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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Nov;87(5):1990-5.

Chronic activation of 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase increases GLUT-4, hexokinase, and glycogen in muscle.

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Department of Zoology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA.


This study was designed to determine whether chronic chemical activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) would increase glucose transporter GLUT-4 and hexokinase in muscles similarly to periodic elevation of AMPK that accompanies endurance exercise training. The adenosine analog, 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside (AICAR), has previously been shown to be taken up by cells and phosphorylated to form a compound (5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide) that mimics the effect of AMP on AMPK. A single injection of AICAR resulted in a marked increase in AMPK in epitrochlearis and gastrocnemius/plantaris muscles 60 min later. When rats were injected with AICAR (1 mg/g body wt) for 5 days in succession and were killed 1 day after the last injection, GLUT-4 was increased by 100% in epitrochlearis muscle and by 60% in gastrocnemius muscle in response to AICAR. Hexokinase was also increased approximately 2. 5-fold in the gastrocnemius/plantaris. Gastrocnemius glycogen content was twofold higher in AICAR-treated rats than in controls. Chronic chemical activation of AMPK, therefore, results in increases in GLUT-4 protein, hexokinase activity, and glycogen, similarly to those induced by endurance training.

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