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Park -

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Journal of Visualized Experiments




While obesity is closely linked to the development of metabolic and cardiovascular disease, little is known about mechanisms that govern these processes. It is hypothesized that pro-atherogenic mediators released from fat tissues particularly in association with central/visceral adiposity may promote pathogenic vascular changes locally and systemically, and the notion that cardiovascular disease may be the consequence of adipose tissue dysfunction continues to evolve. Here, we describe a unique method of videomicroscopy that involves analysis of vasodilator and vasoconstrictor responses of intact small human arterioles removed from the adipose depot of living human subjects. Videomicroscopy is used to examine functional properties of isolated microvessels in response to pharmacological or physiological stimuli using a pressured system that mimics in vivo conditions. The technique is a useful approach to gain understanding of the pathophysiology and molecular mechanisms that contribute to vascular dysfunction locally within the adipose tissue milieu. Moreover, abnormalities in the adipose tissue microvasculature have also been linked with systemic diseases. We applied this technique to examine depot-specific vascular responses in obese subjects. We assessed endothelium-dependent vasodilation to both increased flow and acetylcholine in adipose arterioles (50 - 350 µm internal diameter, 2 - 3 mm in length) isolated from two different adipose depots during bariatric surgery from the same individual. We demonstrated that arterioles from visceral fat exhibit impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation compared to vessels isolated from the subcutaneous depot. The findings suggest that the visceral microenvironment is associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction which may be relevant to clinical observation linking increased visceral adiposity to systemic disease mechanisms. The videomicroscopy technique can be used to examine vascular phenotypes from different fat depots as well as compare findings across individuals with different degrees of obesity and metabolic dysfunction. The method can also be used to examine vascular responses longitudinally in response to clinical interventions.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Copyright held by JOVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments). doi: 10.3791/56079