Activation of AMPK by metformin, as a master regulator of metabolism, is involved in airway tissue remodeling. Here, we investigated the physical role of AMPK on cell migration, matrix contraction, and the production of MMP in NPDF.

Primary NPDFs from six patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps were isolated and cultured. To evaluate for specific AMPK action, we examined by AMPK small interfering RNA.

Metformin, an activator of AMPK, significantly inhibited cell migration in NPDFs in a dose-dependent manner. Compound C, an inhibitor of AMPK, partially reversed the inhibitory effect of metformin. Metformin also significantly decreased contractile activity, with a concomitant reduction in the production of MMP-1 and MMP-2 but not of MMP-9. Specific silencing that targeted AMPK resulted in the enhancement of mobility and contractility and the production of MMP-1 and MMP-2.

The study concluded that AMPK played an essential role in regulating cell migration, matrix contraction, and MMP production in NPDFs, which provided data that AMPK activator might be a therapeutic target for tissue prevention remodeling in nasal polyps.