcium deposition in the rat aortic tissue. In vitro, treatment of VSMCs with PA stimulates ferroptosis concomitant with increased calcium deposition in VSMCs, while pretreatment with Met attenuates these effects. Furthermore, PA also promotes the protein expression of the extracellular matrix protein periostin (POSTN) and its secretion into the extracellular environment. More importantly, upregulation of POSTN increased the sensitivity of cells to ferroptosis. Mechanistically, upregulation of POSTN suppresses SLC7A11 expression through the inhibition of p53 in VSMCs, which contributes to a decrease in glutathione synthesis and therefore triggers ferroptosis. Interestingly, overexpression of p53 attenuates the inhibitory effect of POSTN on SLC7A11 expression, accompanied by increased Gpx4 expression. Furthermore, p53 knockdown suppresses Met-mediated anti-ferroptosis effects in PA-treated VSMCs, which may be related to the downregulation of SLC7A11 expression. In addition, supplementation of VSMCs with Met enhances the antioxidative capacity of VSMCs through Nrf2 signalling activation. Collectively, targeting POSTN in VSMCs may provide a new strategy for vascular calcification prevention or treatment.

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Product Description

Metformin hydrochloride, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
(Tyr[SO3H]27)Cholecystokinin fragment 26-33 Amide, ≥97% (HPLC), powder