Activation of Liver AMPK with PF-06409577 Corrects NAFLD and Lowers Cholesterol in Rodent and Primate Preclinical Models

Ryan M. Esquejo, Christopher T. Salatto, Jake Delmore, Bina Albuquerque, Allan Reyes, Yuji Shi, Rob Moccia, Emily Cokorinos, Matthew Peloquin, Mara Monetti, Jason Barricklow, Eliza Bollinger, Brennan K. Smith, Emily A. Day, Chuong Nguyen, Kieran F. Geoghegan, John M. Kreeger, Alan Opsahl, Jessica Ward, Amit S. KalgutkarDavid Tess, Lynne Butler, Norimitsu Shirai, Timothy F. Osborne, Gregory R. Steinberg, Morris J. Birnbaum, Kimberly O. Cameron, Russell A. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Dysregulation of hepatic lipid and cholesterol metabolism is a significant contributor to cardiometabolic health, resulting in excessive liver lipid accumulation and ultimately non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Therapeutic activators of the AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) have been proposed as a treatment for metabolic diseases; we show that the AMPK β1-biased activator PF-06409577 is capable of lowering hepatic and systemic lipid and cholesterol levels in both rodent and monkey preclinical models. PF-06409577 is able to inhibit de novo lipid and cholesterol synthesis pathways, and causes a reduction in hepatic lipids and mRNA expression of markers of hepatic fibrosis. These effects require AMPK activity in the hepatocytes. Treatment of hyperlipidemic rats or cynomolgus monkeys with PF-06409577 for 6 weeks resulted in a reduction in circulating cholesterol. Together these data suggest that activation of AMPK β1 complexes with PF-06409577 is capable of impacting multiple facets of liver disease and represents a promising strategy for the treatment of NAFLD and NASH in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-132
Number of pages11
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ACC
  • AMPK
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Lipogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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