Empagliflozin Attenuates Myocardial Sodium and Calcium Dysregulation and Reverses Cardiac Remodeling in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) has significant effects on cardiac calcium (Ca2+) and sodium (Na⁺) regulation. Clinical studies have shown that empagliflozin (Jardiance™) has cardiovascular benefits, however the mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. This study aimed to investigate whether empagliflozin modulates cardiac electrical activity as well as Ca2+/Na⁺ homeostasis in DM cardiomyopathy. Electrocardiography, echocardiography, whole-cell patch-clamp, confocal microscopic examinations, and Western blot, were performed in the ventricular myocytes of control and streptozotocin-induced DM rats, with or without empagliflozin (10 mg/kg for 4 weeks). The results showed that the control and empagliflozin-treated DM rats had smaller left ventricular end-diastolic diameters and shorter QT intervals than the DM rats. In addition, the prolonged action potential duration in the DM rats was attenuated in the empagliflozin-treated DM rats. Moreover, the DM rats had smaller sarcoplasmic reticular Ca2+ contents, intracellular Ca2+ transients, L-type Ca2+, reverse mode Na⁺-Ca2+exchanger currents, lower protein expressions of sarcoplasmic reticulum ATPase, ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2), but higher protein expressions of phosphorylated RyR2 at serine 2808 than the control and empagliflozin-treated DM rats. The incidence and frequency of Ca2+ sparks, cytosolic and mitochondrial reactive oxygen species, and late Na⁺ current and Na⁺/hydrogen-exchanger currents were greater in the DM rats than in the control and empagliflozin-treated DM rats. Empagliflozin significantly changed Ca2+ regulation, late Na⁺ and Na⁺/hydrogen-exchanger currents and electrophysiological characteristics in DM cardiomyopathy, which may contribute to its cardioprotective benefits in DM patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1680
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 4 2019


  • calcium handling
  • cardiomyocytes
  • diabetes mellitus
  • Sodium glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor
  • sodium regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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