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Title: Metformin aggravates immune-mediated liver injury in mice
Authors: Volarevic, Vladislav
Misirkic Marjanovic, Maja
Vucicevic, Ljubica
Paunovic, Verica
Simovic Markovic, Bojana
Stojanovic, Maja
Milovanovic, Marija
Jakovljevic V.
Mićić D.
Arsenijevic, Nebojsa
Trajkovic, Vladimir
Lukic, Miodrag
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Hepatotoxicity of the antidiabetic drug metformin has been reported, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We here investigated the effect of metformin in immune-mediated liver damage. While not hepatotoxic alone, metformin (200 mg/kg) aggravated concanavalin A (Con A, 12 mg/kg)-induced hepatitis, an experimental model of T cell-mediated liver injury, in both relatively resistant BALB/c and highly susceptible C57Bl/6 mice. Metformin + Con A-treated mice had elevated serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IFN-γ, accompanied by a massive mononuclear cell infiltration in the liver. This was associated with the higher numbers of CD4+ T cells producing TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17, CD4+ T cells expressing chemokine receptor CXCR3 and activation marker CD27, CD4+CD62L−CCR7− and CD8+CD62L−CCR7− effector memory cells, IFN-γ producing NK cells, IL-4 and IL-17 producing NKT cells and IL-12 producing macrophages/dendritic cells. The percentage of CD4+CXCR3+Tbet+IL-10+ and CD4+CD69+CD25− regulatory T cells was reduced. Metformin stimulated inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in the liver and spleen, and genetic deletion of iNOS attenuated the hepatotoxicity of metformin. Metformin increased the autophagic light chain 3 conversion and mRNA expression of important autophagy-inducing (beclin-1, Atg5 and GABARAP) and pro-apoptotic (p21, p27, Puma, Noxa, Bax, Bad, Bak1, Bim and Apaf1), but not anti-apoptotic molecules (Bcl-xL, survivin and XIAP), which correlated with the apoptotic caspase-3/PARP cleavage in the liver. The autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (20 mg/kg) prevented liver injury and apoptotic changes induced by metformin. Therefore, metformin aggravates immune-mediated hepatitis by promoting autophagy and activation of immune cells, affecting effector, as well as liver-specific regulatory T cells and iNOS expression.
Type: article
DOI: 10.1007/s00204-014-1263-1
ISSN: 0340-5761
SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-84939886726
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medical Sciences, Kragujevac

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