Methazolamide (MTZ), a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor, has been shown to inhibit cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and exert a hypoglycemic effect in patients with type 2 diabetes and diabetic db/db mice. However, whether MTZ has a cardioprotective effect in the setting of diabetic cardiomyopathy is not clear. We investigated the effects of MTZ in a mouse model of streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Diabetic mice received MTZ by intragastric gavage (10, 25, or 50 mg/kg, daily for 16 weeks). In the diabetic group, MTZ significantly reduced both random and fasting blood glucose levels and improved glucose tolerance in a dose-dependent manner. MTZ ameliorated T1DM-induced changes in cardiac morphology and dysfunction. Mechanistic analysis revealed that MTZ blunted T1DM-induced enhanced expression of β-catenin. Similar results were observed in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (NRCMs) and adult mouse cardiomyocytes treated with high glucose or Wnt3a (a β-catenin activator). There was no significant change in β-catenin mRNA levels in cardiac tissues or NRCMs. MTZ-mediated β-catenin downregulation was recovered by MG132, a proteasome inhibitor. Immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence analyses showed augmentation of AXIN1–β-catenin interaction by MTZ in T1DM hearts and in NRCMs treated with Wnt3a; thus, MTZ may potentiate AXIN1–β-catenin linkage to increase β-catenin degradation. Overall, MTZ may alleviate cardiac hypertrophy by mediating AXIN1–β-catenin interaction to promote degradation and inhibition of β-catenin activity. These findings may help inform novel therapeutic strategy to prevent heart failure in patients with diabetes.

X.C., Y. Li, X.Y., and W.Y. contributed equally to this work.

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