Effect of metformin on intact mitochondria from liver and brain: Concept revisited.

TitleEffect of metformin on intact mitochondria from liver and brain: Concept revisited.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsYoval-Sánchez B, Ansari F, Lange D, Galkin A
JournalEur J Pharmacol
Date Published2022 Aug 05

Metformin is an antihyperglycemic drug which is being examined as a repurposed treatment for cardiovascular disease for individuals without diabetes mellitus. Despite evidence that mitochondrial respiratory complex I is a target of metformin and inhibition of the enzyme is one of the mechanisms of its therapeutic actions, no systematic studies of the metformin effect on intact mitochondria have been reported. In the presented paper, we described the effect of metformin on respiration and ROS release by intact mitochondria from the liver and brain. By comparing the effect of metformin on mitochondria oxidizing different substrates, we found direct inhibition of respiration and stimulation of ROS release when complex I-based respiration is measured (forward electron transfer). Metformin had no effect on respiration rates but inhibited ROS release when mitochondria oxidize succinate or glycerol 3-phosphate in conditions of reverse electron transfer in complex I. In addition, we found that metformin is a weak effector of the active/deactive (A/D) transition of mitochondrial complex I. At high concentrations, metformin increases the rate of spontaneous deactivation of complex I (A→D transition). The results obtained are consistent with the concept of metformin inhibition of complex I and that it can either stimulate or inhibit mitochondrial ROS production depending on the preferential respiratory substrate. This is relevant during the ischemia/reperfusion process, to counteract the ROS overproduction, which is induced by a high level of reverse electron transfer substrates is generated after an ischemic event.

Alternate JournalEur J Pharmacol
PubMed ID35934089