Molecules and Cells

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 217-222

First online:

The nuclear receptor PPARs as important regulators of T-cell functions and autoimmune diseases

  • Je-Min ChoiAffiliated withDepartment of Life Science, Research Institute for Natural Sciences, Hanyang UniverstiyHanyang Biomedical Research Institute, Hanyang Universtiy Email author 
  • , Alfred L. M. BothwellAffiliated withDepartment of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine Email author 

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Members of the nuclear receptor superfamily function as transcription factors involved in innate and adaptive immunity as well as lipid metabolism. These highly conserved proteins participate in ligand-dependent or -independent regulatory mechanisms that affect gene expression. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which include PPARα, PPARβ/δ, and PPARΓ, are a group of nuclear receptor proteins that play diverse roles in cellular differentiation, development, and metabolism. Each PPAR subfamily is activated by different endogenous and synthetic ligands. Recent studies using specific ligand treatments and cell type-specific PPAR knockout mice have revealed important roles for these proteins in T-cell-related autoimmune diseases. Moreover, PPARs have been shown to regulate T-cell survival, activation, and CD4+ T helper cell differentiation into the Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg lineages. Here, we review the studies that provide insight into the important regulatory roles of PPARs in T-cell activation, survival, proliferation, differentiation, and autoimmune disease.


autoimmune disease nuclear receptor PPAR T cell