Antiaging Gene Klotho Deficiency Promoted High-Fat Diet–Induced Arterial Stiffening via Inactivation of AMP-Activated Protein Kinase
Klotho was originally discovered as an aging-suppressor gene. The objective of this study is to investigate whether klotho gene deficiency affects high-fat diet (HFD)–induced arterial stiffening. Heterozygous Klotho-deficient (KL+/−) mice and WT littermates were fed on HFD or normal diet. HFD increased pulse wave velocity within 5 weeks in KL+/− mice but not in wild-type mice, indicating that klotho deficiency accelerates and exacerbates HFD-induced arterial stiffening. A greater increase in blood pressure was found in KL+/− mice fed on HFD. Protein expressions of phosphorylated AMP-activated protein kinase-α (AMPKα), phosphorylated endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and manganese-dependent superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) were decreased, whereas protein expressions of collagen I, transforming growth factor-β1, and Runx2 were increased in aortas of KL+/− mice fed on HFD. Interestingly, daily injections of an AMPKα activator, 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-3-ribonucleoside, abolished the increases in pulse wave velocity, blood pressure, and blood glucose in KL+/− mice fed on HFD. Treatment with 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-3-ribonucleoside for 2 weeks not only abolished the downregulation of phosphorylated AMPKα, phosphorylated eNOS, and Mn-SOD levels but also attenuated the increased levels of collagen I, transforming growth factor-β1, Runx2, superoxide, elastic lamellae breaks, and calcification in aortas of KL+/− mice fed on HFD. In cultured mouse aortic smooth muscle cells, cholesterol plus KL-deficient serum decreased phosphorylation levels of AMPKα and LKB1 (an important upstream regulator of AMPKα activity) but increased collagen I synthesis, which can be eliminated by activation of AMPKα by 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-3-ribonucleoside. In conclusions, Klotho deficiency promoted HFD-induced arterial stiffening and hypertension via downregulation of AMPKα activity.
- AMP-activated protein kinases
- diet, high-fat
- metabolic syndrome X
- vascular stiffness
- Received November 20, 2015.
- Revision received November 30, 2015.
- Accepted December 24, 2015.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.