Overexpression of AMP-activated protein kinase or protein kinase D prevents lipid-induced insulin resistance in cardiomyocytes

Laura K. M. Steinbusch*, Ellen Dirkx, Nicole T. H. Hoebers, Veronique Roelants, Marc Foretz, Benoit Viollet, Michaela Diamant, Guillaume van Eys, D. Margriet Ouwens, Luc Bertrand, Jan F. C. Glatz, Joost J. F. P. Luiken

*Corresponding author for this work

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During lipid oversupply, the heart becomes insulin resistant, as exemplified by defective insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, and will develop diastolic dysfunction. In the healthy heart, not only insulin, but also increased contractile activity stimulates glucose uptake. Upon increased contraction both AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and protein kinase D (PKD) are activated, and mediate the stimulation of glucose uptake into cardiomyocytes. Therefore, each of these kinases is a potential therapeutic target in the diabetic heart because they may serve to bypass defective insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. To test the preventive potential of these kinases against loss of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, AMPK or PKD were adenovirally overexpressed in primary cultures of insulin resistant cardiomyocytes for assaying substrate uptake, insulin responsiveness and lipid accumulation. To induce insulin resistance and lipid loading, rat primary cardiomyocytes were cultured in the presence of high insulin (100 nM; HI) or high palmitate (palmitate/BSA: 3/1; HP). HI and HP each reduced insulin responsiveness, and increased basal palmitate uptake and lipid storage. Overexpression of each of the kinases prevented loss of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. Overexpression of AMPK also prevented loss of insulin signaling in HI- and HP-cultured cardiomyocytes, but did not prevent lipid accumulation. In contrast, overexpression of PRO prevented lipid accumulation, but not loss of insulin signaling in HI- and HP-cultured cardiomyocytes. In conclusion, AMPK and PKD prevent loss of insulin-stimulated glucose uptake into cardiomyocytes cultured under insulin resistance-inducing conditions through different mechanisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Focus on Cardiac Metabolism".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • Cardiac metabolism
  • Lipid accumulation
  • Insulin resistance
  • AMPK
  • Protein kinase D
  • Treatment

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