Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Focus on peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR)

Alexander Tenenbaum*, Enrique Z. Fisman, Michael Motro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The metabolic syndrome is a highly prevalent clinical entity. The recent Adult Treatment Panel (ATP III) guidelines have called specific attention to the importance of targeting the cardiovascular risk factors of the metabolic syndrome as a method of risk reduction therapy. The main factors characteristic of this syndrome are abdominal obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance (with or without glucose intolerance), prothrombotic and proinflammatory states. An insulin resistance following nuclear peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) deactivation (mainly obesity-related) is the key phase of metabolic syndrome initiation. Afterwards, there are 2 principal pathways of metabolic syndrome development: 1) with preserved pancreatic beta cells function and insulin hypersecretion which can compensate for insulin resistance. This pathway leads mainly to the macrovascular complications of metabolic syndrome; 2) with massive damage of pancreatic beta cells leading to progressively decrease of insulin secretion and to hyperglycemia (e.g. overt type 2 diabetes). This pathway leads to both microvascular and macrovascular complications. We suggest that a PPAR-based appraisal of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes may improve our understanding of these diseases and set a basis for a comprehensive approach in their treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2003


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR)


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