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1.  The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha agonist fenofibrate maintains bone mass, while the PPAR gamma agonist pioglitazone exaggerates bone loss, in ovariectomized rats 
Activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)gamma is associated with bone loss and increased fracture risk, while PPARalpha activation seems to have positive skeletal effects. To further explore these effects we have examined the effect of the PPARalpha agonists fenofibrate and Wyeth 14643, and the PPARgamma agonist pioglitazone, on bone mineral density (BMD), bone architecture and biomechanical strength in ovariectomized rats.
Fifty-five female Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to five groups. One group was sham-operated and given vehicle (methylcellulose), the other groups were ovariectomized and given vehicle, fenofibrate, Wyeth 14643 and pioglitazone, respectively, daily for four months. Whole body and femoral BMD were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and biomechanical testing of femurs, and micro-computed tomography (microCT) of the femoral shaft and head, were performed.
Whole body and femoral BMD were significantly higher in sham controls and ovariectomized animals given fenofibrate, compared to ovariectomized controls. Ovariectomized rats given Wyeth 14643, maintained whole body BMD at sham levels, while rats on pioglitazone had lower whole body and femoral BMD, impaired bone quality and less mechanical strength compared to sham and ovariectomized controls. In contrast, cortical volume, trabecular bone volume and thickness, and endocortical volume were maintained at sham levels in rats given fenofibrate.
The PPARalpha agonist fenofibrate, and to a lesser extent the PPARaplha agonist Wyeth 14643, maintained BMD and bone architecture at sham levels, while the PPARgamma agonist pioglitazone exaggerated bone loss and negatively affected bone architecture, in ovariectomized rats.
PMCID: PMC3127763  PMID: 21615901
2.  Comparative Transcriptional Network Modeling of Three PPAR-α/γ Co-Agonists Reveals Distinct Metabolic Gene Signatures in Primary Human Hepatocytes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35012.
To compare the molecular and biologic signatures of a balanced dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α/γ agonist, aleglitazar, with tesaglitazar (a dual PPAR-α/γ agonist) or a combination of pioglitazone (Pio; PPAR-γ agonist) and fenofibrate (Feno; PPAR-α agonist) in human hepatocytes.
Methods and Results
Gene expression microarray profiles were obtained from primary human hepatocytes treated with EC50-aligned low, medium and high concentrations of the three treatments. A systems biology approach, Causal Network Modeling, was used to model the data to infer upstream molecular mechanisms that may explain the observed changes in gene expression. Aleglitazar, tesaglitazar and Pio/Feno each induced unique transcriptional signatures, despite comparable core PPAR signaling. Although all treatments inferred qualitatively similar PPAR-α signaling, aleglitazar was inferred to have greater effects on high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels than tesaglitazar and Pio/Feno, due to a greater number of gene expression changes in pathways related to high-density and low-density lipoprotein metabolism. Distinct transcriptional and biologic signatures were also inferred for stress responses, which appeared to be less affected by aleglitazar than the comparators. In particular, Pio/Feno was inferred to increase NFE2L2 activity, a key component of the stress response pathway, while aleglitazar had no significant effect. All treatments were inferred to decrease proliferative signaling.
Aleglitazar induces transcriptional signatures related to lipid parameters and stress responses that are unique from other dual PPAR-α/γ treatments. This may underlie observed favorable changes in lipid profiles in animal and clinical studies with aleglitazar and suggests a differentiated gene profile compared with other dual PPAR-α/γ agonist treatments.
PMCID: PMC3325914  PMID: 22514701
3.  Skeletal Effects of the Saturated 3-Thia Fatty Acid Tetradecylthioacetic Acid in Rats 
PPAR Research  2011;2011:436358.
This study explores the skeletal effects of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)pan agonist tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA). Rats, without (Study I) and with ovariectomy (OVX) or sham operation (Study II), were given TTA or vehicle daily for 4 months. Bone markers in plasma, whole body and femoral bone mineral density and content (BMD and BMC), and body composition were examined. Histomorphometric and biomechanical analyses (Study I) and biomechanical and μCT analyses (Study II) of the femur were performed. Normal rats fed TTA had higher femoral BMD and increased total and cortical area in femur compared to controls. The ovariectomized groups had decreased BMD and impaired microarchitecture parameters compared to SHAM. However, the TTA OVX group maintained femoral BMC, trabecular thickness in the femoral head, and cortical volume in the femoral metaphysis as SHAM. TTA might increase BMD and exert a light preventive effect on estrogen-related bone loss in rats.
PMCID: PMC3236357  PMID: 22190907
4.  Pioglitazone-induced Reductions in Atherosclerosis Occur via Smooth Muscle Cell-specific Interaction with PPARγ 
Circulation research  2010;107(8):953-958.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) agonists attenuate atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). PPARγ, a nuclear receptor, is expressed on many cell types including smooth muscle cells (SMCs).
To determine whether a PPARγ agonist reduces angiotensin II (AngII)-induced atherosclerosis and AAAs via interaction with SMC-specific PPARγ.
Methods and Results
LDL receptor −/− mice with SMC-specific PPARγ deficiency were developed using PPARγ floxed (PPARγf/f) and SM22 Cre+ mice. PPARγf/f littermates were generated that did not express Cre (Cre0/0) or were hemizygous for Cre (Cre+/0). To assess the contribution of SMC-specific PPARγ in ligand-mediated attenuation of AngII-induced atherosclerosis and AAAs, both male and female Cre0/0 and Cre+/0 mice, were fed a fat-enriched diet with or without PPARγ agonist, pioglitazone (Pio; 20 mg/kg/day) for 5 weeks. After 1 week of feeding modified diets, mice were infused with AngII (1,000 ng/kg/min) for 4 weeks. SMC-specific PPARγ deficiency or Pio administration had no effect on plasma cholesterol concentrations. Pio administration attenuated AngII-increased systolic blood pressure equivalently in both Cre0/0 and Cre+/0 groups. SMC-specific PPARγ deficiency increased atherosclerosis in male mice. Pio administration reduced atherosclerosis only in the Cre0/0 mice, but not in mice with SMC-specific PPARγ deficiency. SMC-specific PPARγ deficiency or Pio administration had no effect on AngII-induced AAA development. Pio also did not attenuate AngII-induced MCP-1 production in PPARγ deficient SMCs.
