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PPAR Research
Volume 2008, Article ID 906542, 8 pages
Review Article

PPAR Ligands as Antitumorigenic and Antiangiogenic Agents

Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, S-3223 Medical Center North, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37232, USA

Received 28 May 2008; Accepted 1 July 2008

Academic Editor: Dipak Panigrahy

Copyright © 2008 Ambra Pozzi and Jorge H. Capdevila. 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.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) belong to the nuclear receptor family of ligand-activated transcription factors. This subfamily is composed of three members—PPAR , PPAR , and PPAR —that differ in their cell and tissue distribution as well as in their target genes. PPAR is abundantly expressed in liver, brown adipose tissue, kidney, intestine, heart, and skeletal muscle; and its ligands have been used to treat diseases such as obesity and diabetes. The recent finding that members of the PPAR family, including the PPAR , are expressed by tumor and endothelial cells together with the observation that PPAR ligands regulate cell growth, survival, migration, and invasion, suggested that PPARs also play a role in cancer. In this review, we focus on the contribution of PPAR to tumor and endothelial cell functions and provide compelling evidence that PPAR can be viewed as a new class of ligand activated tumor “suppressor” gene with antiangiogenic and antitumorigenic activities. Given that PPAR ligands are currently used in medicine as hypolipidemic drugs with excellent tolerance and limited toxicity, PPAR activation might offer a novel and potentially low-toxic approach for the treatment of tumor-associated angiogenesis and cancer.