Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) is a transcriptional coactivator that binds to a diverse range of transcription factors. PPAR gamma coactivator 1 (PGC-1) coactivators possess an extensive range of biological effects in different tissues, and play a key part in the regulation of the oxidative metabolism, consequently modulating the production of reactive oxygen species, autophagy, and mitochondrial biogenesis. Owing to these findings, a large body of studies, aiming to establish the role of PGC-1 in the neuromuscular system, has shown that PGC-1 could be a promising target for therapies targeting neuromuscular diseases. Among these, some evidence has shown that various signaling pathways linked to PGC-1 alpha are deregulated in muscular dystrophy, leading to a reduced capacity for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. In the light of these results, any intervention aimed at activating PGC-1 could contribute towards ameliorating the progression of muscular dystrophies. PGC-1 alpha is influenced by different patho-physiological/pharmacological stimuli. Natural products have been reported to display modulatory effects on PPAR gamma activation with fewer side effects in comparison to synthetic drugs. Taken together, this review summarizes the current knowledge on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, focusing on the potential effects of natural compounds, acting as regulators of PGC-1 alpha. (C) 2020 Chinese Pharmaceutical Association and Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.