Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-Gamma: Therapeutic Target for Diseases Beyond Diabetes: Quo Vadis?

Abstract: The discovery that the insulin-sensitising thiazolidinediones (TZDs), specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma) agonists, have antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects has led to the evaluation of their potential use in the treatment of diabetic complications and inflammatory, proliferative diseases in non-insulin-resistant, euglycaemic individuals. Apart from improving insulin resistance, plasma lipids and systemic inflammatory markers, ameliorating atherosclerosis and preventing coronary artery restenosis in diabetic subjects, currently approved TZDs have been shown to improve psoriasis and ulcerative colitis in euglycaemic human subjects. These data imply that the activation of PPAR-gamma may improve cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular outcomes in both insulin-resistant diabetic and non-diabetic individuals. Through their immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory actions, TZDs and other PPAR-gamma agonists may prove to be effective in treating diseases unrelated to insulin resistance, such as autoimmune (e.g., multiple sclerosis), atopic (e.g., asthma, atopic dermatitis) and other inflammatory diseases (e.g., psoriasis, ulcerative colitis). Newer and safer selective PPAR-gamma agonists are presently under development. Furthermore, of considerable interest is the recent discovery that a unique subset of currently prescribed antihypertensive angiotensin II Type 1 receptor antagonists has selective PPAR-gamma-modulating activity. These discoveries pave the way for the development of drugs for treating chronic multigenic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, for which therapy is presently insufficient or non-existent. The potential utility of the currently available TZDs rosiglitazone and pioglitazone and PPAR-gamma-modulating angiotensin II Type 1 receptor antagonists in treating cardiovascular, metabolic and inflammatory diseases in insulin resistant and euglycaemic states is of immense clinical potential and should be investigated.  


Pershadsingh, H. A.. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-Gamma: Therapeutic Target for Diseases Beyond Diabetes: Quo Vadis?. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2004;13:215-228. 

Last Modified: 2/13/2013