Hyperglycemia (HG) reduces AMPK activation leading to impaired autophagy and matrix accumulation. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) treatment improves HG-induced renovascular remodeling however, its mechanism remains unclear. Activation of LKB1 by the formation of heterotrimeric complex with STRAD and MO25 is known to activate AMPK. We hypothesized that in HG; H2S induces autophagy and modulates matrix synthesis through AMPK-dependent LKB1/STRAD/MO25 complex formation. To address this hypothesis, mouse glomerular endothelial cells were treated with normal and high glucose in the absence or presence of sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaHS), an H2S donor. HG decreased the expression of H2S regulating enzymes CBS and CSE, and autophagy markers Atg5, Atg7, Atg3 and LC3B/A ratio. HG increased galectin-3 and periostin, markers of matrix accumulation. Treatment with NaHS to HG cells increased LKB1/STRAD/MO25 formation and AMPK phosphorylation. Silencing the encoded genes confirmed complex formation under normoglycemia. H2S-mediated AMPK activation in HG was associated with upregulation of autophagy and diminished matrix accumulation. We conclude that H2S mitigates adverse remodeling in HG by induction of autophagy and regulation of matrix metabolism through LKB1/STRAD/MO25 dependent pathway.
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