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Mediterranean diet, Geroprotectors, Metformin, and Skin pigmentation

April 2017


Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Metformin Irrespective of Diabetes Status.

RATIONALE: The diabetes mellitus drug metformin is under investigation in cardiovascular disease, but the molecular mechanisms underlying possible benefits are poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: Here, we have studied anti-inflammatory effects of the drug and their relationship to antihyperglycemic properties. METHODS AND RESULTS: In primary hepatocytes from healthy animals, metformin and the IKKb (inhibitor of kappa B kinase) inhibitor BI605906 both inhibited tumor necrosis factor-a-dependent IkB degradation and expression of proinflammatory mediators interleukin-6, interleukin-1b, and CXCL1/2 (C-X-C motif ligand 1/2). Metformin suppressed IKKa/b activation, an effect that could be separated from some metabolic actions, in that BI605906 did not mimic effects of metformin on lipogenic gene expression, glucose production, and AMP-activated protein kinase activation. Equally AMP-activated protein kinase was not required either for mitochondrial suppression of IκB degradation. Consistent with discrete anti-inflammatory actions, in macrophages, metformin specifically blunted secretion of proinflammatory cytokines, without inhibiting M1/M2 differentiation or activation. In a large treatment naive diabetes mellitus population cohort, we observed differences in the systemic inflammation marker, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, after incident treatment with either metformin or sulfonylurea monotherapy. Compared with sulfonylurea exposure, metformin reduced the mean log-transformed neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio after 8 to 16 months by 0.09 U (95% confidence interval, 0.02-0.17; P=0.013) and increased the likelihood that neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio would be lower than baseline after 8 to 16 months (odds ratio, 1.83; 95% confidence interval, 1.22-2.75; P=0.00364). Following up these findings in a double-blind placebo controlled trial in nondiabetic heart failure (trial registration: NCT00473876), metformin suppressed plasma cytokines including the aging-associated cytokine CCL11 (C-C motif chemokine ligand 11). CONCLUSION: We conclude that anti-inflammatory properties of metformin are exerted irrespective of diabetes mellitus status. This may accelerate investigation of drug utility in nondiabetic cardiovascular disease groups.

Circ Res. 2016 Aug 19;119(5):652-65

Metformin improves healthspan and lifespan in mice.

Metformin is a drug commonly prescribed to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Here we show that long-term treatment with metformin (0.1% w/w in diet) starting at middle age extends healthspan and lifespan in male mice, while a higher dose (1% w/w) was toxic. Treatment with metformin mimics some of the benefits of calorie restriction, such as improved physical performance, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced low-density lipoprotein and cholesterol levels without a decrease in caloric intake. At a molecular level, metformin increases AMP-activated protein kinase activity and increases antioxidant protection, resulting in reductions in both oxidative damage accumulation and chronic inflammation. Our results indicate that these actions may contribute to the beneficial effects of metformin on healthspan and lifespan. These findings are in agreement with current epidemiological data and raise the possibility of metformin-based interventions to promote healthy aging.

Nat Commun. 2013;4:2192

Can people with type 2 diabetes live longer than those without?
A comparison of mortality in people initiated with metformin or sulphonylurea monotherapy and matched, non-diabetic controls.

AIMS: Clinical and observational studies have shown an increased risk of cardiovascular events and death associated with sulphonylureas versus metformin. However, it has never been determined whether this was due to the beneficial effects of metformin or detrimental effects of sulphonylureas. The objective of this study was therefore to compare all-cause mortality in diabetic patients treated first-line with either sulphonylurea or metformin monotherapy with that in matched individuals without diabetes. METHODS: We used retrospective observational data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) from 2000. Subjects with type 2 diabetes who progressed to first-line treatment with metformin or sulphonylurea monotherapy were selected and matched to people without diabetes. Progression to all-cause mortality was compared using parametric survival models that included a range of relevant co-variables. RESULTS: We identified 78,241 subjects treated with metformin, 12,222 treated with sulphonylurea, and 90,463 matched subjects without diabetes. This resulted in a total, censored follow-up period of 503,384 years. There were 7498 deaths in total, representing unadjusted mortality rates of 14.4 and 15.2, and 50.9 and 28.7 deaths per 1000 person-years for metformin monotherapy and their matched controls, and sulphonylurea monotherapy and their matched controls, respectively. With reference to observed survival in diabetic patients initiated with metformin monotherapy [survival time ratio (STR) = 1.0], adjusted median survival time was 15% lower (STR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.81-0.90) in matched individuals without diabetes and 38% lower (0.62, 0.58-0.66) in diabetic patients treated with sulphonylurea monotherapy.CONCLUSIONS: Patients with type 2 diabetes initiated with metformin monotherapy had longer survival than did matched, non-diabetic controls. Those treated with sulphonylurea had markedly reduced survival compared with both matched controls and those receiving metformin monotherapy. This supports the position of metformin as first-line therapy and implies that metformin may confer benefit in non-diabetes. Sulphonylurea remains a concern.

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014 Nov;16(11):1165-73

Metformin promotes lifespan through mitohormesis via the peroxiredoxin PRDX-2.

The antiglycemic drug metformin, widely prescribed as first-line treatment of type II diabetes mellitus, has lifespan-extending properties. Precisely how this is achieved remains unclear. Via a quantitative proteomics approach using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, we gained molecular understanding of the physiological changes elicited by metformin exposure, including changes in branched-chain amino acid catabolism and cuticle maintenance. We show that metformin extends lifespan through the process of mitohormesis and propose a signaling cascade in which metformin-induced production of reactive oxygen species increases overall life expectancy. We further address an important issue in aging research, wherein so far, the key molecular link that translates the reactive oxygen species signal into a prolongevity cue remained elusive. We show that this beneficial signal of the mitohormetic pathway is propagated by the peroxiredoxin PRDX-2. Because of its evolutionary conservation, peroxiredoxin signaling might underlie a general principle of prolongevity signaling.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 17;111(24):E2501-9

Diabetes mellitus, metformin and head and neck cancer.

INTRODUCTION: Diabetes mellitus (DM (Diabetes Mellitus)) is directly associated with some cancers. However, studies on the association between diabetes mellitus and head and neck cancer (HNC (Head and Neck Cancer)) have rendered controversial results. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between DM and HNC, as well as the impact of metformin use on the risk of HNC. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This case-control study was conducted within the framework of the Brazilian Head and Neck Genome Project in 2011-2014. The study included 1021 HNC cases with histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck admitted to five large hospitals in São Paulo state. A total of 1063 controls were selected in the same hospitals. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. RESULTS: Diabetic participants had a decreased risk of HNC (OR=0.68; 95% CI: 0.49-0.95) than non-diabetic participants, and this risk was further decreased among diabetic metformin users (OR=0.54; 95% CI: 0.29-0.99). Diabetic metformin users that were current smokers (OR=0.13; 95% CI: 0.04-0.44) or had an alcohol consumption of >40g/day (OR=0.31; 95% CI: 0.11-0.88) had lower risk of HNC than equivalent non-diabetic participants. CONCLUSION: The risk of HNC was decreased among diabetic participants; metformin use may at least partially explain this inverse association.

Oral Oncol. 2016 Oct;61:47-54

The Effect of Metformin Use on Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction and Mortality Post-Myocardial Infarction.

BACKGROUND: Animal studies showed that the use of metformin after myocardial infarction (MI) resulted in a protective effect on cardiac myocytes. In this study, we examined the effect of metformin in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) on left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and post-MI mortality. METHODS: We reviewed charts of patients with MI admitted to the UAMS medical center. Baseline characteristics and 12-month follow up data were collected. Patients were classified into three groups: Control group- no DM (n = 464), Metformin group- DM + MI (n = 88) and No-Metformin group- DM + MI (n = 168). First, we compared Metformin and No-Metformin groups to the Control group. Second, we performed propensity-score matching in patients with DM, and compared Metformin to No-Metformin groups. RESULTS: All-cause 30-day and 12-month mortality was significantly higher in the No-Metformin group compared to controls (13.5 vs 9.3% p = 0.03 at 30 days, 23.7 vs 15.9 % p = 0.03 at 12 months). However, all-cause 30-day and 12-month mortality were similar in the Controls and Metformin group (9.3 vs 6.8 % p = 0.93 at 30 days, 15.9 vs 11.4 % p = 0.97 at 12 months). Mean LVEF on presentation (45 % in the three groups) and at follow up (47.84, 46.38 and 43.62 % in Control, Metformin, and No-Metformin groups, respectively) were not statistically different. There were no significant differences in regard to re-hospitalization, re-intervention, new stroke, CHF development, new MI, or identifiable arrhythmias. Metformin was an independent predictor of lower 30-day and 12-month all-cause mortality in patients with DM (HR 0.25, p = 0.02 and HR 0.32, p = 0.01, respectively). In the matched analysis, 30-day all-cause mortality was significantly higher in the No-Metformin compared to the Metformin group (21.1 vs 8.8 %, p = 0.05). However the difference in 12-month all-cause mortality did not reach statistical significance (24.6 vs 15.8 %, p = 0.15). CONCLUSION: This proof-of-concept study shows that use of metformin in patients with DM is associated with lower 30-day all-cause mortality and tendency for a lower 12-month all-cause mortality following MI without discernible improvement in LVEF.

Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 2015 Jun;29(3):265-75

AMPK Activation by Metformin Suppresses Abnormal Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Adipose Tissue and Ameliorates Insulin Resistance in Obesity.

Fibrosis is emerging as a hallmark of metabolically dysregulated white adipose tissue (WAT) in obesity. Although adipose tissue fibrosis impairs adipocyte plasticity, little is known about how aberrant extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling of WAT is initiated during the development of obesity. Here we show that treatment with the antidiabetic drug metformin inhibits excessive ECM deposition in WAT of ob/ob mice and mice with diet-induced obesity, as evidenced by decreased collagen deposition surrounding adipocytes and expression of fibrotic genes including the collagen cross-linking regulator LOX Inhibition of interstitial fibrosis by metformin is likely attributable to the activation of AMPK and the suppression of transforming growth factor-b1 (TGF-b1)/Smad3 signaling, leading to enhanced systemic insulin sensitivity. The ability of metformin to repress TGF-b1-induced fibrogenesis is abolished by the dominant negative AMPK in primary cells from the stromal vascular fraction. TGF-b1-induced insulin resistance is suppressed by AMPK agonists and the constitutively active AMPK in 3T3L1 adipocytes. In omental fat depots of obese humans, interstitial fibrosis is also associated with AMPK inactivation, TGF-b1/Smad3 induction, aberrant ECM production, myofibroblast activation, and adipocyte apoptosis. Collectively, integrated AMPK activation and TGF-b1/Smad3 inhibition may provide a potential therapeutic approach to maintain ECM flexibility and combat chronically uncontrolled adipose tissue expansion in obesity.

Diabetes. 2016 Aug;65(8):2295-310

Efficacy of metformin in obese and non-obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over trial.

BACKGROUND: Our aim was to assess the effects of metformin on menstrual frequency, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), insulin resistance assessed as HOMA-index, weight, waist/hip ratio, blood pressure (BP), serum lipids, and testosterone levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) METHODS: In a randomized, controlled, double-blinded setup, 56 women aged 18-45 with PCOS were treated with either metformin 850 mg or placebo twice daily for 6 months. After a wash-out period of 3 months participants received the alternate treatment for 6 months. The changes in the measured parameters were analysed by intention-to-treat and per protocol. RESULTS: There were no changes in menstrual frequency. In the intention-to-treat analysis, weight and systolic BP were reduced on metformin treatment (p=0.009 and 0.047, respectively), while high-density lipoprotein (HDL) increased (p=0.001). On placebo, weight and FPG increased (p<0.05). Post-hoc subgrouping according to BMI revealed reductions in testosterone (p=0.013), FPG (p=0.018), insulin (p=0.045) and HOMA-index (p=0.022) in obese women. Per protocol analysis showed the following differences between the changes on placebo and metformin (mean (5 - 95 % percentiles): weight (-4.2 (-7.0, -1.9) kg, p<0.001), FPG (-0.23 (-0.44, -0.01) mmol/l, p=0.041), insulin (-4.17 (-8.10, -0.23) mIU/l, p=0.039) and HOMA index (-1.50 (-2.53, -0.47) mIU/l*mmol/l, p=0.006). Weight, FPG and HOMA index were lower after metformin than after placebo. CONCLUSIONS: Metformin treatment lowered weight and systolic blood pressure and increased HDL in women with PCOS. In post-hoc analysis it increased insulin sensitivity and lowered testosterone in obese women. Non-obese women did not benefit from metformin.

Hum Reprod. 2007 Nov;22(11):2967-73