Objective: Research suggests that Puerarin may protect against sepsis-induced myocardial damage. However, the mechanisms responsible for Puerarin’s cardioprotective effect remain largely unclear. In this study, our objective is to investigate the role of Puerarin-induced AMPK-mediated ferroptosis signaling in protecting myocardial injury.

Methods: 48 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: control group, LPS group, LPS + Pue group, LPS + Pue + Era (Erastin, ferroptosis activator) group, or LPS + Pue + CC (compound C, AMPK inhibitor) group. During the experiment, cardiac systolic function indexes and myocardial histopathological changes were monitored. The serum levels of myocardial injury marker enzyme, inflammatory response related marker enzyme, and oxidative stress related-marker enzyme were measured with ELISA. Apoptotic cardiomyocytes, the iron content in myocardial tissue, apoptosis-related proteins, AMPK, and ferroptosis-related proteins were determined.

Results: Puerarin inhibited the myocardial injury induced by LPS. The cardioprotective effects of Puerarin decreased after adding ferroptosis-activating compound Erastin. The protein expression levels of GPX4 and ferritin were down-regulated, whereas ACSL4, TFR, and heart iron content were up-regulated in LPS + Pue + Era group compared with LPS+Pue group. A significant difference was identified between LPS + Pue + Era group and LPS + Pue group in P-AMPK and T-AMPK levels. Meanwhile, after providing CC, P-AMPK/T-AMPK was significantly reduced, the protein expression levels of GPX4 and ferritin were down-regulated. ACSL4, TFR, and the heart iron content were up-regulated in LPS + Pue + CC group compared to LPS + Pue group.

Conclusions: Puerarin protected against sepsis-induced myocardial injury, and AMPK-mediated ferroptosis signaling played a crucial role in its cardioprotective effect.