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J Physiol Biochem. 2013 Dec;69(4):909-17. doi: 10.1007/s13105-013-0269-0. Epub 2013 Jun 30.

AICAR inhibits oxygen consumption by intact skeletal muscle cells in culture.

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Department of Kinesiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 21045, USA,


Activation of 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) with aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) increases skeletal muscle glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation. The purpose of these experiments was to utilize AICAR to enhance palmitate consumption by mitochondria in cultured skeletal muscle cells. In these experiments, we treated C2C12 myotubes or adult single skeletal muscle fibers with varying concentrations of AICAR for different lengths of time. Surprisingly, acute AICAR exposure at most concentrations (0.25-1.5 mM), but not all (0.1 mM), modestly inhibited oxygen consumption even though AICAR increased AMPK phosphorylation. The data suggest that AICAR inhibited oxygen consumption by the cultured muscle in a non-specific manner. The results of these experiments are expected to provide valuable information to investigators interested in using AICAR in cell culture studies.

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