Endocrine Pathology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 93–101 | Cite as

Morphological and Inflammatory Changes in Visceral Adipose Tissue During Obesity

  • Xavier S. Revelo
  • Helen Luck
  • Shawn Winer
  • Daniel A. Winer


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.


Obesity Visceral adipose tissue Inflammation Immunology Diabetes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier S. Revelo
    • 1
  • Helen Luck
    • 1
    • 4
  • Shawn Winer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Daniel A. Winer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Cellular & Molecular Biology, Diabetes Research Group, Toronto General Research Institute (TGRI)University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathobiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of ImmunologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of EndocrinologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  6. 6.MaRS Centre 10-352, Toronto Medical Discovery TowerTorontoCanada

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