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Effects of glycemic control on glucose utilization and mitochondrial respiration during resuscitated murine septic shock

Josef A Vogt, Ulrich Wachter, Katja Wagner, Enrico Calzia, Michael Gröger, Sandra Weber, Bettina Stahl, Michael Georgieff, Pierre Asfar, Eric Fontaine, Peter Radermacher, Xavier M Leverve, and Florian Wagner



This study aims to test the hypothesis whether lowering glycemia improves mitochondrial function and thereby attenuates apoptotic cell death during resuscitated murine septic shock.


Immediately and 6 h after cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), mice randomly received either vehicle or the anti-diabetic drug EMD008 (100 μg · g-1). At 15 h post CLP, mice were anesthetized, mechanically ventilated, instrumented and rendered normo- or hyperglycemic (target glycemia 100 ± 20 and 180 ± 50 mg · dL-1, respectively) by infusing stable, non-radioactive isotope-labeled 13C6-glucose. Target hemodynamics was achieved by colloid fluid resuscitation and continuous i.v. noradrenaline, and mechanical ventilation was titrated according to blood gases and pulmonary compliance measurements. Gluconeogenesis and glucose oxidation were derived from blood and expiratory glucose and 13CO2 isotope enrichments, respectively; mathematical modeling allowed analyzing isotope data for glucose uptake as a function of glycemia. Postmortem liver tissue was analyzed for HO-1, AMPK, caspase-3, and Bax (western blotting) expression as well as for mitochondrial respiratory activity (high-resolution respirometry).


Hyperglycemia lowered mitochondrial respiratory capacity; EMD008 treatment was associated with increased mitochondrial respiration. Hyperglycemia decreased AMPK phosphorylation, and EMD008 attenuated both this effect as well as the expression of activated caspase-3 and Bax. During hyperglycemia EMD008 increased HO-1 expression. During hyperglycemia, maximal mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation rate was directly related to HO-1 expression, while it was unrelated to AMPK activation. According to the mathematical modeling, EMD008 increased the slope of glucose uptake plotted as a function of glycemia.


During resuscitated, polymicrobial, murine septic shock, glycemic control either by reducing glucose infusion rates or EMD008 improved glucose uptake and thereby liver tissue mitochondrial respiratory activity. EMD008 effects were more pronounced during hyperglycemia and coincided with attenuated markers of apoptosis. The effects of glucose control were at least in part due to the up-regulation of HO-1 and activation of AMPK.

Keywords: Gluconeogenesis Glucose uptake Glucose oxidation Mitochondrial respiration Apoptosis AMPK HO-1

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