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Prog Lipid Res. 2003 May;42(3):238-56.

AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) control of fatty acid and glucose metabolism in the ischemic heart.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Myocardial ischemia is the leading cause of all cardiovascular deaths in North America. Myocardial ischemia is accompanied by profound changes in metabolism including alterations in glucose and fatty acid metabolism, increased uncoupling of glucose oxidation from glycolysis and accumulation of protons within the myocardium. These changes can contribute to a poor functional recovery of the heart. One key player in the ischemia-induced alteration in fatty acid and glucose metabolism is 5'AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Accumulating evidence suggest that activation of AMPK during myocardial ischemia both increases glucose uptake and glycolysis while also increasing fatty acid oxidation during reperfusion. Gain-of-function mutations of AMPK in cardiac muscle may also be causally related to the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathies. Therefore, a better understanding of role of AMPK in cardiac metabolism is necessary to appropriately modulate its activity as a potential therapeutic target in treating ischemia reperfusion injuries. This review attempts to update some of the recent findings that delineate various pathways through which AMPK regulates glucose and fatty acid metabolism in the ischemic myocardium.

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