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Curr Neuropharmacol. 2007 Mar;5(1):35-46.

Agonism of Peroxisome Proliferator Receptor-Gamma may have Therapeutic Potential for Neuroinflammation and Parkinson's Disease.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40536, USA.


Evidence suggests inflammation, mitochondria dysfunction, and oxidative stress play major roles in Parkinson's disease (PD), where the primary pathology is the significant loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN). Current methods used to treat PD focus mainly on replacing dopamine in the nigrostriatal system. However, with time these methods fail and worsen the symptoms of the disease. This implies there is more to the treatment of PD than just restoring dopamine or the dopaminergic neurons, and that a broader spectrum of factors must be changed in order to restore environmental homeostasis. Pharmacological agents that can protect against progressive neuronal degeneration, increase the level of dopamine in the nigrostriatal system, or restore the dopaminergic system offer various avenues for the treatment of PD. Drugs that reduce inflammation, restore mitochondrial function, or scavenge free radicals have also been shown to offer neuroprotection in various animal models of PD. The activation of peroxisome proliferator receptor- gamma (PPAR-gamma ) has been associated with altering insulin sensitivity, increasing dopamine, inhibiting inflammation, altering mitochondrial bioenergetics, and reducing oxidative stress - a variety of factors that are altered in PD. Therefore, PPAR-gamma activation may offer a new clinically relevant treatment approach to neuroinflammation and PD related neurodegeneration. This review will summarize the current understanding of the role of PPAR-gamma agonists in neuroinflammation and discuss their potential for the treatment of PD.


PPAR-gamma; Parkinson’s disease; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation; pioglitazone

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