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Keywords:

  • Disturbed pregnancy;
  • infertility;
  • peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor;
  • placenta;
  • reproduction

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) are members of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. Synthetic ligands to one family member, PPARγ, are currently widely used as treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes type II and other insulin resistances, e.g. as seen in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Moreover, novel approaches employing knock-out mice demonstrated that PPARγ seems to play a key role in placental and fetal development. This review describes recent insights into the role of PPARs in human reproduction with specific reference to infertility, placental maturation and fetal development as well as disturbed pregnancy. Further, we highlight the current knowledge on synthetic ligands to PPARγ used as a treatment in women with PCOS.