Blood pressure changes PVAT function and transcriptome: use of the mid-thoracic aorta coarcted rat

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2020 Dec 1;319(6):H1313-H1324. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00332.2020. Epub 2020 Oct 2.


Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) modifies the contractile function of the vessel it surrounds (outside-in signaling). Little work points to the vessel actively affecting its surrounding PVAT. We hypothesized that inside-out arterial signaling to PVAT would be evidenced by the response of PVAT to changes in tangential vascular wall stress. Rats coarcted in the mid-thoracic aorta created PVAT tissues that would exemplify pressure-dependent changes (above vs. below coarctation); a sham rat was used as a control. Radiotelemetry revealed a ∼20 mmHg systolic pressure gradient across the coarctation 4 wk after surgery. Four measures (histochemical, adipocyte progenitor proliferation and differentiation, isometric tone, and bulk mRNA sequencing) were used to compare PVAT above versus below the ligature in sham and coarcted rats. Neither aortic collagen deposition in PVAT nor arterial media/radius ratio above coarctation was increased versus below segments. However, differentiated adipocytes derived from PVAT above the coarctation accumulated substantially less triglycerides versus those below; their relative proliferation rate as adipogenic precursors was not different. Functionally, the ability of PVAT to assist stress relaxation of isolated aorta was reduced in rings above versus below the coarctation. Transcriptomic analyses revealed that the coarctation resulted in more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between PVAT above versus below when compared with sham samples from the same locations. A majority of DEGs were in PVAT below the coarctation and were enriched in neuronal/synaptic terms. These findings provide initial evidence that signaling from the vascular wall, as stimulated by a pressure change, influences the function and transcriptional profile of its PVAT.NEW & NOTEWORTHY A mid-thoracic aorta coarcted rat was created to generate a stable pressure difference above versus below the coarctation ligature. This study determined that the PVAT around the thoracic aorta exposed to a higher pressure has a significantly reduced ability to assist stress relaxation versus that below the ligature and appears to retain the ability to be anticontractile. At the same time, the PVAT around the thoracic aorta exposed to higher pressure had a reduced adipogenic potential versus that below the ligature. Transcriptomics analyses indicated that PVAT below the coarctation showed the greatest number of DEGs with an increased profile of the synaptic neurotransmitter gene network.

Keywords: PVAT; adipocyte; mechanotransduction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / metabolism*
  • Adipocytes / pathology
  • Adipogenesis
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Animals
  • Aorta, Thoracic / physiopathology*
  • Aortic Coarctation / genetics
  • Aortic Coarctation / metabolism
  • Aortic Coarctation / pathology
  • Aortic Coarctation / physiopathology*
  • Arterial Pressure*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Male
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Transcriptome*