Pio attenuates AngII-induced atherosclerosis via the interaction with SMC-specific PPARγ, but has no effect on the development of AAAs.
PMCID: PMC2963621  PMID: 20798360
AngII; atherosclerosis; smooth muscle cell; PPARγ; Pioglitazone
5.  Improved insulin sensitivity after treatment of PPARγ and PPARα ligands is mediated by genetically modulated transcripts 
Pharmacogenetics and Genomics  2012;22(7):484-497.
We aimed to define effects of PPARγ and PPARα agonist mono and combination therapy on adipose tissue and skeletal muscle gene expression in relation to insulin sensitivity. We further investigated the role of genetic polymorphisms in PPAR ligand-modulated genes in transcriptional regulation and glucose homeostasis.
Genome-wide transcript profiles of subcutaneous adipose and skeletal muscle and metabolic phenotypes were determined before and after 10 weeks of pioglitazone and fenofibrate mono or combination therapy in 26 subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. To establish the functional role of SNPs in genes modulated by pioglitazone alone or in combination with fenofibrate, we interrogated genome-wide association data of continuous glycemic phenotypes from the MAGIC study and adipose eQTL data from the MuTHER study.
PPARγ, alone or in combination with PPARα agonists, mediated up-regulation of genes involved in the TCA cycle, branched chain amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, PPAR signaling, AMPK and cAMP signaling, and insulin signaling pathways, and downregulation of genes in antigen processing and presentation, immune and inflammatory response in adipose tissue. Remarkably few changes were found in muscle. Strong enrichment of genes involved in propanoate metabolism, fatty acid elongation in mitochondria, and acetyl-CoA metabolic process were observed only in adipose tissue of the combined pioglitazone and fenofibrate treatment group. After interrogating MAGIC data, SNPs in 22 genes modulated by PPAR ligands were associated with fasting plasma glucose and the expression of 28 transcripts modulated by PPAR ligands was under control of local genetic regulators (cis-eQTLs) in adipose tissue of MuTHER study twins.
We found differences in transcriptional mechanisms that may describe insulin sensitizing effects of PPARγ agonist monotherapy or in combination with PPARα agonist. The regulatory and glucose homeostasis trait-associated SNPs in PPAR agonist-modulated genes are important candidates for future studies that may explain the inter-individual variability in response to thiazolidinedione and fenofibrate treatment.
PMCID: PMC3376224  PMID: 22437669
insulin resistance; gene expression profile; muscle; adipose; pioglitazone; fenofibrate; eQTL
6.  Effects of Low Doses of Pioglitazone on Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Conscious Rat Brain 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117973.
Pioglitazone (PIO) is a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) agonist in clinical use for treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Accumulating evidence suggests PPARγ agonists may be useful for treating or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), possibly via actions on mitochondria, and that dose strengths lower than those clinically used for T2DM may be efficacious. Our major objective was to determine if low doses of pioglitazone, administered orally, impacted brain activity. We measured blood-oxygenation-level dependent (BOLD) low-frequency fluctuations in conscious rats to map changes in brain resting-state functional connectivity due to daily, oral dosing with low-dose PIO. The connectivity in two neural circuits exhibited significant changes compared with vehicle after two days of treatment with PIO at 0.08 mg/kg/day. After 7 days of treatment with a range of PIO dose-strengths, connections between 17 pairs of brain regions were significantly affected. Functional connectivity with the CA1 region of the hippocampus, a region that is involved in memory and is affected early in the progression of AD, was specifically investigated in a seed-based analysis. This approach revealed that the spatial pattern of CA1 connectivity was consistent among all dose groups at baseline, prior to treatment with PIO, and in the control group imaged on day 7. Compared to baseline and controls, increased connectivity to CA1 was observed regionally in the hypothalamus and ventral thalamus in all PIO-treated groups, but was least pronounced in the group treated with the highest dose of PIO. These data support our hypothesis that PIO modulates neuronal and/or cerebrovascular function at dose strengths significantly lower than those used to treat T2DM and therefore may be a useful therapy for neurodegenerative diseases including AD.
PMCID: PMC4324644  PMID: 25671601
7.  Anti-inflammatory properties of a dual PPARgamma/alpha agonist muraglitazar in in vitro and in vivo models 
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists are widely used drugs in the treatment of diabetes and dyslipidemia. In addition to their metabolic effects, PPAR isoforms PPARα and PPARγ are also involved in the regulation of immune responses and inflammation. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a dual PPARγ/α agonist muraglitazar on inflammatory gene expression in activated macrophages and on carrageenan-induced inflammation in the mouse.
J774 murine macrophages were activated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and treated with dual PPARγ/α agonist muraglitazar, PPARγ agonist GW1929 or PPARα agonist fenofibrate. The effects of PPAR agonists on cytokine production and the activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) pathway were investigated by ELISA, Griess method, Western blotting and quantitative RT-PCR. Nuclear translocation, DNA-binding activity and reporter gene assays were used to assess the activity of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) transcription factor. Carrageenan-induced paw oedema was used as an in vivo model of acute inflammation.
Muraglitazar as well as PPARγ agonist GW1929 and PPARα agonist fenofibrate inhibited LPS-induced iNOS expression and NO production in activated macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of iNOS expression by muraglitazar included both transcriptional and post-transcriptional components; the former being shared by GW1929 and the latter by fenofibrate. All tested PPAR agonists also inhibited IL-6 production, while TNFα production was reduced by muraglitazar and GW1929, but not by fenofibrate. Interestingly, the anti-inflammatory properties of muraglitazar were also translated in vivo. This was evidenced by the finding that muraglitazar inhibited carrageenan-induced paw inflammation in a dose-dependent manner in mice as did iNOS inhibitor L-NIL and anti-inflammatory steroid dexamethasone.
These results show that muraglitazar has anti-inflammatory properties both in vitro and in vivo and these effects reflect the agonistic action through both PPARα and PPARγ.
PMCID: PMC4060226  PMID: 23594962
8.  Uncoupling Protein-2 Expression and Effects on Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Oxidant Stress in Heart Tissue 
Translational Research  2011;159(5):383-390.
