Article

Endocrine Pathology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 93-101

First online:

Morphological and Inflammatory Changes in Visceral Adipose Tissue During Obesity

  • Xavier S. ReveloAffiliated withDivision of Cellular & Molecular Biology, Diabetes Research Group, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI), University Health Network
  • , Helen LuckAffiliated withDivision of Cellular & Molecular Biology, Diabetes Research Group, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI), University Health NetworkDepartment of Immunology, University of Toronto
  • , Shawn WinerAffiliated withDivision of Cellular & Molecular Biology, Diabetes Research Group, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI), University Health NetworkDepartment of Pathology, University Health Network
  • , Daniel A. WinerAffiliated withDivision of Cellular & Molecular Biology, Diabetes Research Group, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI), University Health NetworkDepartment of Pathology, University Health NetworkDepartment of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of TorontoDepartment of Immunology, University of TorontoDepartment of Endocrinology, University of TorontoMaRS Centre 10-352, Toronto Medical Discovery Tower Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Obesity is a major health burden worldwide and is a major factor in the development of insulin resistance and metabolic complications such as type II diabetes. Chronic nutrient excess leads to visceral adipose tissue (VAT) expansion and dysfunction in an active process that involves the adipocytes, their supporting matrix, and immune cell infiltrates. These changes contribute to adipose tissue hypoxia, adipocyte cell stress, and ultimately cell death. Accumulation of lymphocytes, macrophages, and other immune cells around dying adipocytes forms the so-called “crown-like structure”, a histological hallmark of VAT in obesity. Cross talk between immune cells in adipose tissue dictates the overall inflammatory response, ultimately leading to the production of pro-inflammatory mediators which directly induce insulin resistance in VAT. In this review, we summarize recent studies demonstrating the dramatic changes that occur in visceral adipose tissue during obesity leading to low-grade chronic inflammation and metabolic disease.

Keywords

Obesity Visceral adipose tissue Inflammation Immunology Diabetes