ATP-sensitive K⁺ channels contribute to the protective effects of exogenous hydrogen sulfide against high glucose-induced injury in H9c2 cardiac cells.Int J Mol Med 2016; 37(3):763-72IJ
Hyperglycemia, as well as diabetes mellitus, has been shown to impair ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels in human vascular smooth muscle cells. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is also known to be an opener of KATP channels. We previously demonstrated the cardioprotective effects exerted by H2S against high-glucose (HG, 35 mM glucose)-induced injury in H9c2 cardiac cells. As such, we hypothesized that KATP channels play a role in the cardioprotective effects of H2S against HG-induced injury. In this study, to examine this hypothesis, H9c2 cardiac cells were treated with HG for 24 h to establish a model of HG-induced insults. Our findings revealed that treatment of the cells with HG markedly decreased the expression level of KATP channels. However, the decreased expression of KATP channels was reversed by the treatment of the cells with 400 µM sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaHS, a donor of H2S) for 30 min prior to exposure to HG. Additionally, the HG-induced cardiomyocyte injuries, including cytotoxicity, apoptosis, oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage, were ameliorated by treatment with NaHS or 100 µM diazoxide (a mitochondrial KATP channel opener) or 50 µM pinacidil (a non-selective KATP channel opener) for 30 min prior to exposure to HG, as indicated by an increase in cell viability, as well as a decrease in the number of apoptotic cells, the expression of cleaved caspase-3, the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Notably, treatment of the H9c2 cardiac cells with 100 µM 5-hydroxydecanoic acid (5-HD, a mitochondrial KATP channel blocker) or 1 mM glibenclamide (Gli, a non-selective KATP channel blocker) for 30 min prior to treatment with NaHS and exposure to HG significantly attenuated the above-mentioned cardioprotective effects exerted by NaHS. Notably, treatment of the cells with 500 µM N-acetyl‑L‑cysteine (NAC, a scavenger of ROS) for 60 min prior to exposure to HG markedly reduced the HG-induced inhibitory effect on the expression of KATP channels. Taken together, our results suggest that KATP channels play an important role in the cardioprotective effects of exogenous H2S against HG-induced injury. This study also provides novel data demonstraring that there is an antagonistic interaction between ROS and KATP channels in HG-exposed H9c2 cardiac cells.