GPER activation attenuates cardiac dysfunction by upregulating the SIRT1/3-AMPK-UCP2 pathway in postmenopausal diabetic rats


  • H. Azizian
  • Z. Farhadi
  • M. Bader
  • J.A. Ghalenoei
  • M.A. Ghafari
  • S. Mahmoodzadeh


  • PLoS ONE


  • PLoS ONE 18 (12): e0293630


  • Postmenopausal diabetic women are at higher risk to develop cardiovascular diseases (CVD) compared with nondiabetic women. Alterations in cardiac cellular metabolism caused by changes in sirtuins are one of the main causes of CVD in postmenopausal diabetic women. Several studies have demonstrated the beneficial actions of the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) in postmenopausal diabetic CVD. However, the molecular mechanisms by which GPER has a cardioprotective effect are still not well understood. In this study, we used an ovariectomized (OVX) type-two diabetic (T2D) rat model induced by high-fat diet/streptozotocin to investigate the effect of G-1 (GPER-agonist) on sirtuins, and their downstream pathways involved in regulation of cardiac metabolism and function. Animals were divided into five groups: Sham-Control, T2D, OVX+T2D, OVX+T2D+Vehicle, and OVX+T2D+G-1. G-1 was administrated for six weeks. At the end, hemodynamic factors were measured, and protein levels of sirtuins, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) were determined by Western blot analysis. In addition, cardiac levels of oxidative stress biomarkers were measured. The findings showed that T2D led to left ventricular dysfunction and signs of oxidative stress in the myocardium, which were accompanied by decreased protein levels of Sirt1/2/3/6, p-AMPK, and UCP2 in the heart. Moreover, the induction of the menopausal state exacerbated these changes. In contrast, treatment with G-1 ameliorated the hemodynamic changes associated with ovariectomy by increasing Sirt1/3, p-AMPK, UCP2, and improving oxidative status. The results provide evidence of the cardioprotective effects of GPER operating through Sirt1/3, p-AMPK, and UCP2, thereby improving cardiac function. Our results suggest that increasing Sirt1/3 levels may offer new therapeutic approaches for postmenopausal diabetic CVD.