In contrast to the general belief that regeneration is a rare event, mainly occurring in simple organisms, the ability of regeneration is widely distributed in the animal kingdom. Yet, the efficiency and extent of regeneration varies greatly. Humans can recover from blood loss as well as damage to tissues like bone and liver. Yet damage to the heart and brain cannot be reversed, resulting in scaring. Thus, there is a great interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms of naturally occurring regeneration and to apply this knowledge to repair human organs. During regeneration, injury-activated immune cells induce wound healing, extracellular matrix remodeling, migration, dedifferentiation and/or proliferation with subsequent differentiation of somatic or stem cells. An anti-inflammatory response stops the regenerative process, which ends with tissue remodeling to achieve the original functional state. Notably, many of these processes are associated with enhanced glycolysis. Therefore, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) β/δ—which is known to be involved for example in lipid catabolism, glucose homeostasis, inflammation, survival, proliferation, differentiation, as well as mammalian regeneration of the skin, bone and liver—appears to be a promising target to promote mammalian regeneration. This review summarizes our current knowledge of PPARβ/δ in processes associated with wound healing and regeneration.
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