Studies in animal models and humans suggest anti-inflammatory roles on the N-acylethanolamide (NAE)-peroxisome proliferators activated receptor alpha (PPARα) system in inflammatory bowel diseases. However, the presence and function of NAE-PPARα signaling system in the ulcerative colitis (UC) of humans remain unknown as well as its response to active anti-inflammatory therapies such as 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) and glucocorticoids. Expression of PPARα receptor and PPARα ligands-biosynthetic (NAPE-PLD) and -degrading (FAAH and NAAA) enzymes were analyzed in untreated active and 5-ASA/glucocorticoids/immunomodulators-treated quiescent UC patients compared to healthy human colonic tissue by RT-PCR and immunohistochemical analyses. PPARα, NAAA, NAPE-PLD and FAAH showed differential distributions in the colonic epithelium, lamina propria, smooth muscle and enteric plexus. Gene expression analysis indicated a decrease of PPARα, PPARγ and NAAA, and an increase of FAAH and iNOS in the active colitis mucosa. Immunohistochemical expression in active colitis epithelium confirmed a PPARα decrease, but showed a sharp NAAA increase and a NAPE-PLD decrease, which were partially restored to control levels after treatment. We also characterized the immune cells of the UC mucosa infiltrate. We detected a decreased number of NAAA-positive and an increased number of FAAH-positive immune cells in active UC, which were partially restored to control levels after treatment. NAE-PPARα signaling system is impaired during active UC and 5-ASA/glucocorticoids treatment restored its normal expression. Since 5-ASA actions may work through PPARα and glucocorticoids through NAE-producing/degrading enzymes, the use of PPARα agonists or FAAH/NAAA blockers that increases endogenous PPARα ligands may yield similar therapeutics advantages. © 2012 Suárez et al.