ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial dysfunction is a salient feature of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury (MIRI), while the potential mechanism of mitochondrial dynamics disorder remains unclear. This study sought to explore whether activation of Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) could alleviate MIRI by regulating GTPase dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1)-mediated mitochondrial dynamics. Isolated mouse hearts in a Langendorff perfusion system were subjected to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) treatment, and H9C2 cells were subjected to hypoxia /reoxygenation (H/R) treatment in vitro. The results showed that AICAR, the AMPK activator, could significantly improve the function of left ventricular, decrease arrhythmia incidence and myocardial infarction area of isolated hearts. Meanwhile, AICAR increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) content in myocardial homogenate. Mechanistically, AICAR inhibited the phosphorylation of Drp1 at Ser 616 while enhanced phosphorylation of Drp1 at Ser 637. In addition, AICAR reduced the expression of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-ɑ, IL-6, and IL-1β, as well as mitochondrial fission genes Mff and Fis1, while improved the expression of mitochondrial fusion genes Mfn1 and Mfn2. Similar results were also observed in H9C2 cells. AICAR improved mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and inhibited mitochondrial damage. To further prove if Drp1 regulated mitochondrial dynamics mediated AMPK protection effect, the mitochondrial fission inhibitor Mdivi-1 was utilized. We found that Mdivi-1 significantly improved MMP, inhibited ROS production, reduced the expression of TNF-a, IL-6, IL-1β, Fis1, and Mff, and improved the expression of Mfn1 and Mfn2. However, the protection effect of Mdivi-1 was not reversed by AMPK inhibitor Compound C. In conclusion, this study confirmed that activation of AMPK exerted the protective effects on MIRI, which were largely dependent on the inhibition of Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission.