Cardiovascular effects of the thiazolidinediones

Diabetes Metab Res Rev. Mar-Apr 2006;22(2):88-97. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.596.


Thiazolidinediones, used for the treatment of diabetes mellitus type 2, modulate gene expression by binding to nuclear transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma is expressed in several tissues, therefore, thiazolidinediones have biological effects on multiple organ systems. Here, we describe evidence that thiazolidinediones have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system independent of their antidiabetic effect. Studies in animals have clearly shown that thiazolidinediones decrease blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, development of atherosclerotic lesions, and protect myocardium from ischemia/reperfusion injury. Although relatively few studies in humans have been reported, the preponderance of available evidence suggests a beneficial effect of thiazolidinediones. Thus, by modulating gene expression, thiazolidinediones may provide a novel method for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / prevention & control
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Thiazolidinediones / therapeutic use*
  • Ventricular Function, Left / drug effects


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Thiazolidinediones