ABSTRACT: In recent years, perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) research has gained special attention in an effort to understand its involvement in vascular function. PVAT is recognized as an important endocrine organ that secretes procontractile and anticontractile factors, including components of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, particularly angiotensinogen (AGT). This review critically addresses the occurrence of AGT in PVAT, its release into the blood stream, and its contribution to the generation and effects of angiotensins (notably angiotensin-(1-7) and angiotensin II) in the vascular wall. It describes that the introduction of transgenic animals, expressing AGT at 0, 1, or more specific location(s), combined with the careful measurement of angiotensins, has revealed that the assumption that PVAT independently generates angiotensins from locally synthesized AGT is incorrect. Indeed, selective deletion of AGT from adipocytes did not lower circulating AGT, neither under a control diet nor under a high-fat diet, and only liver-specific AGT deletion resulted in the disappearance of AGT from blood plasma and adipose tissue. An entirely novel scenario therefore develops, supporting local angiotensin generation in PVAT that depends on the uptake of both AGT and renin from blood, in addition to the possibility that circulating angiotensins exert vascular effects. The review ends with a summary of where we stand now and recommendations for future research.
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