PPARs and the complex journey to obesity

Nat Med. 2004 Apr;10(4):355-61. doi: 10.1038/nm1025.


Obesity and the related disorders of dyslipidemia and diabetes (components of syndrome X) have become global health epidemics. Over the past decade, the elucidation of key regulators of energy balance and insulin signaling have revolutionized our understanding of fat and sugar metabolism and their intimate link. The three 'lipid-sensing' peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR-alpha, PPAR-gamma and PPAR-delta) exemplify this connection, regulating diverse aspects of lipid and glucose homeostasis, and serving as bona fide therapeutic targets. With molecular underpinnings now in place, new pharmacologic approaches to metabolic disease and new questions are emerging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / physiology
  • Appetite / physiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Glucose / physiology
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lipids / physiology
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Receptor, Insulin / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • Lipids
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Glucose