Thoracic perivascular adipose tissue (tPVAT) has a phenotype resembling brown AT. Dysfunctional tPVAT appears to be linked to vascular dysfunction.
We evaluated uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression by Western blot, oxidative stress by measuring lipid peroxidation, the antioxidant capacity by HPLC and spectrophotometry, and mitochondrial respiration by high-resolution respirometry (HRR) in tPVAT, compared to inguinal white AT (iWAT), obtained from non-diabetic (NDM) and streptozocin-induced diabetic (STZ-DM) mice. Mitochondrial respiration was assessed by HRR using protocol 1: complex I and II oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and protocol 2: fatty acid oxidation (FAO) OXPHOS. OXPHOS capacity in tPVAT was also evaluated after UCP1 inhibition by guanosine 5'-diphosphate (GDP).
UCP1 expression was higher in tPVAT when compared with iWAT in both NDM and STZ-DM mice. The malondialdehyde concentration was elevated in tPVAT from STZ-DM compared to NDM mice. Glutathione peroxidase and reductase activities, as well as reduced glutathione levels, were not different between tPVAT from NDM and STZ-DM mice but were lower compared to iWAT of STZ-DM mice. OXPHOS capacity of tPVAT was significantly decreased after UCP1 inhibition by GDP in protocol 1. While there were no differences in the OXPHOS capacity between NDM and STZ-DM mice in protocol 1, it was increased in STZ-DM compared to NDM mice in protocol 2. Moreover, complex II- and FAO-linked respiration were elevated in STZ-DM mice under UCP1 inhibition.
Pharmacological therapies could be targeted to modulate UCP1 activity with a significant impact in the uncoupling of mitochondrial bioenergetics in tPVAT.