Insulin-mediated microvascular recruitment (IMVR) regulates delivery of insulin and glucose to insulin-sensitive tissues. We have previously proposed that perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) controls vascular function through outside-to-inside communication and through vessel-to-vessel, or “vasocrine,” signaling. However, direct experimental evidence supporting a role of local PVAT in regulating IMVR and insulin sensitivity in vivo is lacking. Here, we studied muscles with and without PVAT in mice using combined contrast-enhanced ultrasonography and intravital microscopy to measure IMVR and gracilis artery diameter at baseline and during the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. We show, using microsurgical removal of PVAT from the muscle microcirculation, that local PVAT depots regulate insulin-stimulated muscle perfusion and glucose uptake in vivo. We discovered direct microvascular connections between PVAT and the distal muscle microcirculation, or adipomuscular arterioles, the removal of which abolished IMVR. Local removal of intramuscular PVAT altered protein clusters in the connected muscle, including upregulation of a cluster featuring Hsp90ab1 and Hsp70 and downregulation of a cluster of mitochondrial protein components of complexes III, IV, and V. These data highlight the importance of PVAT in vascular and metabolic physiology and are likely relevant for obesity and diabetes.
- Received October 4, 2018.
- Accepted January 24, 2020.
- © 2020 by the American Diabetes Association.