Background & aims: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) is one of the nuclear receptors that plays a central role in adipocyte differentiation and insulin sensitivity. PPAR gamma has also recently been recognized as an endogenous regulator of intestinal inflammation. However, its levels are decreased during chronic inflammation in human and mice, thus limiting PPAR gamma ligand therapy during established disease. We sought to determine whether this decrease in PPAR gamma could be counteracted by a gene therapy approach.
Methods: We characterized PPAR gamma levels in experimental colitis associated with dextran sodium sulfate administration to mice. In this model, the therapeutic benefits of PPAR gamma gene therapy using a replication-deficient adenovirus vector expressing PPAR gamma (Ad-PPAR gamma) was assessed.
Results: PPAR gamma protein levels were decreased in whole colonic tissue, lamina propria lymphocytes, and peritoneal exudate cells during the course of colitis. PPAR gamma gene delivery using Ad-PPAR gamma restored responsiveness to a PPAR gamma ligand, resulting in marked amelioration of tissue inflammation associated with the colitis, which included attenuation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1, cyclooxygenase-2 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that gene delivery of PPAR gamma can be used to restore and/or enhance endogenous anti-inflammatory processes that are normally operative in mammalian tissues such as in the colon.