PhD defence - Andreas Mæchel Fritzen

Andreas Mæchel Fritzen is defending his PhD thesis

Emerging roles of AMP-activated protein kinase

The role of AMPK in regulation of substrate utilisation during and after acute
exercise, adipose tissue metabolism during weight loss, and autophagy in
skeletal muscle during acute exercise


12 May 2016, 14:00


Auditorium 1, August Krogh Building, Universitetsparken 13,
DK-2100 Copenhagen


Associate Professor Nikolai Baastrup Nordsborg (chair), Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Associate Professor David Wright, University of Guelph, Canada

Associate Professor Niels Jessen, Aarhus University, Denmark


Professor Bente Kiens, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

About the thesis

The cellular energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is activated, when the energy balance of the cell decreases e.g. during exercise. AMPK has been proposed to regulate multiple metabolic processes. However, still a lot of functions of AMPK are not known. Also, much of the evidence for these general effects of AMPK relies on investigations in cell systems or has focused on specific physiological situations and tissues.

Data within this PhD thesis show that AMPK activation occurring in skeletal muscle during exercise appears to inhibit carbohydrate oxidation and thereby generate conditions for increased oxidation of fat and resynthesis of glycogen in skeletal muscle during post exercise recovery.

Furthermore, we show that in adipose tissue, the basal AMPK activity is increased in human adipose tissue during weight loss. In addition, we provide evidence that AMPK is regulating proteins important for the cellular renovations process, autophagy, in skeletal muscle, but AMPK activation alone appears not to be a sufficient stimulus to induce autophagy as previously thought.

2016, 138 pages.