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International Journal of Vascular Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 508416, 9 pages
Review Article

Role of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-γ in Vascular Inflammation

Department of Molecular Cardiovascular Biology and Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, Ehime University, Shitsukawa, Ehime, Toon 791-0295, Japan

Received 6 May 2012; Accepted 8 June 2012

Academic Editor: David Bishop-Bailey

Copyright © 2012 Kousei Ohshima 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.


Vascular inflammation plays a crucial role in atherosclerosis, and its regulation is important to prevent cerebrovascular and coronary artery disease. The inflammatory process in atherogenesis involves a variety of immune cells including monocytes/macrophages, lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and neutrophils, which all express peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). PPAR-γ is a nuclear receptor and transcription factor in the steroid superfamily and is known to be a key regulator of adipocyte differentiation. Increasing evidence from mainly experimental studies has demonstrated that PPAR-γ activation by endogenous and synthetic ligands is involved in lipid metabolism and anti-inflammatory activity. In addition, recent clinical studies have shown a beneficial effect of thiazolidinediones, synthetic PPAR-γ ligands, on cardiovascular disease beyond glycemic control. These results suggest that PPAR-γ activation is an important regulator in vascular inflammation and is expected to be a therapeutic target in the treatment of atherosclerotic complications. This paper reviews the recent findings of PPAR-γ involvement in vascular inflammation and the therapeutic potential of regulating the immune system in atherosclerosis.