Myocardial uncoupling protein (UCP)-2 is increased with chronic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) stimulation but the effect on membrane potential and superoxide is unclear. Wild type (WT) and UCP-2 knock-out (KO) mice were given a 3-week diet of control (C) or the PPAR γ agonist pioglitazone (50 μg/gram-chow per day) (PIO). In isolated mitochondria, UCP-2 content by Western blots, membrane potential (ΔΨm) by tetraphenylphosphonium (TPP) and relative superoxide levels by dihydroethidium (DHE) were measured. Oxygen respiration was determined at baseline and following 10 minutes anoxia-reoxygenation. PIO induced a 2-fold increase in UCP-2 and nuclear-bound PGC1α in WT mice with no UCP-2 expression in KO mice. Mitochondrial ΔΨm from WT mice on C and PIO diets was −166±4 mv and −147±6 mV respectively (P<0.05) and were lower than UCP-2 KO mice on C and PIO (−180±4 and −180±4 mv respectively; P<0.05). Maximal complex III inhibitable superoxide from WT mice on C and PIO diets was 22.5±1.3 and 17.8±1.1 AU respectively (P<0.05) and were lower than UCP-2 KO on C and PIO (32.9±2.3 and 29.2±1.9 AU respectively; P<0.05). Post-anoxia, the respiratory control index (RCI) in mitochondria from WT mice with and without PIO was 2.5±0.3 and 2.4±0.2 respectively and exceeded that of UCP-2 KO mice on C and PIO (1.2±0.1 and 1.4±0.1 respectively (P<0.05). In summary, chronic PPARγ stimulation leads to depolarization of the inner membrane and reduced superoxide of isolated heart mitochondria, which was critically dependent upon increased expression of UCP-2. UCP-2 expression affords resistance to brief anoxia-reoxygenation.
PMCID: PMC3328031  PMID: 22500511
9.  Protective and Antioxidant Effects of PPARα in the Ischemic Retina 
Previous studies have demonstrated that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARα) agonists have therapeutic effects in diabetic retinopathy, although the mechanism of action remains incompletely understood. The purpose of this study was to evaluate PPARα's protective effects in the ischemic retina, and to delineate its molecular mechanism of action.
For the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model, wild-type (WT), and PPARα knockout (PPARα−/−) mice were exposed to 75% O2 from postnatal day 7 (P7) to P12 and treated with the PPARα agonist fenofibric acid (Feno-FA) from P12 to P16. At P17, the effects of Feno-FA on retinal glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, apoptotic DNA cleavage, and TUNEL labeling were analyzed. Cultured retinal cells were exposed to CoCl2 to induce hypoxia, and TUNEL staining and 5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein dye were used to measure apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Western blotting was used to measure GFAP levels and cell signaling.
Feno-FA decreased retinal apoptosis and oxidative stress in WT but not PPARα−/− OIR mice. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha knockout OIR mice showed increased retinal cell death and glial activation in comparison to WT OIR mice. Feno-FA treatment and PPARα overexpression protected cultured retinal cells from hypoxic cell death and decreased ROS levels. Nuclear hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIF-1α) and nicotine adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase-4 (Nox 4) were increased in OIR retinas and downregulated by Feno-FA in WT but not in PPARα−/− mice.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha has a potent antiapoptotic effect in the ischemic retina. This protective effect may be mediated in part through downregulation of HIF-1α/Nox 4 and consequently alleviation of oxidative stress.
Activation and over-expression of PPARα protected retinal cells against ischemia-induced apoptosis. Further, PPARα ablation exacerbated ischemia-induced retinal glial activation and cell death. PPARα alleviated oxidative stress under ischemia via down-regulation of NADPH Oxidase 4 expression.
PMCID: PMC4109406  PMID: 24825105
apoptosis; diabetic retinopathy; HIF-1; hypoxia; ischemia; neurodegeneration; OIR
10.  Rosiglitazone and fenofibrate improve insulin sensitivity of pre-diabetic OLETF rats by reducing malonyl-CoA levels in the liver and skeletal muscle 
Life sciences  2009;84(19-20):688-695.
Rosiglitazone and fenofibrate, specific agonists of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptors-γ (PPARγ) and -α (PPARα), respectively, improve insulin sensitivity in diabetic animals and in patients with type 2 diabetes. Here we investigated how pre-diabetic Otsuka Long–Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats fed with normal and high-fat diets respond to these PPAR agonists.
Main methods
Pre-diabetic OLETF rats were subjected to high-fat or standard diets with or without rosiglitazone or fenofibrate for 2 weeks. The metabolism of the rats and the levels of malonyl-CoA and activities of malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in metabolic tissues were assessed.
Key findings
Rosiglitazone and fenofibrate significantly improved insulin sensitivity and reduced the levels of plasma triglycerides and free fatty acids in OLETF rats fed with a high-fat diet. Fenofibrate particularly reduced the body weight, fat, and total cholesterol in high fat diet OLETF rats. The highly elevated malonyl-CoA levels in the skeletal muscle and liver of OLETF rat were significantly reduced by rosiglitazone or fenofibrate due to, in part, the increased MCD activities and expression. On the other hand, ACC activities were unchanged in skeletal muscle and decreased in liver in high fat diet group. AMPK activities were dramatically decreased in OLETF rats and not affected by these agonists.
These results demonstrate that treatment of pre-diabetic OLETF rats–particularly those fed a high-fat diet–with rosiglitazone and fenofibrate significantly improves insulin sensitivity and fatty acid metabolism by increasing the activity of MCD and reducing malonyl-CoA levels in the liver and skeletal muscle.
PMCID: PMC2905871  PMID: 19250943
PPARγ; PPARα agonists; Rosiglitazone; Fenofibrate; Malonyl-CoA; Malonyl-CoA decarboxylase; Acetyl-CoA carboxylase
11.  Differential Effects of Short-Term Treatment with Two AT1 Receptor Blockers on Diameter of Pial Arterioles in SHR 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e42469.
