||Peroxisome proliferation-activated receptor (PPAR)gamma agonists inhibit inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS), tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6. Because of these effects, synthetic PPARgamma agonists, including thiazolidinediones, are being studied for their impact on inflammatory disease. The anti-inflammatory concentrations of synthetic PPARgamma agonists range from 10 to 50 microM, whereas their binding affinity for PPARgamma is in the nanomolar range. The specificity of synthetic PPARgamma agonists for PPARgamma at the concentrations necessary for anti-inflammatory effects is thus in question. We report that PPARgamma is not necessary for the inhibition of iNOS by synthetic PPARgamma agonists. RAW 264.7 macrophages possess little PPARgamma, yet lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/interferon (IFN)gamma-induced iNOS was inhibited by synthetic PPARgamma agonists at 20 microM. Endogenous PPARgamma was inhibited by the transfection of a dominant-negative PPARgamma construct into murine mesangial cells. In the transfected cells, synthetic PPARgamma agonists inhibited iNOS production at 10 microM, similar to nontransfected cells. Using cells from PPARgamma Cre/lox conditional knockout mice, baseline and LPS/IFNgamma-induced nitric oxide levels were higher in macrophages lacking PPARgamma versus controls. However, synthetic PPARgamma agonists inhibited iNOS at 10 microM in the PPARgamma-deficient cells, similar to macrophages from wild-type mice. These results indicate that PPARgamma is not necessary for inhibition of iNOS expression by synthetic PPARgamma agonists at concentrations over 10 microM. Intrinsic PPARgamma function, in the absence of synthetic agonists, however, may play a role in inflammatory modulation.