Figure 1. Clinical and pathologic significance of the protective role of AMPK in the epithelium during stress. Schematic showing the time line of publications on the topic of AMPK and cell-cell junctions, as determined by a PubMed search in 2016, and their relationship to the recently published work by Aznar et al. . Top: Clinical and pathological significance of pharmacologic activation of AMPK, either by the widely prescribed anti-diabetic drug, Metformin (green) or by other nutritional / dietary supplements (grey) in the regulation of tight junction stability and function. Bottom: Time line of publications unraveling the role of AMPK in the regulation of epithelial tight junctions and in the establishment of cell polarity.