Chronic treatment with angiotensin receptor blockers is largely accepted for protecting cerebral circulation during hypertension, but beneficial effects of short-term treatments are questionable, as highlighted by the recent SCAST trial. We compared the impact of 10 days treatment with candesartan (as SCAST) versus telmisartan (previously described to reverse arteriolar remodeling, chronic treatment) on pial arterioles of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). We explored whether PPAR-gamma agonist activity or AT1 receptor blockade are involved in their differential effects. In the first study, 4-month-old male SHR were treated with telmisartan (TELMI, 2 mg/kg per day) or candesartan cilexetil (CANDE, 10 mg/kg per day) and compared to vehicle treated SHR and normotensive WKY. In a second study, SHR were treated with CANDE, pioglitazone (a PPAR-gamma agonist, PIO 2.5 mg/kg per day) or CANDE+PIO, compared to TELMI. Internal diameter of pial arterioles (ID, cranial window) was measured at baseline, during hemorrhage-induced hypotension, or following suffusion of Ang II (10−6 mol/L) or EDTA inactivation of smooth muscle cells (passive ID). PPAR-gamma and eNOS (target gene of PPAR-gamma) mRNA were evaluated in brain microvessels. For similar antihypertensive effects, TELMI (+44% versus SHR), but not CANDE, increased baseline ID. During hemorrhage, ID in TELMI group was similar to WKY, while ID in SHR and CANDE remained lower. In the second study, TELMI (+36%, versus SHR) and CANDE+PIO (+43%) increased baseline ID, but not CANDE or PIO alone. TELMI (−66%) and CANDE+PIO (−69%), but neither CANDE nor PIO alone, decreased Ang II-induced vasoconstriction. CANDE+PIO, but not CANDE, increased passive ID. In both studies, PPAR-gamma and eNOS expressions were higher in TELMI than CANDE.
Short-term treatment with TELMI, but not with CANDE, reverses narrowing of pial arteriolar ID in SHR. This may involve PPAR-gamma related mechanisms, since CANDE+PIO treatment induced similar effects, and a better blockade of AT1 receptors.
PMCID: PMC3434186  PMID: 22957022
12.  Effects of Long-Term Pioglitazone Treatment on Peripheral and Central Markers of Aging 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10405.
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and are used clinically to help restore peripheral insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Interestingly, long-term treatment of mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with TZDs also has been shown to reduce several well-established brain biomarkers of AD including inflammation, oxidative stress and Aβ accumulation. While TZD's actions in AD models help to elucidate the mechanisms underlying their potentially beneficial effects in AD patients, little is known about the functional consequences of TZDs in animal models of normal aging. Because aging is a common risk factor for both AD and T2DM, we investigated whether the TZD, pioglitazone could alter brain aging under non-pathological conditions.
Methods and Findings
We used the F344 rat model of aging, and monitored behavioral, electrophysiological, and molecular variables to assess the effects of pioglitazone (PIO-Actos® a TZD) on several peripheral (blood and liver) and central (hippocampal) biomarkers of aging. Starting at 3 months or 17 months of age, male rats were treated for 4–5 months with either a control or a PIO-containing diet (final dose approximately 2.3 mg/kg body weight/day). A significant reduction in the Ca2+-dependent afterhyperpolarization was seen in the aged animals, with no significant change in long-term potentiation maintenance or learning and memory performance. Blood insulin levels were unchanged with age, but significantly reduced by PIO. Finally, a combination of microarray analyses on hippocampal tissue and serum-based multiplex cytokine assays revealed that age-dependent inflammatory increases were not reversed by PIO.
While current research efforts continue to identify the underlying processes responsible for the progressive decline in cognitive function seen during normal aging, available medical treatments are still very limited. Because TZDs have been shown to have benefits in age-related conditions such as T2DM and AD, our study was aimed at elucidating PIO's potentially beneficial actions in normal aging. Using a clinically-relevant dose and delivery method, long-term PIO treatment was able to blunt several indices of aging but apparently affected neither age-related cognitive decline nor peripheral/central age-related increases in inflammatory signaling.
PMCID: PMC2861595  PMID: 20454453
13.  Peroxisome Proliferator Activator Receptor (PPAR)-γ Ligand, but Not PPAR-α, Ameliorates Cyclophosphamide-Induced Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Rat Liver 
PPAR Research  2014;2014:626319.
Hepatoprotective potential of peroxisome proliferator activator receptor (PPAR)-α and -γ agonists, fenofibrate (FEN), and pioglitazone (PIO), respectively, against cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced toxicity has been investigated in rat. FEN and PIO (150 and 10 mg/kg/day, resp.) were given orally for 4 weeks. In separate groups, CP (150 mg/kg, i.p.) was injected as a single dose 5 days before the end of experiment, with or without either PPAR agonist. CP induced hepatotoxicity, as it caused histopathological alterations, with increased serum alanine and aspartate transaminases, total bilirubin, albumin, alkaline phosphatase and lactate dehydrogenase. CP caused hepatic oxidative stress, indicated by decrease in tissue reduced glutathione, with increase in malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels. CP also caused decrease in hepatic antioxidant enzyme levels, including catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione S-transferase. Furthermore, CP increased serum and hepatic levels of the inflammatory marker tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, evaluated using ELISA. Preadministration of PIO, but not FEN, prior to CP challenge improved hepatic function and histology, and significantly reversed oxidative and inflammatory parameters. In conclusion, activation of PPAR-γ, but not PPAR-α, conferred protection against CP-induced hepatotoxicity, via activation of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms, and may serve as supplement during CP chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3996363  PMID: 24803924
The Journal of endocrinology  2013;219(2):109-117.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity are very serious health problems in both developed and developing countries. Increased level of growth hormone (GH) is known to promote insulin resistance. Transgenic (Tg) mice over-expressing bovine GH are short-living and characterized, among others, by hyperinsulinemia and increased insulin resistance in comparison to normal (N) mice. Pioglitazone (PIO) is a member of the thiazolidinediones – group of insulin-sensitizing drugs which are selective agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). The aim of the study was to analyze the effects of PIO on the insulin signaling pathway in Tg and N mice. Plasma levels of insulin and glucose as well as hepatic levels of proteins involved in insulin signaling were analyzed by ELISA or western blot methods. Treatment with PIO decreased plasma level of glucose in N mice only. Similarly, PIO increased insulin sensitivity (expressed as the Relative Insulin Sensitivity Index; RISI) only in N mice. In the liver, PIO decreased the phosphorylation of IRS1 at a serine residue (Ser307-pS-IRS1), that inhibits insulin action, and had a tendency to increase tyrosine phosphorylation of IRS2 (Tyr-pY-IRS2) only in N mice but did not affect either of these parameters in Tg mice. Levels of total and phosphorylated mTOR were increased in Tg mice. Moreover, the AKT2 level was decreased by PIO in N mice only. In conclusion, the lack of improvement of insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant Tg mice during PIO treatment suggests that chronically elevated GH level can inhibit the beneficial effects of PIO on insulin signaling.
