Rewired Cellular Metabolic Profiles in Response to Metformin under Different Oxygen and Nutrient Conditions

Shan Liu, Jumpei Washio, Satoko Sato, Yuki Abiko, Yuta Shinohara, Yuri Kobayashi, Haruki Otani, Shiori Sasaki, Xiaoyi Wang, Nobuhiro Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Metformin is a metabolic disruptor, and its efficacy and effects on metabolic profiles under different oxygen and nutrient conditions remain unclear. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of metformin on cell growth, the metabolic activities and consumption of glucose, glutamine, and pyruvate, and the intracellular ratio of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) under normoxic (21% O2) and hypoxic (1% O2) condi-tions. The efficacy of metformin with nutrient removal from culture media was also investigated. The results obtained show that the efficacy of metformin was closely associated with cell types and environmental factors. Acute exposure to metformin had no effect on lactate production from glucose, glutamine, or pyruvate, whereas long-term exposure to metformin increased the consumption of glucose and pyruvate and the production of lactate in the culture media of HeLa and HaCaT cells as well as the metabolic activity of glucose. The NAD+ /NADH ratio decreased during growth with met-formin regardless of its efficacy. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of metformin were enhanced in all cell lines following the removal of glucose or pyruvate from culture media. Collectively, the present results reveal that metformin efficacy may be regulated by oxygen conditions and nutrient availability, and indicate the potential of the metabolic switch induced by metformin as combinational therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number989
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1


  • Dentistry
  • Hypoxia
  • Metformin
  • Nutrient availability
  • Oral cancer
  • Rewired metabolic activity


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