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Exp Dermatol. 2017 Oct;26(10):889-895. doi: 10.1111/exd.13323. Epub 2017 May 3.

Metformin alleviates ageing cellular phenotypes in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome dermal fibroblasts.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Metformin is a popular antidiabetic biguanide, which has been considered as a candidate drug for cancer treatment and ageing prevention. Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a devastating disease characterized by premature ageing and severe age-associated complications leading to death. The effects of metformin on HGPS dermal fibroblasts remain largely undefined. In this study, we investigated whether metformin could exert a beneficial effect on nuclear abnormalities and delay senescence in fibroblasts derived from HGPS patients. Metformin treatment partially restored normal nuclear phenotypes, delayed senescence, activated the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase and decreased reactive oxygen species formation in HGPS dermal fibroblasts. Interestingly, metformin reduced the number of phosphorylated histone variant H2AX-positive DNA damage foci and suppressed progerin protein expression, compared to the control. Furthermore, metformin-supplemented aged mice showed higher splenocyte proliferation and mRNA expression of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase 2 than the control mice. Collectively, our results show that metformin treatment alleviates the nuclear defects and premature ageing phenotypes in HGPS fibroblasts. Thus, metformin can be considered a promising therapeutic approach for life extension in HGPS.


HGPS ; ageing; metformin; progerin; senescence

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