Metformin reduces potassium currents and prolongs repolarization in non-diabetic heart

Malagueta-Vieira, L. et al. (2022) Metformin reduces potassium currents and prolongs repolarization in non-diabetic heart. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(11), 6021. (doi: 10.3390/ijms23116021)

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Metformin is the first choice drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes due to positive results in reducing hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance. However, diabetic patients have higher risk of ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death, and metformin failed to reduce ventricular arrhythmia in clinical trials. In order to explore the mechanisms responsible for the lack of protective effect, we investigated in vivo the effect of metformin on cardiac electrical activity in non-diabetic rats; and in vitro in isolated ventricular myocytes, HEK293 cells expressing the hERG channel and human induced pluripotent stem cells derived cardiomyocytes (hIPS-CMs). Surface electrocardiograms showed that long-term metformin treatment (7 weeks) at therapeutic doses prolonged cardiac repolarization, reflected as QT and QTc interval duration, and increased ventricular arrhythmia during the caffeine/dobutamine challenge. Patch-clamp recordings in ventricular myocytes isolated from treated animals showed that the cellular mechanism is a reduction in the cardiac transient outward potassium current (Ito). In vitro, incubation with metformin for 24 h also reduced Ito, prolonged action potential duration, and increased spontaneous contractions in ventricular myocytes isolated from control rats. Metformin incubation also reduced IhERG in HEK293 cells. Finally, metformin incubation prolonged action potential duration at 30% and 90% of repolarization in hIPS-CMs, which is compatible with the reduction of Ito and IhERG. Our results show that metformin directly modifies the electrical behavior of the normal heart. The mechanism consists in the inhibition of repolarizing currents and the subsequent decrease in repolarization capacity, which prolongs AP and QTc duration.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: This work was supported by The University of the Basque Country (Grant number PPG17/13), Gobierno Vasco (PIBA2018-58) and MICIIN (PID2020-118814RB-I00). V.Z.R. is recipient of a Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero (SPAIN) postdoctoral fellowship.
Keywords:cardiac electrophysiology, repolarization, cardiomyocyte, ion channels, ventricular arrhythmia, cardiac action potential, diabetes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Professor Godfrey and Hortigon, Dr Maria
Authors: Malagueta-Vieira, L., Fernández-Ruocco, J., Hortigon, M., Zamora, V., Zayas-Arrabal, J., Echeazarra, L., Smith, G. L., Vila Petroff, M., Medei, E., Casis, Ó., and Gallego, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
Journal Name:International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN (Online):1422-0067
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors.
First Published:First published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23(11):6021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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