Author(s): Daval M, Foufelle F, Ferr P
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Abstract AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is involved in cellular energy homeostasis. Its functions have been extensively studied in muscles and liver. AMPK stimulates pathways which increase energy production (glucose transport, fatty acid oxidation) and switches off pathways which consume energy (lipogenesis, protein synthesis, gluconeogenesis). This has led to the concept that AMPK has an interesting pharmaceutical potential in situations of insulin resistance and it is indeed the target of existing drugs and hormones which improve insulin sensitivity. Adipose tissue is a key player in energy metabolism through the release of substrates and hormones involved in metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Activation of AMPK in adipose tissue can be achieved through situations such as fasting and exercise. Leptin and adiponectin as well as hypoglycaemic drugs are activators of adipose tissue AMPK. This activation probably involves changes in the AMP/ATP ratio and the upstream kinase LKB1. When activated, AMPK limits fatty acid efflux from adipocytes and favours local fatty acid oxidation. Since fatty acids have a key role in insulin resistance, especially in muscles, activating AMPK in adipose tissue might be found to be beneficial in insulin-resistant states, particularly as AMPK activation also reduces cytokine secretion in adipocytes.
This article was published in J Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism