Beiging of perivascular adipose tissue regulates its inflammation and vascular remodeling

Nat Commun. 2022 Sep 7;13(1):5117. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-32658-6.


Although inflammation plays critical roles in the development of atherosclerosis, its regulatory mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) has been reported to undergo inflammatory changes in response to vascular injury. Here, we show that vascular injury induces the beiging (brown adipose tissue-like phenotype change) of PVAT, which fine-tunes inflammatory response and thus vascular remodeling as a protective mechanism. In a mouse model of endovascular injury, macrophages accumulate in PVAT, causing beiging phenotype change. Inhibition of PVAT beiging by genetically silencing PRDM16, a key regulator to beiging, exacerbates inflammation and vascular remodeling following injury. Conversely, activation of PVAT beiging attenuates inflammation and pathological vascular remodeling. Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals that beige adipocytes abundantly express neuregulin 4 (Nrg4) which critically regulate alternative macrophage activation. Importantly, significant beiging is observed in the diseased aortic PVAT in patients with acute aortic dissection. Taken together, vascular injury induces the beiging of adjacent PVAT with macrophage accumulation, where NRG4 secreted from the beige PVAT facilitates alternative activation of macrophages, leading to the resolution of vascular inflammation. Our study demonstrates the pivotal roles of PVAT in vascular inflammation and remodeling and will open a new avenue for treating atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / pathology
  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis* / genetics
  • Atherosclerosis* / pathology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Mice
  • Vascular Remodeling
  • Vascular System Injuries* / pathology