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PPAR Research
Volume 2013, Article ID 970276, 8 pages
Review Article

The Role of PPARs in Placental Immunology: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Maistraße 11, 80337 Munich, Germany

Received 30 November 2012; Accepted 18 February 2013

Academic Editor: Regina Ensenauer

Copyright © 2013 Stefan Hutter 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.


Pregnancy is a state of immunotolerance, and pregnancy outcome is strongly linked to the correct activation and balancing of the maternal immune system. Besides abortion as possible result of improper early pregnancy development, other pregnancy associated conditions like preeclampsia (PE), intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), preterm labour, or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are linked to immunologic overactivation and dysregulation. Both the innate and the adaptive immune system, and therefore B and T lymphocytes, natural killer cells (NK), macrophages and dendritic cells (DCs) are all involved in trophoblast invasion, pregnancy maintenance, and development of pregnancy disorders. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear transcription factors with three known isotypes: PPAR , PPARβ/δ, and PPARγ. They are expressed in most human organs and their function extends from regulating metabolism, homeostasis, and carcinogenesis to immune response. In the recent years, PPARs have been identified in most reproductive tissues and in all lines of immune cells. Only in few cases, the role of PPARs in reproductive immunology has been elucidated though the role of PPARs in immune answer and immunotolerance is evident. Within this paper we would like to give an update on today’s knowledge about PPARs and immune cells in reproduction and highlight interesting interferences in regard of future therapeutic targets.