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PPAR Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 768594, 9 pages
Review Article

Role of PPARγ in the Differentiation and Function of Neurons

1Centro de Investigación Biomédica, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Carlos Antúnez 1920, 750056 Santiago, Chile
2Laboratorio de Neurociencias, Departamento de Neurología, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 8330024 Santiago, Chile
3Laboratorio de Dinámica Celular y Neuronal, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Ñuñoa, 7800003 Santiago, Chile

Received 22 May 2014; Revised 31 July 2014; Accepted 16 August 2014; Published 26 August 2014

Academic Editor: Paul D. Drew

Copyright © 2014 Rodrigo A. Quintanilla 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.


Neuronal processes (neurites and axons) have an important role in brain cells communication and, generally, they are damaged in neurodegenerative diseases. Recent evidence has showed that the activation of PPARγ pathway promoted neuronal differentiation and axon polarity. In addition, activation of PPARγ using thiazolidinediones (TZDs) prevented neurodegeneration by reducing neuronal death, improving mitochondrial function, and decreasing neuroinflammation in neuropathic pain. In this review, we will discuss important evidence that supports a possible role of PPARγ in neuronal development, improvement of neuronal health, and pain signaling. Therefore, activation of PPARγ is a potential target with therapeutic applications against neurodegenerative disorders, brain injury, and pain regulation.