PMCID: PMC3811004  PMID: 23946430
pioglitazone; insulin signaling; growth hormone; transgenic mice
15.  Specific Thiazolidinediones Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Cell Line Proliferation and Cause Cell Cycle Arrest in a PPARγ Independent Manner 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e16179.
Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonists, such as the thiazolinediones (TZDs), have been studied for their potential use as cancer therapeutic agents. We investigated the effect of four TZDs—Rosiglitazone (Rosi), Ciglitazone (CGZ), Troglitazone (TGZ), and Pioglitazone (Pio)—on ovarian cancer cell proliferation, PPARγ expression and PPAR luciferase reporter activity. We explored whether TZDs act in a PPARγ dependent or independent manner by utilizing molecular approaches to inhibit or overexpress PPARγ activity.
Principal Findings
Treatment with CGZ or TGZ for 24 hours decreased proliferation in three ovarian cancer cell lines, Ovcar3, CaOv3, and Skov3, whereas Rosi and Pio had no effect. This decrease in Ovcar3 cell proliferation was due to a higher fraction of cells in the G0/G1 stage of the cell cycle. CGZ and TGZ treatment increased apoptosis after 4 hours of treatment but not after 8 or 12 hours. Treatment with TGZ or CGZ increased PPARγ mRNA expression in Ovcar3 cells; however, protein levels were unchanged. Surprisingly, luciferase promoter assays revealed that none of the TZDs increased PPARγ activity. Overexpression of wild type PPARγ increased reporter activity. This was further augmented by TGZ, Rosi, and Pio indicating that these cells have the endogenous capacity to mediate PPARγ transactivation. To determine whether PPARγ mediates the TZD-induced decrease in proliferation, cells were treated with CGZ or TGZ in the absence or presence of a dominant negative (DN) or wild type overexpression PPARγ construct. Neither vector changed the TZD-mediated cell proliferation suggesting this effect of TZDs on ovarian cancer cells may be PPARγ independent.
CGZ and TGZ cause a decrease in ovarian cancer cell proliferation that is PPARγ independent. This concept is supported by the finding that a DN or overexpression of the wild type PPARγ did not affect the changes in cell proliferation and cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC3025024  PMID: 21283708
16.  Combining β-adrenergic and peroxisome proliferator—activated receptor γ stimulation improves lipoprotein composition in healthy moderately obese subjects 
Current pharmacological regimens for hypertriglyceridemia and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are limited to the peroxisome proliferator—activated receptor (PPAR) α activating fibrates, niacin, and statins. This pilot study examined the impact of simultaneous stimulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate with a β-adrenergic agonist and PPARγ with pioglitazone (PIO) on lipoprotein composition in moderately obese, healthy subjects. Subjects were treated with PIO (45 mg) to stimulate PPARγ or a combination of ephedrine (25 mg TID), a β-agonist, with caffeine (200 mg TID), a phosphodiesterase inhibitor (ephedrine plus caffeine), or both for 16 weeks. Lipoproteins were separated by gradient ultracentrifugation into very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and 3 HDL (L, M, and D) subfractions. Apolipoproteins were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. PIO alone reduced the core triglyceride (TG) content relative to cholesterol ester (CE) in VLDL (−40%), IDL (−25%), and HDL-M (−38%). Ephedrine plus caffeine alone reduced LDL CE (−13%), phospholipids (−9%), and apolipoprotein (apo) B (−13%); increased HDL-M LpA-I (HDL containing apoA-I without apoA-II, 28%), CE/TG (23%), and CE/apoA-I (8%) while reducing apoA-II (−10%); and increased HDL-L LpA-I (29%). Combination therapy reduced total plasma TG (−28%), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C, −10%), apoB(−16%), apoB/apoA-I ratio(−21%), while increasing HDL cholesterol (HDL-C, 21%), total plasma apoA-I (12%), LpA-I (43%), and apoC-I (26%). It also reduced VLDL total mass (−34%) and apoC-III (−39%), LDL CE (−13%), apoB (−13%), and total mass (−11%). Combination therapy increased HDL-L CE/TG (32%), apoC-I (30%), apoA-I (56%), and LpA-I (70%), as well as HDL-M CE (35%), phospholipids (24%), total mass (19%), apoC-I (25%), apoA-I (18%), and LpA-I (56%). In conclusion, simultaneous β-adrenergic and PPARγ activation produced beneficial effects on VLDL, LDL, HDL-L, and HDL-M. Perhaps the most important impact of combination therapy was dramatic increases in LpA-I and apoC-I in HDL-L and HDL-M, which were much greater than the sum of the monotherapies. Because LpA-I appears to be the most efficient mediator of reverse-cholesterol transport and a major negative risk factor for cardiovascular disease, this combination therapy may provide very effective treatment of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC2597222  PMID: 16324916
17.  Effects of Growth Hormone and Pioglitazone in Viscerally Obese Adults with Impaired Glucose Tolerance: A Factorial Clinical Trial 
PLoS Clinical Trials  2007;2(5):e21.
Recombinant human growth hormone (GH) and pioglitazone (PIO) in abdominally obese adults with impaired glucose tolerance were evaluated under the hypothesis that the combination attenuates GH-induced increases in glucose concentrations, reduces visceral adipose tissue (VAT), and improves insulin sensitivity over time.
Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 2 × 2 factorial design.
Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, United States.
62 abdominally obese adults aged 40–75 with impaired glucose tolerance.
GH (8 μg/kg/d, or placebo) and pioglitazone (30 mg/d, or placebo) for 40 wk.
