Pleiotropic Actions of PPAR Gamma Activators Thiazolidinediones in Cardiovascular Diseases

Curr Pharm Des. 2004;10(22):2779-86. doi: 10.2174/1381612043383719.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are transcription factors belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily and form heterodimers with retinoid X receptor. To date, three PPARs isoforms have been isolated and termed alpha, beta (or delta), and gamma. Although PPAR gamma is expressed predominantly in adipose tissue and associated with adipocyte differentiation and glucose homeostasis, it has been recently demonstrated that PPAR gamma is present in a variety of cell types. Synthetic antidiabetic thiazolidinediones (TZDs) and natural prostaglandin D(2) (PGD(2)) metabolite, 15-deoxy-Delta(12, 14)-prostaglandin J(2) (15d-PGJ(2)), are well-known as ligands for PPAR gamma. After it has been reported that activation of PPAR gamma suppresses production of proinflammatory cytokines in activated macrophages, medical interest in PPAR gamma have grown and a huge research effort has been concentrated. PPAR gamma, is currently known to be implicated in various human chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, PPAR gamma ligands have potent tumor modulatory effects against colorectal, prostate, and breast cancers. Recent studies suggest that TZDs not only ameliorate insulin sensitivity but also have pleiotropic effects on many tissues and cell types. Although activation of PPAR gamma seems to have beneficial effects on atherosclerosis and heart failure, the mechanisms by which PPAR gamma ligands prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases are not fully understood. This review will focus on the latest developments in the PPAR gamma field and the roles of PPAR gamma-dependent pathway in cardiovascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Arteriosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Arteriosclerosis / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation*
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / drug effects*
  • Thiazolidinediones / pharmacology*
  • Transcription Factors / drug effects*


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Transcription Factors