Perivascular Adipose Tissue in Vascular Function and Disease
A Review of Current Research and Animal Models
Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), long assumed to be nothing more than vessel-supporting connective tissue, is now understood to be an important, active component of the vasculature, with integral roles in vascular health and disease. PVAT is an adipose tissue with similarities to both brown and white adipose tissue, although recent evidence suggests that PVAT develops from its own precursors. Like other adipose tissue depots, PVAT secretes numerous biologically active substances that can act in both autocrine and paracrine fashion. PVAT has also proven to be involved in vascular inflammation. Although PVAT can support inflammation during atherosclerosis via macrophage accumulation, emerging evidence suggests that PVAT also has antiatherosclerotic properties related to its abilities to induce nonshivering thermogenesis and metabolize fatty acids. We here discuss the accumulated knowledge of PVAT biology and related research on models of hypertension and atherosclerosis.
- Received March 30, 2014.
- Accepted May 5, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.