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PPAR Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 7963540, 7 pages
Review Article

PPARγ in Bacterial Infections: A Friend or Foe?

1Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
2Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA 15240, USA

Received 25 May 2016; Accepted 21 August 2016

Academic Editor: Paul D. Drew

Copyright © 2016 Aravind T. Reddy 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 receptor γ (PPARγ) is now recognized as an important modulator of leukocyte inflammatory responses and function. Its immunoregulatory function has been studied in a variety of contexts, including bacterial infections of the lungs and central nervous system, sepsis, and conditions such as chronic granulomatous disease. Although it is generally believed that PPARγ activation is beneficial for the host during bacterial infections via its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, PPARγ agonists have also been shown to dampen the host immune response and in some cases exacerbate infection by promoting leukocyte apoptosis and interfering with leukocyte migration and infiltration. In this review we discuss the role of PPARγ and its activation during bacterial infections, with focus on the potential of PPARγ agonists and perhaps antagonists as novel therapeutic modalities. We conclude that adjustment in the dosage and timing of PPARγ agonist administration, based on the competence of host antimicrobial defenses and the extent of inflammatory response and tissue injury, is critical for achieving the essential balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory effects on the immune system.