Volume 57 (2010) Issue 10 Pages 847-852
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ is a nuclear hormone receptor that is trans-activated by its ligands including insulin-sensitizing thiazolidinediones. PPARγ has recently been reported to demonstrate pleiotropic beneficial effects in the vasculatures, independent of its blood glucose-lowering effects. Firstly, PPARγ ligands have been shown to lower blood pressure in both animals and human. The effect may possibly be mediated via the PPARγ-mediated inhibition of the angiotensin (Ang) II type 1 receptor expression as well as Ang II-mediated signaling pathways, which may result in the suppression of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Secondly, the progression of atherosclerosis was also prevented by PPARγ ligands in both animals and human. In addition to the PPARγ-mediated suppression of the RAS and the thromboxane A2 system, protective effects of PPARγ ligands on endothelial function may also be involved. Thirdly, reno-protective effects of PPARγ ligands, especially on reducing urinary albumin, have been observed in both animals and human not only in diabetic nephropathy but also in non-diabetic renal diseases. The reno-protective effects may be mediated, at least in part, via the PPARγ ligand-induced blood pressure-lowering effects, protective effects on endothelial function, and vasodilating effects on the glomerular efferent arterioles. Additionally, anti-cancer effects of PPARγ ligands have recently been reported. Taken together, usefulness and effectiveness of PPARγ ligands on lifestyle related diseases will be increasingly appreciated.