3 years ago

New actions of an old friend: perivascular adipose tissue's adrenergic mechanisms

Stephanie W Watts, Nadia Ayala-Lopez
The revolutionary discovery in 1991 by Soltis and Cassis that perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) has an anti-contractile effect changed how we think about the vasculature. Most experiments on vascular pharmacology begin by removing the fat surrounding vessels. Thus, PVAT was thought to have a minor role in vascular function and its presence was just for structural support. The need to rethink PVAT's role was precipitated by observations that obesity carries a high cardiovascular risk and PVAT dysfunction is associated with obesity. PVAT is a vascular-adipose organ that has intimate connections with the nervous and immune system. A complex world of physiology resides in PVAT, including the presence of an ‘adrenergic system’ that is able to release, take up and metabolize noradrenaline. Adipocytes, stromal vascular cells and nerves within PVAT contain components that make up this adrenergic system. Some of the great strides in PVAT research came from studying adipose tissue as a whole. Adipose tissue has many roles and participates in regulating energy balance, energy stores, inflammation and thermoregulation. However, PVAT is dissimilar from non-PVAT adipose tissues. PVAT is intimately connected with the vasculature, which is what makes its role in body homeostasis unique. The adrenergic system within PVAT may be an integral link connecting the effects of obesity with the vascular dysfunction observed in obesity-associated hypertension, a condition in which the sympathetic nervous system has a significant role. This review will explore what is known about the adrenergic system in adipose tissue and PVAT, plus the translational importance of these findings. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed section on Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Perivascular Adipose Tissue – Potential Pharmacological Targets? To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v174.20/issuetoc

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/bph.13663

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