In the present study, a glucosamine-induced model of insulin-resistant skeletal muscle cells was established in order to investigate the effect of inhibition of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)/5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) on these cells. The glucosamine-induced insulin-resistant skeletal muscle cells were produced and the rate of glucose uptake was measured using the glucose oxidase-peroxidase method. The expression levels of PTEN and phosphorylated PTEN (p-PTEN) were assessed using western blotting. Glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation was detected by immunofluorescence. Cell apoptosis was evaluated using flow cytometry. Following insulin stimulation, the rate of glucose uptake was significantly reduced in the cells with glucosamine-induced insulin-resistance in comparison with those in the control group. The expression and translocation of GLUT4 were reduced in the insulin-resistant muscle cells. By contrast, the expression of PTEN and p-PTEN as well as apoptosis were significantly increased. Following treatment with bisperoxopicolinatooxovanadate (BPV) or metformin in the insulin-resistant skeletal muscle cells, there was an increase in the rate of glucose uptake, an increase in GLUT4 expression and its translocation, a reduction in the expression of PTEN and p-PTEN, and a decrease in cell apoptosis compared with untreated insulin-resistant cells. Glucosamine may be used to produce an effective model of insulin-resistant skeletal muscle cells. Cells with glucosamine-induced insulin-resistance exhibited a reduced expression of GLUT4 and dysfunction in GLUT4 translocation, as well as increased activation of PTEN and increased cell apoptosis. Inhibition of PTEN or its upstream regulator, AMPK, protects glucosamine-induced insulin-resistant skeletal muscle cells from apoptosis.