Metformin Exerts Beneficial Effects in Hemorrhagic Shock in An AMPKα1-Independent Manner

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Despite therapeutic advances in hemorrhagic shock, mortality from multiple organ failure remains high. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved in cellular energy homeostasis. Two catalytic subunits, α1 and α2, have been identified, with α1 subunit largely expressed in major organs. Here, we hypothesized that genetic deficiency of AMPKα1 worsens hemorrhage-induced multiple organ failure. We also investigated whether treatment with metformin, a clinically used drug for metabolic homeostasis, affords beneficial effects. AMPKα1 wild-type (WT) and knock-out mice (KO) were subjected to hemorrhagic shock by blood withdrawing followed by resuscitation with shed blood and Lactated Ringer's solution and treatment with vehicle or metformin. Mice were sacrificed at 3 h after resuscitation. Compared with vehicle-treated WT animals, KO animals exhibited a more severe hypotension, higher lung and liver injury and neutrophil infiltration, and higher levels of plasma inflammatory cytokines. Metformin treatment ameliorated organ injury and mean arterial blood pressure in both WT and KO mice, without affecting systemic cytokine levels. Furthermore, metformin treatment reduced liver lipid peroxidation and increased levels of complex II cosubstrate FAD and levels of ATP in WT and KO mice. Beneficial effects of metformin were associated with organ-specific nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling and activation of liver kinase B1 and AMPKα2. Thus, our data suggest that AMPKα1 is an important regulator of hemodynamic stability and organ metabolic recovery during hemorrhagic shock. Our data also suggest that metformin affords beneficial effects, at least in part, independently of AMPKα1 and secondary to AMPKα2 activation, increase of Complex II function and reduction of oxidative stress.

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