Outcome Measures:
Baseline and after 40 wk of treatment, VAT content was quantified by CT scan, glucose tolerance was assessed using a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test, and insulin sensitivity was measured using steady-state plasma glucose levels obtained during insulin suppression test.
Baseline: body mass index (BMI), plasma glucose, and visceral fat content were similar. 40 wk: visceral fat area declined 23.9 ± 7.4 cm2 in GH group, mean difference from placebo: −28.1 cm2 (95% CI −49.9 to −6.3 cm2; p = 0.02). Insulin resistance declined 52 ± 11.8 mg/dl with PIO, mean difference from placebo of −58.8 mg/dl (95% CI −99.7 to −18.0 mg/dl; p = 0.01). VAT and SSPG declined with GH and PIO combined, mean differences from placebo of −31.4 cm2 (95% CI −56.5 cm2 to −6.3 cm2; p = 0.02) and −55.3 mg/dl (95% CI −103.9 to −6.7 mg/dl; p = 0.02), respectively. Fasting plasma glucose increased transiently in GH group. No significant changes in BMI were observed.
Addition of PIO to GH attenuated the short-term diabetogenic effect of GH; the drug combination reduced VAT and insulin resistance over time. GH plus PIO may have added benefit on body composition and insulin sensitivity in the metabolic syndrome.
Editorial Commentary
Background: People who are overweight are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly if they have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). When an individual has IGT, their cells are not able to respond properly to insulin in the blood, which means that blood sugar levels can remain high, and fat cells do not take up fatty acids from blood at the rate they should. The term prediabetes is often used to refer to these linked characteristics. However, if such individuals are able to lose weight they can reduce their chances of becoming diabetic in the future. In particular, loss of a particular type of fat, the visceral fat (packed in around the internal organs, as opposed to fat immediately under the skin), is thought to be beneficial for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Some researchers have suggested that giving human growth hormone (GH) to people who are overweight might help reduce their levels of visceral fat. At the same time, drugs known as thiazolidinediones are currently used, in combination with other drugs, diet, and exercise, as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. The researchers carrying out this study wanted to find out whether combining treatment with human GH and a thiazolidinedione, pioglitazone (PIO), would reduce levels of visceral fat and improve glucose metabolism in overweight adults with IGT. The researchers specifically planned to compare the changes in these primary outcomes amongst people receiving both human GH and PIO for 40 weeks with the changes in individuals receiving placebo only; additional comparisons were also done for individuals receiving either drug alone, as compared to placebo.
What this trial shows: A total of 76 participants were randomized and received the treatment allocated to them, but only 62 participants were included in the final analyses due to losses to follow-up. The primary outcomes being compared at baseline and after 40 weeks of treatment were the change in visceral fat levels and change in individuals' sensitivity to insulin. Individuals receiving GH experienced a drop in visceral fat area over the 40 weeks of the trial, as compared to placebo, whilst PIO alone did not seem to have an effect on visceral fat area. Individuals receiving both GH and PIO, however, also showed a decrease in visceral fat area. When examining the effect on insulin resistance, GH alone did not seem to have an effect on the ability to respond to insulin. However, administration of PIO alone did bring about a decrease in insulin resistance levels, as compared to placebo, and individuals receiving both GH and PIO together also experienced a drop in insulin resistance. The trial was not designed to detect statistically significant differences in side effects between the groups studied, but some side effects, such as build-up of fluid in the limbs and joint stiffness, seemed to be more common in the groups receiving drug treatment than in the placebo group.
Strengths and limitations: Although the trial was small, enough participants were recruited to detect statistically significant changes in the primary outcomes. Strengths of the trial include the use of appropriate techniques to conceal the randomization sequence from investigators recruiting participants into the trial and blinding of both participants and investigators to the treatments that an individual would receive. However, one limitation includes the fact that the likelihood of developing diabetes was not directly measured as an outcome in this trial, and it is therefore not possible to conclude from these results that administration of GH, PIO, or both combined, will help prevent diabetes amongst overweight people with IGT. Finally, this trial compared the drug interventions directly with placebo and not with behavioral interventions such as diet and exercise, which are normally recommended for the prevention of diabetes amongst overweight people. It would be important to further investigate the efficacy, harms, and costs of these drugs directly against nondrug interventions before making any recommendations about their clinical use.
Contribution to the evidence: Other studies have shown that PIO administration has beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. This study adds evidence confirming that PIO is likely to have similar effects in people who are not diabetic but who are overweight and who have IGT. The study also adds data regarding the effect of PIO and GH combined in such populations; giving both drugs together seemed to have beneficial effects on visceral fat area and insulin sensitivity, as compared to placebo.
PMCID: PMC1865086  PMID: 17479164
18.  Pioglitazone is as effective as dexamethasone in a cockroach allergen-induced murine model of asthma 
Respiratory Research  2007;8(1):90.
While glucocorticoids are currently the most effective therapy for asthma, associated side effects limit enthusiasm for their use. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) activators include the synthetic thiazolidinediones (TZDs) which exhibit anti-inflammatory effects that suggest usefulness in diseases such as asthma. How the ability of TZDs to modulate the asthmatic response compares to that of glucocorticoids remains unclear, however, because these two nuclear receptor agonists have never been studied concurrently. Additionally, effects of PPAR-γ agonists have never been examined in a model involving an allergen commonly associated with human asthma.
We compared the effectiveness of the PPAR-γ agonist pioglitazone (PIO) to the established effectiveness of a glucocorticoid receptor agonist, dexamethasone (DEX), in a murine model of asthma induced by cockroach allergen (CRA). After sensitization to CRA and airway localization by intranasal instillation of the allergen, Balb/c mice were challenged twice at 48-h intervals with intratracheal CRA. Either PIO (25 mg/kg/d), DEX (1 mg/kg/d), or vehicle was administered throughout the period of airway CRA exposure.
PIO and DEX demonstrated similar abilities to reduce airway hyperresponsiveness, pulmonary recruitment of inflammatory cells, serum IgE, and lung levels of IL-4, IL-5, TNF-α, TGF-β, RANTES, eotaxin, MIP3-α, Gob-5, and Muc5-ac. Likewise, intratracheal administration of an adenovirus containing a constitutively active PPAR-γ expression construct blocked CRA induction of Gob-5 and Muc5-ac.
