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IGF-1 boosts mitochondrial function by a Ca2+ uptake-dependent mechanism in cultured human and rat cardiomyocytes

Pablo Sánchez-Aguilera, Camila López-Crisosto, Ignacio Norambuena-Soto, Christian Penannen, Jumo Zhu, Nils Bomer, Matijn F. Hoes, Peter Van Der Meer, Mario Chiong,
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Published: 8 February 2023

Abstract: A physiological increase in cardiac workload results in adaptive cardiac remodeling, characterized by increased oxidative metabolism and improvements in cardiac performance. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) has been identified as a critical regulator of physiological cardiac growth, but its precise role in cardiometabolic adaptations to physiological stress remains unresolved. Mitochondrial calcium (Ca2+) handling has been proposed to be required for sustaining key mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity and energy production during increased workload conditions, thus ensuring the adaptive cardiac response. We hypothesized that IGF-1 enhances mitochondrial energy production through a Ca2+-dependent mechanism to ensure adaptive cardiomyocyte growth. We found that stimulation with IGF-1 resulted in increased mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes and human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes, estimated by fluorescence microscopy and indirectly by a reduction in the pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphorylation. We showed that IGF-1 modulated the expression of mitochondrial Ca2+ uniporter (MCU) complex subunits and increased the mitochondrial membrane potential; consistent with higher MCU-mediated Ca2+ transport. Finally, we showed that IGF-1 improved mitochondrial respiration through a mechanism dependent on MCU-mediated Ca2+ transport. In conclusion, IGF-1-induced mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake is required to boost oxidative metabolism during cardiomyocyte adaptive growth.
Keywords: Insulin-like growth factor 1 / MCU complex / Mitochondrial calcium handling / physiological cardiac hypertrophy / Neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) / Human embryonic stem cell derived-cardiomyocytes (hES-CMs)

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