Eur J Pharmacol 2015 Nov 28;766:76-85. Epub 2015 Sep 28.
Pharmacology Department, University of Patras Medical School, Rio, Achaias TK 26500, Greece. Electronic address:
Recently, we showed that deficiency in apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I) sensitizes mice to diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance and NAFLD. Here we investigated the potential involvement of ApoA-I in the pharmacological effects of metformin on glucose intolerance and NAFLD development. Groups of apoa1-deficient (apoa1(-/-)) and C57BL/6 mice fed western-type diet were either treated with a daily dose of 300 mg/kg metformin for 18 weeks or left untreated for the same period. Then, histological and biochemical analyses were performed. Metformin treatment led to a comparable reduction in plasma insulin levels in both C57BL/6 and apoa1(-/-) mice following intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. However, only metformin-treated C57BL/6 mice maintained sufficient peripheral insulin sensitivity to effectively clear glucose following the challenge, as indicated by a [(3)H]-2-deoxy-D-glucose uptake assay in isolated soleus muscle. Similarly, deficiency in ApoA-I ablated the effect of metformin on hepatic lipid deposition and NAFLD development. Gene expression analysis indicated that the effects of ApoA-I on metformin treatment may be independent of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation and de novo lipogenesis. Interestingly, metformin treatment reduced mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation function only in apoa1(-/-) mice. Our data show that the role of ApoA-I in diabetes extends to the modulation of the pharmacological actions of metformin, a common drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.