PPARγ Physiology and Pathology in Gastrointestinal Epithelial Cells

  • Thompson, E. Aubrey (Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center)
  • Received : 2007.10.01
  • Accepted : 2007.10.03
  • Published : 2007.10.31


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma ($PPAR{\gamma}$) is expressed at very high levels in the gastrointestinal epithelium. Many of the functions of $PPAR{\gamma}$ in gastrointestinal epithelial cells have been elucidated in recent years, and a pattern is emerging which suggests that this receptor plays an important role in gastrointestinal physiology. There is also strong evidence that $PPAR{\gamma}$ is a colon cancer suppressor in pre-clinical rodent models of sporadic colon cancer, and there is considerable interest in exploitation of $PPAR{\gamma}$ agonists as prophylactic or chemopreventive agents in colon cancer. Studies in mice and in human colon cancer cell lines suggest several mechanisms that might account for the tumor suppressive effects of $PPAR{\gamma}$ agonists, although it is not in all cases clear whether these effects are altogether mediated by $PPAR{\gamma}$. Conversely, several reports suggest that $PPAR{\gamma}$ agonists may promote colon cancer under certain circumstances. This possibility warrants considerable attention since several million individuals with type II diabetes are currently taking $PPAR{\gamma}$ agonists. This review will focus on recent data related to four critical questions: what is the physiological function of $PPAR{\gamma}$ in gastrointestinal epithelial cells; how does $PPAR{\gamma}$ suppress colon carcinogenesis; is $PPAR{\gamma}$ a tumor promoter; and what is the future of $PPAR{\gamma}$ in colon cancer prevention?


Colon Cancer;Gastroenterology;Gastrointestinal Epithelial Cells;Peroxisome Proliferator-activated Receptor Gamma;Thiazolidinedione


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