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PPAR Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 814945, 6 pages
Review Article

PPARα as a Transcriptional Regulator for Detoxification of Plant Diet-Derived Unfavorable Compounds

1Department of Biochemistry, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, 2-522-1 Kiyose, Tokyo 204-8588, Japan
2Central Research Center, Yomeishu Seizo Co., Ltd., Minowa, Nagano 399-4601, Japan

Received 18 December 2011; Revised 5 February 2012; Accepted 26 February 2012

Academic Editor: Annamaria Cimini

Copyright © 2012 Bunichiro Ashibe 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.


Plants contain potentially toxic compounds for animals and animals have developed physiological strategies to detoxify the ingested toxins during evolution. Feeding mice with various plant seeds and grains showed unexpected result that only sesame killed PPARα-null mice but not wild-type mice at all. A detailed analysis of this observation revealed that PPARα is involved in the metabolism of toxic compounds from plants as well as endobiotic substrates by inducing phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes. PPARα plays a vital role in direct or indirect activation of the relevant genes via the complex network among other xenobiotic nuclear receptors. Thus, PPARα plays its wider and more extensive role in energy metabolism from natural food intake to fat storage than previously thought.