This study aims to investigate the effect of κ-opioid receptor activation on myocardial ischemia and reperfusion(I/R) injury and elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Myocardial I/R rat model and simulated I/R cardiomyocytes model were established. In vivo study showed that U50,488 H improved cardiac function, reduced myocardial infarct size and serum cTnT significantly. The effect of U50,488 H was abolished by nor-BNI(a κ-opioid receptor antagonist), Compound C(an AMPK inhibitor), Akt inhibitor and L-NAME(an eNOS inhibitor). AICAR, an AMPK activator, mimicked the effect of U50,488 H. U50,488 H up-regulated p-AMPK, p-Akt, and p-eNOS, which were abolished by nor-BNI. AICAR increased p-Akt and p-eNOS, which was abolished by Compound C. In vitro study showed that U50,488 H increased p-AMPK, p-Akt, and p-eNOS via κ-OR activation. The effect of U50,488 H on p-AMPK was abolished by compound C, but not Akt inhibitor and L-NAME. The effect of U50,488 H on p-Akt was abolished by compound C and Akt inhibitor, but not L-NAME. AICAR increased p-Akt and p-eNOS, which was abolished by Akt inhibitor, but not L-NAME. U50,488 H and AICAR also increased the viability of cardiomyocytes subjected to simulated I/R, the effects of U50,488 H and AICAR were blocked by nor-BNI, Compound C, Akt inhibitor, and L-NAME, respectively. In conclusion, κ-OR activation confers cardioprotection via AMPK/Akt/eNOS signaling.