Adipoparacrinology - Vascular periadventitial adipose tissue (Tunica adiposa) as an example

George N. Chaldakov, Jerzy Beltowsky, Peter I. Ghenev, Marco Fiore, Plamen Panayotov, Gorana Rančič, Luigi Aloe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human adipose tissue is partitioned into two large depots (subcutaneous and visceral), and many small depots associated with internal organs, e.g. heart, blood vessels, major lymph nodes, pancreas, prostate gland and ovaries. Since the adipose 'Big Bang' led to the discovery of leptin (Zhang, Proenca, Maffei, Barone, Leopold and Friedman, Nature 1994;372:425-32), adipose tissue has been seen not merely as a lipid store, but as a secretory - endocrine and paracrine - organ, particularly in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases. Accordingly, two major sub-fields of adipobiology have emerged, viz. adipoendocrinology and adipoparacrinology, the latter herein being illustrated by PAAT (periadventitial adipose tissue) in vascular walls. A long-standing paradigm holds that the vascular wall consists of three coats, tunica intima, tunica media and tunica adventitia. It is now imperative that 'to further elucidate vascular function, we should no longer, as hitherto, separate adventitia and PAAT from the vascular wall, but keep them attached and in place, and subject to thorough examination' (Chaldakov, Fiore, Ghenev, Stankulov and Aloe, Int Med J 2000;7:43-9; Chaldakov, Stankulov and Aloe, Atherosclerosis 2001;154:237-8; Chaldakov GN, Stankulov IS, Fiore M, Ghenev PI and Aloe L, Atherosclerosis 2001;159:57-66). From the available data, we propose that it is time to rethink about vascular wall composition, and suggest that the PAAT may be considered the fourth and outermost vascular coat, hence, tunica adiposa (regarding the proximal segment of coronary artery, it is the innermost part of the EAT (epicardial adipose tissue) situated around the coronary adventitia). Its significance in the pathogenesis and therapy of CMDs (cardiometabolic diseases), particularly atherosclerosis and hypertension, requires further basic, translational and clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-330
Number of pages4
JournalCell Biology International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Adipobiology
  • Adipokines
  • Adipose tissue
  • Cardiometabolic disease
  • Vascular wall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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