Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Chronic inflammation and derangement of myocardial energy and lipid homeostasis are common features of DM. The transcription factors of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily, which are important in regulating energy and lipid homeostasis. There are three PPAR isoforms, α, γ, and δ, and their roles have been increasingly recognized to be important in CVD. These three isoforms are expressed in the heart and play pivotal roles in myocardial lipid metabolism, as well as glucose and energy homeostasis, and contribute to extra metabolic roles with effects on inflammation and oxidative stress. Moreover, regulation of PPARs may have significant effects on cardiac electrical activity and arrhythmogenesis. This review describes the roles of PPARs and their agonists in DM cardiomyopathy, inflammation, and cardiac electrophysiology.
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