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PPARg and the human metabolic syndrome

Mark Gurnell
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 9 Number 6: Page 332 (December 2003)

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Abstract: Obesity is associated with insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia, which together constitute the human metabolic syndrome. The development of insulin resistance is a critical step in the evolution of this disorder, and accordingly, improving insulin sensitivity, and thereby ameliorating excess vascular risk, is a primary goal for those concerned with its treatment. Recent interest has focussed on the thiazolidinediones, a novel class of antidiabetic agent, which act as insulin sensitisers, thereby targeting the underlying metabolic disturbance. These compounds are high-affinity ligands for the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g. Clinical and laboratory observations in humans harbouring genetic variations in the PPARg receptor confirm its central role in adipogenesis, glucose homeostasis, lipid metabolism, and blood pressure regulation.

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