Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Clinical Sciences

Professor of Biochemistry



+44 (0)20 3313 4313david.carling




3rd Fl CRBHammersmith HospitalHammersmith Campus






BibTex format

author = {Pollard, AE and Martins, L and Muckett, PJ and Khadayate, S and Bornot, A and Clausen, M and Admyre, T and Bjursell, M and Fiadeiro, R and Wilson, L and Whilding, C and Kotiadis, VN and Duchen, MR and Sutton, D and Penfold, L and Sardini, A and Bohlooly-Y, M and Smith, DM and Read, JA and Snowden, MA and Woods, A and Carling, D},
doi = {10.1038/s42255-019-0036-9},
journal = {Nature Metabolism},
pages = {340--349},
title = {AMPK activation protects against diet induced obesity through Ucp1-independent thermogenesis in subcutaneous white adipose tissue},
url = {},
volume = {1},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Obesity results from a chronic imbalance between energy intake and energy output but remains difficult to prevent or treat in humans. Adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important regulator of energy homeostasis1,2,3 and is a molecular target of drugs used for the treatment of metabolic diseases, including obesity4,5. Here we show that mice expressing a gain-of-function AMPK mutant6 display a change in morphology of subcutaneous white adipocytes that is reminiscent of browning. However, despite a dramatic increase in mitochondrial content, Ucp1 expression is undetectable in these adipocytes. In response to a high-fat diet (HFD), expression of skeletal muscle–associated genes is induced in subcutaneous white adipocytes from the gain-of-function AMPK mutant mice. Chronic genetic AMPK activation results in protection against diet-induced obesity due to an increase in whole-body energy expenditure, most probably because of a substantial increase in the oxygen consumption rate of white adipose tissue. These results suggest that AMPK activation enriches, or leads to the emergence of, a population of subcutaneous white adipocytes that produce heat via Ucp1-independent uncoupling of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production on a HFD. Our findings indicate that AMPK activation specifically in adipose tissue may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of obesity.
AU - Pollard,AE
AU - Martins,L
AU - Muckett,PJ
AU - Khadayate,S
AU - Bornot,A
AU - Clausen,M
AU - Admyre,T
AU - Bjursell,M
AU - Fiadeiro,R
AU - Wilson,L
AU - Whilding,C
AU - Kotiadis,VN
AU - Duchen,MR
AU - Sutton,D
AU - Penfold,L
AU - Sardini,A
AU - Bohlooly-Y,M
AU - Smith,DM
AU - Read,JA
AU - Snowden,MA
AU - Woods,A
AU - Carling,D
DO - 10.1038/s42255-019-0036-9
EP - 349
PY - 2019///
SN - 2522-5812
SP - 340
TI - AMPK activation protects against diet induced obesity through Ucp1-independent thermogenesis in subcutaneous white adipose tissue
T2 - Nature Metabolism
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 1
ER -