Hypothalamic AMPK as a mediator of hormonal regulation of energy balance

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42 Citations (Scopus)


As a cellular energy sensor and regulator, adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of energy homeostasis in both the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral organs. Activation of hypothalamic AMPK maintains energy balance by inducing appetite to increase food intake and diminishing adaptive thermogenesis in adipose tissues to reduce energy expenditure in response to food deprivation. Numerous metabolic hormones, such as leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin and insulin, exert their energy regulatory effects through hypothalamic AMPK via integration with the neural circuits. Although activation of AMPK in peripheral tissues is able to promote fatty acid oxidation and insulin sensitivity, its chronic activation in the hypothalamus causes obesity by inducing hyperphagia in both humans and rodents. In this review, we discuss the role of hypothalamic AMPK in mediating hormonal regulation of feeding and adaptive thermogenesis, and summarize the diverse underlying mechanisms by which central AMPK maintains energy homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3552
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2018


  • Adaptive thermogenesis
  • Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase
  • Adipose tissue
  • Beiging
  • Food intake
  • Hypothalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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