Given the potent effectiveness shown by PIO, we conclude that PPAR-γ agonists deserve investigation as potential therapies for human asthma.
PMCID: PMC2231357  PMID: 18053220
19.  Fenofibrate administration to arthritic rats increases adiponectin and leptin and prevents oxidative muscle wasting 
Endocrine Connections  2012;1(1):1-12.
Chronic inflammation induces skeletal muscle wasting and cachexia. In arthritic rats, fenofibrate, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα (PPARA)) agonist, reduces wasting of gastrocnemius, a predominantly glycolytic muscle, by decreasing atrogenes and myostatin. Considering that fenofibrate increases fatty acid oxidation, the aim of this study was to elucidate whether fenofibrate is able to prevent the effect of arthritis on serum adipokines and on soleus, a type I muscle in which oxidative metabolism is the dominant source of energy. Arthritis was induced by injection of Freund's adjuvant. Four days after the injection, control and arthritic rats were gavaged daily with fenofibrate (300 mg/kg bw) or vehicle over 12 days. Arthritis decreased serum leptin, adiponectin, and insulin (P<0.01) but not resistin levels. In arthritic rats, fenofibrate administration increased serum concentrations of leptin and adiponectin. Arthritis decreased soleus weight, cross-sectional area, fiber size, and its Ppar α mRNA expression. In arthritic rats, fenofibrate increased soleus weight, fiber size, and Ppar α expression and prevented the increase in Murf1 mRNA. Fenofibrate decreased myostatin, whereas it increased MyoD (Myod1) and myogenin expressions in the soleus of control and arthritic rats. These data suggest that in oxidative muscle, fenofibrate treatment is able to prevent arthritis-induced muscle wasting by decreasing Murf1 and myostatin expression and also by increasing the myogenic regulatory factors, MyoD and myogenin. Taking into account the beneficial action of adiponectin on muscle wasting and the correlation between adiponectin and soleus mass, part of the anticachectic action of fenofibrate may be mediated through stimulation of adiponectin secretion.
PMCID: PMC3681315  PMID: 23781298
adjuvant-induced arthritis; oxidative muscle; adiponectin; leptin; PPAR alpha; fenofibrate; MyoD; myogenin; myostatin; Murf1; Insulin
20.  Pioglitazone Suppresses Inflammation In Vivo In Murine Carotid Atherosclerosis: Novel Detection by Dual-Target Fluorescence Molecular Imaging 
Anti-inflammatory actions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ agonists such as pioglitazone (PIO) may underlie their reported but incompletely understood repression of atherosclerosis. This molecular imaging study investigated the effects of pioglitazone on plaque matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and macrophage responses in vivo.
Methods and Results
In vitro, pioglitazone suppressed MMP-9 mRNA expression in murine peritoneal macrophages (P<0.05). To assess pioglitazone's effects on plaque inflammation, nondiabetic apoE−/− mice on high-cholesterol diet (HCD) received a MMP-activatable fluorescence imaging agent and a spectrally-distinct macrophage-avid fluorescent nanoparticle. After 24 hours, mice underwent survival dual-target intravital fluorescence microscopy (IVFM) of carotid arterial plaques. These mice were then randomized to HCD or HCD+PIO 0.012% for 8 weeks, followed by a second IVFM study of the same carotid plaque. In the HCD group, in vivo MMP and macrophage target-to-background ratios (TBRs) increased similarly (P<0.01 vs. baseline). In contrast, pioglitazone reduced MMP and macrophage TBRs (P<0.01 vs. HCD). Changes in MMP and macrophage signals correlated strongly (r-values≥0.75). Microscopy demonstrated MMP and macrophage reductions in pioglitazone-treated mice, as well as a PIO-modulated increase in plaque collagen.
Serial optical molecular imaging demonstrates that plaque MMP and macrophage activity in vivo intensify with hypercholesterolemia and are reduced by pioglitazone therapy.
PMCID: PMC3030475  PMID: 20689078
atherosclerosis; pioglitazone; inflammation; molecular imaging; fluorescence
21.  Effects of PPARs Agonists on Cardiac Metabolism in Littermate and Cardiomyocyte-Specific PPAR-γ –Knockout (CM-PGKO) Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35999.
Understanding the molecular regulatory mechanisms controlling for myocardial lipid metabolism is of critical importance for the development of new therapeutic strategies for heart diseases. The role of PPARγ and thiazolidinediones in regulation of myocardial lipid metabolism is controversial. The aim of our study was to assess the role of PPARγ on myocardial lipid metabolism and function and differentiate local/from systemic actions of PPARs agonists using cardiomyocyte-specific PPARγ –knockout (CM-PGKO) mice. To this aim, the effect of PPARγ, PPARγ/PPARα and PPARα agonists on cardiac function, intra-myocyte lipid accumulation and myocardial expression profile of genes and proteins, affecting lipid oxidation, uptake, synthesis, and storage (CD36, CPT1MIIA, AOX, FAS, SREBP1-c and ADPR) was evaluated in cardiomyocyte-specific PPARγ –knockout (CM-PGKO) and littermate control mice undergoing standard and high fat diet (HFD). At baseline, protein levels and mRNA expression of genes involved in lipid uptake, oxidation, synthesis, and accumulation of CM-PGKO mice were not significantly different from those of their littermate controls. At baseline, no difference in myocardial lipid content was found between CM-PGKO and littermate controls. In standard condition, pioglitazone and rosiglitazone do not affect myocardial metabolism while, fenofibrate treatment significantly increased CD36 and CPT1MIIA gene expression. In both CM-PGKO and control mice submitted to HFD, six weeks of treatment with rosiglitazone, fenofibrate and pioglitazone lowered myocardial lipid accumulation shifting myocardial substrate utilization towards greater contribution of glucose. In conclusion, at baseline, PPARγ does not play a crucial role in regulating cardiac metabolism in mice, probably due to its low myocardial expression. PPARs agonists, indirectly protect myocardium from lipotoxic damage likely reducing fatty acids delivery to the heart through the actions on adipose tissue. Nevertheless a direct non- PPARγ mediated mechanism of PPARγ agonist could not be ruled out.
