Impaired Muscle AMPK Activation in the Metabolic Syndrome May Attenuate Improved Insulin Action after Exercise Training

Document Type


Publication Date



Strength training induces muscle remodeling and may improve insulin responsiveness.

This study will quantify the impact of resistance training on insulin sensitivity in subjects with the metabolic syndrome and correlate this with activation of intramuscular pathways mediating mitochondrial biogenesis and muscle fiber hypertrophy.

Tens ubjects with the metabolic syndrome(MS) and nine sedentary controls underwent 8 wk of supervised resistance exercise training with pre-and post-training anthropometric and muscle biochemical assessments.

Resistance exercise training took place in a sports laboratory on a college campus.

Main Outcome Measures:
Pre- and posttraining insulin responsiveness was quantified using a euglycemic clamp. Changes in expression of muscle 5-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways were quantified using immunoblots.

Strength and stamina increased in both groups. Insulin sensitivity increased in controls (steady-state glucose infusion rate 7.0 2.0 mg/kg min pretraining training vs. 8.7 3.1 mg/kg min posttraining; P 0.01) but did not improve in MS subjects (3.3 1.3 pre vs. 3.1 1.0 post).Muscleglucosetransporter4increased67%incontrolsand36%intheMSsubjects.Control subjects increased muscle phospho-AMPK (43%), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator1 (57%),andATPsynthase(60%),morethanMSsubjects(8,28,and21%,respectively). In contrast, muscle phospho-mTOR increased most in the MS group (57 vs. 32%).

Failure of resistance training to improve insulin responsiveness in MS subjects was coincident with diminished phosphorylation of muscle AMPK, but increased phosphorylation of mTOR, suggesting activation of the mTOR pathway could be involved in inhibition of exercise training-related increases in AMPK and its activation and downstream events