AICAR peptide , short for 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside, is a short peptide that plays a role in energy homeostasis and a number of metabolic pathways. AICAR plays a role in the regulation of insulin receptors and how muscle cells function with regards to insulin. AICAR is under active investigation for its cancer-fighting properties and for its ability to protect heart/cardiovascular tissue. AICAR is an AMP kinase (AMPK) activator.
AICAR peptide is the activated form of naturally occurring acadesine, which is currently used in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Research shows that acadesine, like AICAR, has anti-cancer properties. It has also been found to play a role in inhibiting platelet function and thus in the prevention of the early stages of blood clotting.
Sequence: 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleoside
Molecular Formula: C9H15N4O8P
Molecular Weight: 338.213 g/mol
PubChem CID: 65110
CAS Number: 3031-94-5
Synonyms: AICA ribonucletotide, Z-nucleotide
AICAR peptide and Insulin Resistance
Research in mice shows that AICAR, even at low doses, reduces inflammation in adipose tissue. Inflammation in fat is associated with increased insulin resistance and reducing inflammation leads to improved glucose homeostasis and increased insulin sensitivity even without any changes in body weight. It appears that AICAR has several pathways though which it affects inflammation in adipose tissue, with at least one of those pathways involving SIRT1 and macrophages.
The impact of Aicar on adipose inflammation is not unexpected. AMPK has been found to attenuate inflammatory responses in metabolic disorders in both healthy and diabetic mice. In research in mice, AMPK activation, as is caused by AICAR, was found to improve insulin sensitivity, energy homeostasis, lipid metabolism, and inflammatory markers.
Exercise increases the number of GLUT-4 insulin receptors that are present on the surface of muscle cells. It is one of the most effective means of boosting glucose uptake by muscle cells and effectively reduces both glucose levels and insulin resistance. It turns out that AICAR mimics the effects of exercise very precisely and that repeated administration of AICAR has effects similar to long-term exercise.