• Open Access

Thiazolidinedione-independent activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ is a potential target for diabetic macrovascular complications


Eiichi Araki Tel.: +81-96-373-5169 Fax: +81-96-366-8397 E-mail address: earaki@gpo.kumamoto-u.ac.jp


Macrovascular complications are responsible for the high morbidity and mortality in patients with diabetes. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) plays a central role in the process of adipocyte differentiation and insulin sensitization, and also possesses anti-atherogenic effects. Recently, some statins, angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers and calcium channel blockers have been reported to activate PPARγ. However, the impact of PPARγ activation on diabetic macrovascular complications is not fully understood. It has been reported that the activation of PPARγ by thiazolidinediones induces anti-atherogenic effects in vascular cells, including monocytes/macrophages, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, in atherosclerotic animal models and in clinical studies. We have reported that hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins), which are used for treatment of hypercholesterolemia, activate PPARγ and mediate anti-atherogenic effects through PPARγ activation in macrophages. Also, telmisartan, an angiotensin type I receptor blocker, has been reported to have anti-atherogenic effects through PPARγ activation. Furthermore, we have reported that nifedipine, a dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, can activate PPARγ, thereby mediating anti-atherogenic effects in macrophages. Therefore, statin therapy and part of anti-hypertensive therapy might produce beneficial effects through PPARγ activation in hypercholesterolemic and/or hypertensive patients with diabetes, and PPARγ might be a therapeutic target for diabetic macrovascular complications. In the present review, we focus on the anti-atherogenic effects of PPARγ and suggest potential therapeutic approaches to prevent diabetic macrovascular complications. (J Diabetes Invest, doi: 10.1111/j.2040-1124.2011.00182.x, 2012)