Diabetic cardiomyopathy is a significant contributor to the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms that lead to its development have not been fully elucidated. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an endogenously produced signaling molecule that is critical for the regulation of cardiovascular homeostasis. Recently, therapeutic strategies aimed at increasing its levels have proven cardioprotective in models of acute myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury and heart failure. The precise role of H2S in the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy has not yet been established. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to evaluate circulating and cardiac H2S levels in a murine model of high fat diet (HFD)-induced cardiomyopathy. Diabetic cardiomyopathy was produced by feeding mice HFD (60% fat) chow for 24 weeks. HFD feeding reduced both circulating and cardiac H2S and induced hallmark features of type-2 diabetes. We also observed marked cardiac dysfunction, evidence of cardiac enlargement, cardiac hypertrophy, and fibrosis. H2S therapy (SG-1002, an orally active H2S donor) restored sulfide levels, improved some of the metabolic perturbations stemming from HFD feeding, and attenuated HFD-induced cardiac dysfunction. Additional analysis revealed that H2S therapy restored adiponectin levels and suppressed cardiac ER stress stemming from HFD feeding. These results suggest that diminished circulating and cardiac H2S levels play a role in the pathophysiology of HFD-induced cardiomyopathy. Additionally, these results suggest that H2S therapy may be of clinical importance in the treatment of cardiovascular complications stemming from diabetes.
Keywords: Diabetes; Diabetic cardiomyopathy; ER stress; Hydrogen sulfide.
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