Glucose and fatty acid metabolism involved in the protective effect of metformin against ulipristal-induced endometrial changes in rats

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Ulipristal acetate (UPA) is effective in the treatment of uterine fibroids. However, its clinical use is hampered by the development of pathologic progesterone receptor modulator-associated endometrial changes (PAECs). The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that UPA-induced PAECs are associated with deranged expression of some metabolic genes. In addition, metformin can mitigate UPA-induced PAECs through modulating the expression of these genes. In the present study, twenty-eight female non-pregnant, nulligravid Wistar rats were treated with UPA (0.1 mg/kg/day, intragastric) and/or metformin (50 mg/kg/day, intragastric) for 8 weeks. Our results demonstrated that co-treatment with metformin significantly reduced UPA-induced PAECs. In addition, co-treatment with metformin and UPA was associated with significant increase in the Bax and significant reduction in Bcl-2, PCNA, Cyclin-D1and ER-α as compared to treatment with UPA alone. Furthermore, treatment with UPA alone was associated with deranged expression of 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (3-PHGDH), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), transketolase (TKT), fatty acid synthase (FAS) and CD36. Most importantly, co-treatment with metformin markedly reduced UPA-induced altered expression of these metabolic genes in endometrial tissues. In conclusion, UPA-induced PAECs are associated with altered expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, estrogen receptor, glucose metabolism and lipid metabolism. Co-treatment with metformin abrogated UPA-induced PAECs most likely through the modulation of the expression of these genes.

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