Carbohydrate ingestion does not alter skeletal muscle AMPK signaling during exercise in humans

Robert S Lee-Young, Matthew J. Palmer, Kelly C. Linden, Kieran Le Plastrier, Benedict J. Canny, Mark Hargreaves, Glenn D. Wadley, Bruce E Kemp, Glenn K. McConell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


There is evidence that increasing carbohydrate (CHO) availability during exercise by raising pre-exercise muscle glycogen levels attenuates the activation of AMPK2 during exercise in humans. Similarly, increasing glucose levels decreases AMPK2 activity in rat skeletal muscle in vitro. We examined the effect of CHO ingestion on skeletal muscle AMPK signaling during exercise in nine active male subjects who completed two 120-min bouts of cycling exercise at 65.1%VO2 peak. In a randomized, counterbalanced order, subjects ingested either an 8% CHO solution or a placebo solution during exercise. Compared with the placebo trial, CHO ingestion significantly (P 0.05) increased plasma glucose levels and tracer-determined glucose disappearance. Exercise-induced increases in muscle-calculated free AMP (17.7- vs. 11.8-fold), muscle lactate (3.3- vs. 1.8-fold), and plasma epinephrine were reduced by CHO ingestion. However, the exercise-induced increases in skeletal muscle AMPK2 activity,AMPK2 Thr172 phosphorylation and acetyl-CoA Ser222 phosphorylation, were essentially identical in the two trials. These findings indicate that AMPK activation in skeletal muscle during exercise in humans is not sensitive to changes in plasma glucose levels in the normal range. Furthermore, the rise in plasma epinephrine levels in response to exercise was greatly suppressed by CHO ingestion with-out altering AMPK signaling, raising the possibility that epinephrine does not directly control AMPK activity during muscle contraction under these conditions in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E566 - E573
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006
Externally publishedYes


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