Role of Adipose Tissue Endothelial ADAM17 in Age-Related Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2017 Jun;37(6):1180-1193. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.117.309430. Epub 2017 May 4.


Objective: A disintegrin and metalloproteinase ADAM17 (tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF]-converting enzyme) regulates soluble TNF levels. We tested the hypothesis that aging-induced activation in adipose tissue (AT)-expressed ADAM17 contributes to the development of remote coronary microvascular dysfunction in obesity.

Approach and results: Coronary arterioles (CAs, ≈90 µm) from right atrial appendages and mediastinal AT were examined in patients (aged: 69±11 years, BMI: 30.2±5.6 kg/m2) who underwent open heart surgery. CA and AT were also studied in 6-month and 24-month lean and obese mice fed a normal or high-fat diet. We found that obesity elicited impaired endothelium-dependent CA dilations only in older patients and in aged high-fat diet mice. Transplantation of AT from aged obese, but not from young or aged, mice increased serum cytokine levels, including TNF, and impaired CA dilation in the young recipient mice. In patients and mice, obesity was accompanied by age-related activation of ADAM17, which was attributed to vascular endothelium-expressed ADAM17. Excess, ADAM17-shed TNF from AT arteries in older obese patients was sufficient to impair CA dilation in a bioassay in which the AT artery was serially connected to a CA. Moreover, we found that the increased activity of endothelial ADAM17 is mediated by a diminished inhibitory interaction with caveolin-1, owing to age-related decline in caveolin-1 expression in obese patients and mice or to genetic deletion of caveolin-1.

Conclusions: The present study indicates that aging and obesity cooperatively reduce caveolin-1 expression and increase vascular endothelial ADAM17 activity and soluble TNF release in AT, which may contribute to the development of remote coronary microvascular dysfunction in older obese patients.

Keywords: adipose tissue; aging; caveolin 1; endothelium; humans; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ADAM17 Protein / genetics
  • ADAM17 Protein / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / enzymology*
  • Adipose Tissue / transplantation
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / genetics
  • Aging / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Arterioles / enzymology*
  • Arterioles / physiopathology
  • Caveolin 1 / deficiency
  • Caveolin 1 / genetics
  • Caveolin 1 / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coronary Artery Disease / enzymology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / genetics
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology
  • Coronary Vessels / enzymology*
  • Coronary Vessels / physiopathology
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelial Cells / enzymology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / enzymology
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • RNA Interference
  • Risk Factors
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Vasodilation*


  • CAV1 protein, human
  • Cav1 protein, mouse
  • Caveolin 1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • ADAM17 Protein
  • ADAM17 protein, human
  • Adam17 protein, mouse