Update on adipose tissue blood flow regulation

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2012 May 1;302(10):E1157-70. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00351.2011. Epub 2012 Feb 7.


According to Fick's principle, any metabolic or hormonal exchange through a given tissue depends on the product of the blood flow to that tissue and the arteriovenous difference. The proper function of adipose tissue relies on adequate adipose tissue blood flow (ATBF), which determines the influx and efflux of metabolites as well as regulatory endocrine signals. Adequate functioning of adipose tissue in intermediary metabolism requires finely tuned perfusion. Because metabolic and vascular processes are so tightly interconnected, any disruption in one will necessarily impact the other. Although altered ATBF is one consequence of expanding fat tissue, it may also aggravate the negative impacts of obesity on the body's metabolic milieu. This review attempts to summarize the current state of knowledge on adipose tissue vascular bed behavior under physiological conditions and the various factors that contribute to its regulation as well as the possible participation of altered ATBF in the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / blood supply*
  • Adipose Tissue / innervation
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology*
  • Sympathetic Nervous System / physiology*