Laili Ding, Shufeng Li, Fan Wang, Jian Xu, Shaojun Li, Bo Wang, Junjie Kou, Yongshun Wang, Wei Cao
May 5, 2021
Multiple studies have showed that berberine protects against heart diseases, including obesity-associated cardiomyopathy. However, it is not fully disclosed the potential molecular mechanisms of berberine on controlling cardiac remodeling. Kruppel-like factor (KLF) 4, identified as a critical transcriptional factor, participates in multiple cardiac injuries. The present study was to explore whether KLF4 determined the cardioprotective benefits of berberine in dietary-induced obese mice. High fat diet-induced obese mice were treated with berberine with or without lentivirus encoding Klf4 siRNA, and cardiac parameters were analyzed by multiple biological approaches. In dietary-induced obese mouse model, administration of berberine obviously increased cardiac level of KLF4, which closely correlated with improvement of cardiac functional parameters. Co-treatment of lentivirus encoding Klf4 siRNA abolished cardioprotective benefits of berberine, including induction of cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, functional disorders, inflammatory response and oxidative stress. Mechanistically, we found berberine improved cardiac mitochondrial biogenesis and activities, whereas silencing Klf4 decreased berberine-upregulated mitochondrial quality, ATP production and oxygen consumption. Our present study demonstrated that berberine protected against dietary-induced cardiac structural disorders and mitochondrial dysfunction dependent on cardiac KLF4 signaling. Cardiac KLF4 was one of potential therapeutic targets for obesity-induced cardiac injuries.