About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
PPAR Research
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 95974, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2007/95974
Review Article

PPARs, Obesity, and Inflammation

Nutrition, Metabolism and Genomics Group and Nutrigenomics Consortium, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 8129, Wageningen 6700 EV, The Netherlands

Received 15 September 2006; Revised 13 November 2006; Accepted 13 November 2006

Academic Editor: Francine M. Gregoire

Copyright © 2007 Rinke Stienstra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The worldwide prevalence of obesity and related metabolic disorders is rising rapidly, increasing the burden on our healthcare system. Obesity is often accompanied by excess fat storage in tissues other than adipose tissue, including liver and skeletal muscle, which may lead to local insulin resistance and may stimulate inflammation, as in steatohepatitis. In addition, obesity changes the morphology and composition of adipose tissue, leading to changes in protein production and secretion. Some of these secreted proteins, including several proinflammatory mediators, may be produced by macrophages resident in the adipose tissue. The changes in inflammatory status of adipose tissue and liver with obesity feed a growing recognition that obesity represents a state of chronic low-level inflammation. Various molecular mechanisms have been implicated in obesity-induced inflammation, some of which are modulated by the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). PPARs are ligand-activated transcription factors involved in the regulation of numerous biological processes, including lipid and glucose metabolism, and overall energy homeostasis. Importantly, PPARs also modulate the inflammatory response, which makes them an interesting therapeutic target to mitigate obesity-induced inflammation and its consequences. This review will address the role of PPARs in obesity-induced inflammation specifically in adipose tissue, liver, and the vascular wall.