The effects of small-molecule AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activators in rat epididymal adipocytes were compared. SC4 was the most effective and submaximal doses of SC4 and 5-amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide (AICA) riboside were combined to study the effects of AMPK activation in white adipose tissue (WAT). Incubation of rat adipocytes with SC4 + AICA riboside inhibited noradrenaline-induced lipolysis and decreased hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) Ser563 phosphorylation, without affecting HSL Ser565 phosphorylation. Preincubation of fat pads from wild-type (WT) mice with SC4 + AICA riboside inhibited insulin-stimulated lipogenesis from glucose or acetate and these effects were lost in AMPKα1 knockout (KO) mice, indicating AMPKα1 dependency. Moreover, in fat pads from acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC)1/2 S79A/S212A double knockin versus WT mice, the effect of SC4 + AICA riboside to inhibit insulin-stimulated lipogenesis from acetate was lost, pinpointing ACC as the main AMPK target. Treatment with SC4 + AICA riboside decreased insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, an effect that was still observed in fat pads from AMPKα1 KO versus WT mice, suggesting the effect was partly AMPKα1-independent. SC4 + AICA riboside treatment had no effect on the insulin-induced increase in palmitate esterification nor on sn-glycerol-3-phosphate-O-acyltransferase activity. Therefore in WAT, AMPK activation inhibits noradrenaline-induced lipolysis and suppresses insulin-stimulated lipogenesis primarily by inactivating ACC and by inhibiting glucose uptake.