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To explore mechanisms by which SGLT2 inhibitors protect diabetic hearts from heart failure, we examined the effect of empagliflozin (Empa) on the ultrastructure of cardiomyocytes in the noninfarcted region of the diabetic heart after myocardial infarction (MI). OLETF, a rat model of type 2 diabetes, and its nondiabetic control, LETO, received a sham operation or left coronary artery ligation 12 h before tissue sampling. Tissues were sampled from the posterior ventricle (i.e., the remote noninfarcted region in rats with MI). The number of mitochondria was larger and small mitochondria were more prevalent in OLETF than in LETO. Fis1 expression level was higher in OLETF than in LETO, while phospho-Ser637-Drp1, total Drp1, Mfn1/2, and OPA1 levels were comparable. MI further reduced the size of mitochondria with increased Drp1-Ser616 phosphorylation in OLETF. The number of autophagic vacuoles was unchanged after MI in LETO but was decreased in OLETF. Lipid droplets in cardiomyocytes and tissue triglycerides were increased in OLETF. Empa administration (10 mg/kg per day) reduced blood glucose and triglycerides and paradoxically increased lipid droplets in cardiomyocytes in OLETF. Empa suppressed Fis1 upregulation, increased Bnip3 expression, and prevented reduction in both mitochondrial size and autophagic vacuole number after MI in OLETF. Together with the results of our parallel study showing upregulation of SOD2 and catalase by Empa, the results indicate that Empa normalizes the size and number of mitochondria in diabetic hearts and that diabetes-induced excessive reduction in mitochondrial size after MI was prevented by Empa via suppression of ROS and restoration of autophagy. © 2018 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.


Masashi Mizuno, Atsushi Kuno, Toshiyuki Yano, Takayuki Miki, Hiroto Oshima, Tatsuya Sato, Kei Nakata, Yukishige Kimura, Masaya Tanno, Tetsuji Miura. Empagliflozin normalizes the size and number of mitochondria and prevents reduction in mitochondrial size after myocardial infarction in diabetic hearts. Physiological reports. 2018 Jun;6(12):e13741

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PMID: 29932506

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