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The case for intraocular delivery of PPAR agonists in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy

Maxwell P Treacy1* and Tara P Hurst2

Author Affiliations

1 Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

2 School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS, United Kingdom

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BMC Ophthalmology 2012, 12:46  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-12-46

Published: 2 September 2012



Systemic therapeutics targeting the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. In this paper, we provide a rationale for the use of these therapeutics as intraocular agents. In addition, we introduce the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and describe their functions in response to the drugs.


Based on the evidence of large-scale clinical studies investigating the systemic administration of fenofibrate, this ligand for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α is potentially a good candidate for intraocular delivery. Here, we describe the mechanisms by which it might be acting to improve diabetic retinopathy, its relative safety and we speculate on how it could be developed for intraocular delivery.


In this paper, we provide a rationale for the further investigation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α agonists as intraocular agents for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes; Diabetic retinopathy; Intraocular; Fenofibrate; TZDs; PPARs