Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Sep;285(3):E629-36. Epub 2003 May 20.

Physiological role of AMP-activated protein kinase in the heart: graded activation during exercise.

Author information

Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is emerging as a key signaling pathway that modulates cellular metabolic processes. In skeletal muscle, AMPK is activated during exercise. Increased myocardial substrate metabolism during exercise could be explained by AMPK activation. Although AMPK is known to be activated during myocardial ischemia, it remains uncertain whether AMPK is activated in response to the physiological increases in cardiac work associated with exercise. Therefore, we evaluated cardiac AMPK activity in rats at rest and after 10 min of treadmill running at moderate (15% grade, 16 m/min) or high (15% grade, 32 m/min) intensity. Total AMPK activity in the heart increased in proportion to exercise intensity (P < 0.05). AMPK activity associated with the alpha2-catalytic subunit increased 2.8 +/- 0.4-fold (P < 0.02 vs. rest) and 4.5 +/- 0.6-fold (P < 0.001 vs. rest) with moderate- and high-intensity exercise, respectively. AMPK activity associated with the alpha1-subunit increased to a lesser extent. Phosphorylation of the Thr172-regulatory site on AMPK alpha-catalytic subunits increased during exercise (P < 0.001). There was no increase in Akt phosphorylation during exercise. The changes in AMPK activity during exercise were associated with physiological AMPK effects (GLUT4 translocation to the sarcolemma and ACC phosphorylation). Thus cardiac AMPK activity increases progressively with exercise intensity, supporting the hypothesis that AMPK has a physiological role in the heart.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center