Acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 plays a crucial role in regulating mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in cardiomyocytes. Lithium, a monovalent cation known for its cardioprotective potential, has been investigated for its influence on mitochondrial bioenergetics. The present study explored whether lithium modulated acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 and mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism in cardiomyocytes and the potential therapeutic applications of lithium in alleviating metabolic stress. Mitochondrial bioenergetic function, fatty acid oxidation, reactive oxygen species production, membrane potential and the expression of proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism in H9c2 cardiomyocytes treated with LiCl for 48 h was measured by using a Seahorse extracellular flux analyzer, fluorescence microscopy and western blotting. Small interfering RNA against glucose transporter type 4 was transfected into H9c2 cardiomyocytes for 48 h to induce metabolic stress mimicking insulin resistance. The results revealed that LiCl at a concentration of 0.3 mM (but not at a concentration of 0.1 or 1.0 mM) upregulated the expression of phosphorylated (p-)glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta and downregulated the expression of p-acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 but did not affect the expression of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase or calcineurin. Cotreatment with TWS119 (8 µM) and LiCl (0.3 mM) downregulated p-acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2 expression to a similar extent as did treatment with TWS119 (8 µM) alone. Moreover, LiCl (0.3 mM) inhibited mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, improved coupling efficiency and the cellular respiratory control ratio, hindered reactive oxygen species production and proton leakage and restored mitochondrial membrane potential in glucose transporter type 4 knockdown-H9c2 cardiomyocytes. These findings suggested that low therapeutic levels of lithium can downregulate p-acetyl-CoA carboxylase 2, thus reducing mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and oxidative stress in cardiomyocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126
JournalExperimental and Therapeutic Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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