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PPAR Research
Volume 2008, Article ID 172676, 7 pages
Review Article

Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Delta: A Conserved Director of Lipid Homeostasis through Regulation of the Oxidative Capacity of Muscle

1Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli, Via Vivaldi 43, 81100 Caserta, Italy
2Dipartimento delle Scienze Biologiche, Sez. Fisiologia ed Igiene, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Napoli, Italy
3Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università degli Studi del Sannio, Via Port'Arsa 11, 82100 Benevento, Italy

Received 5 May 2008; Revised 10 July 2008; Accepted 13 August 2008

Academic Editor: Francine M. Gregoire

Copyright © 2008 Pieter de Lange 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.


The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which are ligand-inducible transcription factors expressed in a variety of tissues, have been shown to perform key roles in lipid homeostasis. In physiological situations such as fasting and physical exercise, one PPAR subtype, PPARδ, triggers a transcriptional program in skeletal muscle leading to a switch in fuel usage from glucose/fatty acids to solely fatty acids, thereby drastically increasing its oxidative capacity. The metabolic action of PPARδ has also been verified in humans. In addition, it has become clear that the action of PPARδ is not restricted to skeletal muscle. Indeed, PPARδ has been shown to play a crucial role in whole-body lipid homeostasis as well as in insulin sensitivity, and it is active not only in skeletal muscle (as an activator of fat burning) but also in the liver (where it can activate glycolysis/lipogenesis, with the produced fat being oxidized in muscle) and in the adipose tissue (by incrementing lipolysis). The main aim of this review is to highlight the central role for activated PPARδ in the reversal of any tendency toward the development of insulin resistance.