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Biomolecular Concepts

Editor-in-Chief: Di Cera, Enrico

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Volume 4, Issue 1


Contributions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ to skin health and disease

Alexandra Montagner
  • Center for Integrative Genomics, National Research Center Frontiers in Genetics, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Toxicology and Integrative Metabolism, INRA ToxAlim, 180 Chemin de Tournefeville, 31027 Toulouse Cedex 3, France
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Walter Wahli
  • Corresponding author
  • Center for Integrative Genomics, National Research Center Frontiers in Genetics, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Other articles by this author:
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Published Online: 2012-11-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmc-2012-0035


Among the three peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) transcription factors, PPARβ/δ is the isotype with the broadest expression pattern. In fact, the expression of PPARβ/δ is ubiquitous, albeit at levels that are tightly regulated. Herein, we reviewed its multiple functions in skin health and disease. PPARβ/δ has pro-differentiating effects in keratinocytes, regulates sebocyte differentiation, and promotes hair follicle growth in healthy skin. Furthermore, we reviewed novel insights into the roles of PPARβ/δ in skin wound healing, especially in inhibiting apoptosis and in modulating keratinocyte proliferation and migration. Therefore, PPARβ/δ represents a research target for the understanding and treatment of inflammatory skin diseases, such as psoriasis and acne vulgaris. In addition, PPARβ/δ is a tumor growth modifier. Epidemiological studies have established that tumor progression may be exacerbated by chronic low-grade inflammation, a condition promoting the production of the lipids that act as modulators of PPARβ/δ activity. The action of PPARβ/δ in skin cancer is ambivalent, which might be explained by this receptor’s putative highly context-specific behavior, which depends on a combination of factors ranging from receptor expression levels to co-regulator distribution, diversity and activity of the ligands produced, and other tissue-specific conditions. Given its diverse and crucial roles in many tissues and organs, PPARβ/δ will remain a major focus of future research.

Keywords: keratinocytes; non-melanoma skin cancer; nuclear receptors; psoriasis; wound healing

About the article

Alexandra Montagner

Alexandra Montagner PhD, 2002–2006: Graduate student, Lipoproteins and Lipid Mediators Department, INSERM U563, University of Toulouse, France. 2006–2011: Postdoctoral position, Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. 2011–present: Postdoctoral position, Toxicology and Integrative Metabolism, INRA ToxAlim, Toulouse, France.

Walter Wahli

Walter Wahli PhD, 1980–2002: Full professor and Director Institute of Animal Biology, University of Lausanne (UNIL). 1999–2003: Vicerector of UNIL (Research, Postgraduate and Continuing Education). 1996–2006: Member of the National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation and Head of the Division Biology and Medicine (2004–2006). 2002–2005: Founding Director, Center for Integrative Genomics, UNIL. 2003–2011: Full professor, Center for Integrative Genomics, UNIL. 2011–present: Professor emeritus UNIL. 2012–present: Visiting Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Imperial College (London) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 2012–present: Member of the council of the Nestlé Foundation for the study of problems of nutrition in the world.

Corresponding author: Walter Wahli, Center for Integrative Genomics, National Research Center Frontiers in Genetics, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Received: 2012-08-28

Accepted: 2012-10-04

Published Online: 2012-11-08

Published in Print: 2013-02-01

Citation Information: BioMolecular Concepts, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 53–64, ISSN (Online) 1868-503X, ISSN (Print) 1868-5021, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bmc-2012-0035.

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