Combinatorial roles of nuclear receptors in inflammation and immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Jan;6(1):44-55. doi: 10.1038/nri1748.


Members of the nuclear-receptor superfamily have well-documented regulatory effects on inflammatory processes. Recent work has highlighted the roles of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and liver X receptors (LXRs) in controlling metabolic and inflammatory programmes of gene expression in macrophages and lymphocytes. Here, we describe recent studies that extend our understanding of how these nuclear receptors, through their interactions with transcription factors and other cell-signalling systems, have important regulatory roles in innate and adaptive immunity. We suggest that by using receptor-specific mechanisms, PPARs and LXRs function in a combinatorial manner with the glucocorticoid receptor to integrate local and systemic responses to inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / immunology*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular* / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / therapy
  • Liver X Receptors
  • Orphan Nuclear Receptors
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / biosynthesis
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / genetics
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology*
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / genetics
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Liver X Receptors
  • Orphan Nuclear Receptors
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid