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Defining the metabolic effect of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ activation

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Roberts, Lee D 


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear receptors that function as ligand activated transcription factors. There are three identified isotypes: PPAR alpha, PPAR gamma and PPAR delta, together controlling the expression of genes involved in inflammation, cell differentiation, proliferation, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and energy homeostasis. The PPARs are potential targets for the treatment of dyslipidaemia, type II diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome. This thesis uses a multi-platform metabolomics approach, 13C-isotope substrate flux analysis, respirometry and transcriptomics to determine the role PPAR delta and PPAR gamma play in metabolic control both in adipose tissue and systemically. To achieve this, the metabolic phenotype of the 3T3-L1 adipocyte cell line was defined to generate a metabolically phenotyped in vitro model of adipose tissue. The importance of fatty acid alpha-oxidation in the differentiation of adipocytes was emphasised The effects of PPAR delta and PPAR gamma activation in white adipose tissue from the ob/ob mouse model of insulin resistance, and in the phenotyped 3T3-L1 adipocyte model, were investigated. PPAR delta activation was distinguished by oxidative catabolism of fatty acids and citric acid cycle intermediates. Conversely, PPAR gamma activation was identified by the sequestration of lipids into adipose tissue. Moreover, to address the systemic influence of PPAR activation, with a focus on the Cori cycle and the interactions of the liver and skeletal muscle, the metabolic changes that occur in these tissues following PPAR delta and PPAR gamma activation in the ob/ob mouse were examined. PPAR delta activation was characterised by the mobilisation and release of triacylglycerols (TAGs) into circulation as an energy source for peripheral tissues whereas PPAR gamma activation was defined by a reduction and sequestration of circulating TAGs. This thesis has better characterised the role of the PPARs as master regulators of metabolism and emphasised their potential as therapeutic targets for metabolic diseases of global importance.





Metabolomics, Metabolism, PPAR, Type II Diabetes Mellitus, Metabonomics, Beta-Oxidation


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge
This work was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)and GlaxoSmithKline plc.