Promising Research in Regards to AICAR

by | May 2, 2022 | Research

What Is AICAR?

AICAR, which is short for 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside, is a short-sequence peptide. It is an AMP kinase (AMPK) activator. It plays a role in metabolic pathways as well as energy homeostasis. Among the proven actions of AICAR peptide is regulating insulin receptors and controlling the way muscle cells act in response to insulin.

AICAR peptide is actively investigated for its anti-cancer properties and role in protecting cardiovascular tissue.


Role Of AICAR In Insulin Resistance

Inflammation in adipose tissue can result in increased insulin sensitivity. Research studies suggest that reducing this inflammation improves glucose metabolism and homeostasis by improving insulin sensitivity. This effect usually comes without any significant body weight changes. AICAR, via at least two different mechanisms, may reduce this adipose tissue inflammation. These two pathways mainly involve SIRT1 and macrophages.

In research conducted on diabetic and healthy mice, AICAR has been shown to reduce the inflammatory response by activating AMP kinase. This improves insulin sensitivity, energy homeostasis, lipid metabolism, and inflammatory markers.

Results also suggest that AICAR peptide mimics the effect of exercise in improving glucose uptake, homeostasis, and increasing insulin sensitivity. The common point is that exercise and AICAR upregulate the GLUT-1 receptors on muscle cells, improving muscle cells’ glucose uptake.


Anticancer Research and AICAR

AMPK has a varied effect on the growth and spread of tumors in different circumstances. It can slow down the invasion in some cases, whereas it accentuates the growth of tumors in other cases.
Research indicates that prolonged enzyme activation eventually leads to cancer cell death by slowing cancer cell metabolism making cancer cells more susceptible to environmental insults.

Scientists are currently working on using AICAR peptides concurrently with other anti-cancer agents to improve their effectiveness in fighting cancer.


Anti-Inflammatory Effects

The anti-inflammatory effects of AMPK activators have long been researched. AICAR has metformin-like actions in different inflammatory conditions.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it shows some potential in certain autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.

Research conducted on mice has shown that AICAR can reduce the inflammation in colitis. This anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to the fact that it acts as a central inhibitor of immune responses in this setting by reducing nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation in macrophages and TH-1 and TH17-type cytokines.


Effects Of AICAR On The Heart

Inflammation of the cardiovascular tissue is the primary pathology in numerous heart diseases, including atherosclerosis. The inflammation, as well as vascular smooth muscle proliferation, is one of the primary sequences in failure of stent placement and other cardiovascular conditions. Therefore, controlling vascular inflammation could reduce both short-term and long-term complications of stent placement without the need for drugs that increase bleeding risk.

AMPK activation, the main effect of the AICAR peptide, suppresses specific immune responses that lead to atherosclerosis. AICAR mitigates the risk of developing atherosclerotic plaques resulting from macrophage proliferation, thereby reducing the prevalence of heart diseases.

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