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J Pineal Res. 2018 Sep;65(2):e12491. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12491. Epub 2018 Apr 14.

Melatonin prevents Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission in diabetic hearts through SIRT1-PGC1α pathway.

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Department of Cardiology and Department of Geriatrics, Xi'an Central Hospital, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China.
Department of Physiology, National Key Discipline of Cell Biology, School of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.
Department of Endocrinology, Affiliated Zhongshan Hospital of Dalian University, Dalian, China.


Myocardial contractile dysfunction is associated with an increase in mitochondrial fission in patients with diabetes. However, whether mitochondrial fission directly promotes diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction is still unknown. Melatonin exerts a substantial influence on the regulation of mitochondrial fission/fusion. This study investigated whether melatonin protects against diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction via regulation of mitochondrial fission/fusion and explored its underlying mechanisms. Here, we show that melatonin prevented diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction by inhibiting dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1)-mediated mitochondrial fission. Melatonin treatment decreased Drp1 expression, inhibited mitochondrial fragmentation, suppressed oxidative stress, reduced cardiomyocyte apoptosis, improved mitochondrial function and cardiac function in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice, but not in SIRT1-/- diabetic mice. In high glucose-exposed H9c2 cells, melatonin treatment increased the expression of SIRT1 and PGC-1α and inhibited Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission and mitochondria-derived superoxide production. In contrast, SIRT1 or PGC-1α siRNA knockdown blunted the inhibitory effects of melatonin on Drp1 expression and mitochondrial fission. These data indicated that melatonin exerted its cardioprotective effects by reducing Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission in a SIRT1/PGC-1α-dependent manner. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that PGC-1α directly regulated the expression of Drp1 by binding to its promoter. Inhibition of mitochondrial fission with Drp1 inhibitor mdivi-1 suppressed oxidative stress, alleviated mitochondrial dysfunction and cardiac dysfunction in diabetic mice. These findings show that melatonin attenuates the development of diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction by preventing mitochondrial fission through SIRT1-PGC1α pathway, which negatively regulates the expression of Drp1 directly. Inhibition of mitochondrial fission may be a potential target for delaying cardiac complications in patients with diabetes.


Drp1; PGC-1α; diabetes; melatonin; mitochondrial fission; silent information regulator 1

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