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PPAR Research
Volume 2010, Article ID 783273, 10 pages
Review Article

PPARs, Cardiovascular Metabolism, and Function: Near- or Far-from-Equilibrium Pathways

1Service de Physiologie, Hôpital de Bicêtre, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 94275 Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France
2Département de Physiologie Humaine, Université Paris 11 Sud, 94275, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, France
3Centre de Recherche Clinique, Centre Hospitalier Régional de Meaux, 77100, Meaux, France
4Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerpen, 2670, Wilrijk, Belgium

Received 19 April 2010; Accepted 16 June 2010

Academic Editor: Brian Finck

Copyright © 2010 Yves Lecarpentier 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.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR α, β/δ and γ) play a key role in metabolic regulatory processes and gene regulation of cellular metabolism, particularly in the cardiovascular system. Moreover, PPARs have various extra metabolic roles, in circadian rhythms, inflammation and oxidative stress. In this review, we focus mainly on the effects of PPARs on some thermodynamic processes, which can behave either near equilibrium, or far-from-equilibrium. New functions of PPARs are reported in the arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, a human genetic heart disease. It is now possible to link the genetic desmosomal abnormalitiy to the presence of fat in the right ventricle, partly due to an overexpression of PPARγ. Moreover, PPARs are directly or indirectly involved in cellular oscillatory processes such as the Wnt-b-catenin pathway, circadian rhythms of arterial blood pressure and cardiac frequency and glycolysis metabolic pathway. Dysfunction of clock genes and PPARγ may lead to hyperphagia, obesity, metabolic syndrome, myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death, In pathological conditions, regulatory processes of the cardiovascular system may bifurcate towards new states, such as those encountered in hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart failure. Numerous of these oscillatory mechanisms, organized in time and space, behave far from equilibrium and are “dissipative structures”.