Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand dependent transcription factors. The three mammalian PPARs are key regulators of fatty acid and lipoprotein metabolism, glucose homeostasis, cellular proliferation/ differentiation and the immune response. PPARs are therefore important targets in the treatment of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and are also of interest in relation to chronic inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, chronic pulmonary inflammation, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and psoriasis. Recent advances have attributed novel functions to PPARs in blood pressure regulation, neuroinflammation, nerve-cell protection, inflammatory pain reduction, and the hypothalamic control of metabolism. The abundant pleiotropic actions of PPARs suggest that PPAR agonists have enormous therapeutic potential. However, current PPAR-based therapies often have undesired side effects due to the concomitant activation of PPARs in non-target cells. There is therefore growing interest in the development of cell-specific PPAR agonists and improvement of the clinical use of PPAR ligands. This review gives an overview of PPAR functions and discusses the current and potential medical implications of PPAR ligands in various pathologies, ranging from metabolic disorders to cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, neurodegenerative disorders and cancer.
Keywords: Nuclear receptors, PPAR, transcription, metabolism, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, neuroinflammation, cancer, lipoprotein metabolism, glucose homeostasis, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, arthritis, chronic pulmonary inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease
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