PMCID: PMC3338561  PMID: 22563432
22.  The Role of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor and Effects of Its Agonist, Pioglitazone, on a Rat Model of Optic Nerve Crush: PPARγ in Retinal Neuroprotection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e68935.
It has been shown that peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is beneficial for central nervous system injury. However its role on optic nerve injury remains unknown. In the present study, we examined the change of PPARγ expression in rat retina following optic nerve injury and investigated the effect of pioglitazone (Pio), a PPARγ agonist, on retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) neuroprotection using a rat optic nerve crush (ONC) model. Our results showed that PPARγ mRNA and protein levels were increased after ONC, and most of PPARγ-immunoreactive cells colocalized with Müller cells. Pio treatment significantly enhanced the number of surviving RGCs and inhibited RGCs apoptosis induced by ONC. However, when PPARγ antagonist GW9662 was used, these neuroprotective effects were abolished. In addition, pio attenuated Müller cell activation after ONC. These results indicate that PPARγ appears to protect RGCs from ONC possibly via the reduction of Müller glial activation. It provides evidence that activation of PPARγ may be a potential alternative treatment for RGCs neuroprotection.
PMCID: PMC3715510  PMID: 23874818
23.  Effect of the combination of metformin and fenofibrate on glucose homeostasis in diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats 
Metformin has been reported to increase the expression of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor in pancreatic beta cells in a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α-dependent manner. We investigated whether a PPARα agonist, fenofibrate, exhibits an additive or synergistic effect on glucose metabolism, independent of its lipid-lowering effect, when added to metformin. Non-obese diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats were divided into four groups and treated for 28 days with metformin, fenofibrate, metformin plus fenofibrate or vehicle. The random blood glucose levels, body weights, food intake and serum lipid profiles were not significantly different among the groups. After 4 weeks, metformin, but not fenofibrate, markedly reduced the blood glucose levels during oral glucose tolerance tests, and this effect was attenuated by adding fenofibrate. Metformin increased the expression of the GLP-1 receptor in pancreatic islets, whereas fenofibrate did not. During the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests with the injection of a GLP-1 analog, metformin and/or fenofibrate did not alter the insulin secretory responses. In conclusion, fenofibrate did not confer any beneficial effect on glucose homeostasis but reduced metformin's glucose-lowering activity in GK rats, thus discouraging the addition of fenofibrate to metformin to improve glycemic control.
PMCID: PMC3731660  PMID: 23827952
fenofibrate; glucagon-like peptide-1; Goto-Kakizaki rats; metformin; peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha
24.  PPAR Agonist-Induced Reduction of Mcp1 in Atherosclerotic Plaques of Obese, Insulin-Resistant Mice Depends on Adiponectin-Induced Irak3 Expression 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62253.
Synthetic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists are used to treat dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. In this study, we examined molecular mechanisms that explain differential effects of a PPARα agonist (fenofibrate) and a PPARγ agonist (rosiglitazone) on macrophages during obesity-induced atherogenesis. Twelve-week-old mice with combined leptin and LDL-receptor deficiency (DKO) were treated with fenofibrate, rosiglitazone or placebo for 12 weeks. Only rosiglitazone improved adipocyte function, restored insulin sensitivity, and inhibited atherosclerosis by decreasing lipid-loaded macrophages. In addition, it increased interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-3 (Irak3) and decreased monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (Mcp1) expressions, indicative of a switch from M1 to M2 macrophages. The differences between fenofibrate and rosiglitazone were independent of Pparγ expression. In bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM), we identified the rosiglitazone-associated increase in adiponectin as cause of the increase in Irak3. Interestingly, the deletion of Irak3 in BMDM (IRAK3−/− BMDM) resulted in activation of the canonical NFκB signaling pathway and increased Mcp1 protein secretion. Rosiglitazone could not decrease the elevated Mcp1 secretion in IRAK3−/− BMDM directly and fenofibrate even increased the secretion, possibly due to increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production. Furthermore, aortic extracts of high-fat insulin-resistant LDL-receptor deficient mice, with lower adiponectin and Irak3 and higher Mcp1, showed accelerated atherosclerosis. In aggregate, our results emphasize an interaction between PPAR agonist-mediated increase in adiponectin and macrophage-associated Irak3 in the protection against atherosclerosis by PPAR agonists.
PMCID: PMC3631170  PMID: 23620818
25.  Cardioprotective effects of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ activators on acute myocarditis: anti-inflammatory actions associated with nuclear factor κB blockade 
Heart  2005;91(9):1203-1208.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that activation of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) reduces experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) associated with inhibitor κB (IκB) α induction, blockade of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), and inhibition of inflammatory cytokine expression.
Methods: EAM was induced in Lewis rats by immunisation with porcine cardiac myosin. PPAR-γ activators 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2) and pioglitazone (PIO) were administered to rats with EAM.
Results: Enhanced PPAR-γ expression was prominently stained in the nuclear and perinuclear regions of infiltrating inflammatory cells. Administration of 15d-PGJ2 and PIO greatly reduced the severity of myocarditis and suppressed myocardial mRNA and protein expression of inflammatory cytokines in rats with EAM. In addition, treatment with PPAR-γ activators enhanced IκB concentrations in the cytoplasmic fractions and nuclear fractions from inflammatory myocardium. Concurrently, NF-κB was greatly activated in myocarditis; this activation was blocked in the 15d-PGJ2 treated and PIO treated groups.
Conclusions: PPAR-γ may have a role in the pathophysiology of EAM. Because an increase in IκB expression and inhibition of translocation of the NF-κB subunit p65 to the nucleus in inflammatory cells correlated with the protective effects of PPAR-γ activators, these results suggest that PPAR-γ activators act sequentially through PPAR-γ activation, IκB induction, blockade of NF-κB activation, and inhibition of inflammatory cytokine expression. These results suggest that PPAR-γ activators such as 15d-PGJ2 and PIO may have the potential to modulate human inflammatory heart diseases such as myocarditis.
PMCID: PMC1769084  PMID: 15774612
myocarditis; immunity; PPAR-γ; NF-κB; cytokine; inflammation

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