Effects of bariatric surgery on human small artery function: Evidence for reduction in perivascular adipocyte inflammation, and the restoration of normal anticontractile activity despite persistent obesity

Reza Aghamohammadzadeh, Adam S. Greenstein, Rahul Yadav, Maria Jeziorska, Salam Hama, Fardad Soltani, Phil W. Pemberton, Basil Ammori, Rayaz Malik, Handrean Soran, Anthony M. Heagerty

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85 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of bariatric surgery on small artery function and the mechanisms underlying this. Background In lean healthy humans, perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) exerts an anticontractile effect on adjacent small arteries, but this is lost in obesity-associated conditions such as the metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes where there is evidence of adipocyte inflammation and increased oxidative stress. Methods Segments of small subcutaneous artery and perivascular fat were harvested from severely obese individuals before (n = 20) and 6 months after bariatric surgery (n = 15). Small artery contractile function was examined in vitro with wire myography, and perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) morphology was assessed with immunohistochemistry. Results The anticontractile activity of PVAT was lost in obese patients before surgery when compared with healthy volunteers and was restored 6 months after bariatric surgery. In vitro protocols with superoxide dismutase and catalase rescued PVAT anticontractile function in tissue from obese individuals before surgery. The improvement in anticontractile function after surgery was accompanied by improvements in insulin sensitivity, serum glycemic indexes, inflammatory cytokines, adipokine profile, and systolic blood pressure together with increased PVAT adiponectin and nitric oxide bioavailability and reduced macrophage infiltration and inflammation. These changes were observed despite the patients remaining severely obese. Conclusions Bariatric surgery and its attendant improvements in weight, blood pressure, inflammation, and metabolism collectively reverse the obesity-induced alteration to PVAT anticontractile function. This reversal is attributable to reductions in local adipose inflammation and oxidative stress with improved adiponectin and nitric oxide bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes



  • bariatric
  • cardiovascular
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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