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Atherosclerosis. 2007 Nov;195(1):17-22. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

Increased atherosclerosis following treatment with a dual PPAR agonist in the ApoE knockout mouse.

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  • 1Danielle Alberti Memorial Centre for Diabetic Complications, Baker Medical Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.



Recent reports have suggested that dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha/gamma agonists are associated with adverse cardiovascular events. This study aimed to investigate the actions of the non-thiazolidinedione PPARalpha/gamma agonist, compound 3q, on plaque development in the apolipoprotein E knockout (apoE KO) mouse, a recognised model of accelerated plaque development.


Six-week-old male apoE KO mice were randomised to receive the dual PPARalpha/gamma agonist, compound 3q (3 mg/kg/day), the PPARgamma agonist, rosiglitazone (20 mg/kg/day), the PPARalpha agonist, gemfibrozil (100 mg/kg/day) by gavage or no treatment for 20 weeks (n=12/group).


Gemfibrozil and rosiglitazone significantly reduced lesion area. However, compound 3q was associated with a three-fold increase in total plaque area (versus control p<0.001). This was associated with an upregulation of markers of plaque instability including vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (3.5-fold, p<0.001), P-selectin (3.4-fold, p<0.001) monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (3.4-fold; p<0.001) as well as the scavenger receptor, CD36 (2-fold, p<0.01). These disparate effects were observed with the dual PPAR agonist despite lowering LDL cholesterol and improving insulin sensitivity to a similar extent to PPARalpha and gamma agonists used individually.


The finding of increased atherogenesis following a dual PPARalpha/gamma agonist is consistent with recent clinical findings. These data provide an important framework for further exploring the potential utility and safety of combinatorial approaches.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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