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Review

Capillary Rarefaction in Obesity and Metabolic Diseases—Organ-Specificity and Possible Mechanisms

1
Wihuri Research Institute, 00290 Helsinki, Finland
2
Translational Cancer Medicine Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
3
Individualized Drug Therapy Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(12), 2683; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9122683
Received: 31 October 2020 / Revised: 2 December 2020 / Accepted: 10 December 2020 / Published: 14 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Signalling)
Obesity and its comorbidities like diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Metabolic diseases cause vascular dysfunction and loss of capillaries termed capillary rarefaction. Interestingly, obesity seems to affect capillary beds in an organ-specific manner, causing morphological and functional changes in some tissues but not in others. Accordingly, treatment strategies targeting capillary rarefaction result in distinct outcomes depending on the organ. In recent years, organ-specific vasculature and endothelial heterogeneity have been in the spotlight in the field of vascular biology since specialized vascular systems have been shown to contribute to organ function by secreting varying autocrine and paracrine factors and by providing niches for stem cells. This review summarizes the recent literature covering studies on organ-specific capillary rarefaction observed in obesity and metabolic diseases and explores the underlying mechanisms, with multiple modes of action proposed. It also provides a glimpse of the reported therapeutic perspectives targeting capillary rarefaction. Further studies should address the reasons for such organ-specificity of capillary rarefaction, investigate strategies for its prevention and reversibility and examine potential signaling pathways that can be exploited to target it. View Full-Text
Keywords: capillary rarefaction; endothelial cell; organotypic vasculature; obesity; VEGFR signaling capillary rarefaction; endothelial cell; organotypic vasculature; obesity; VEGFR signaling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Paavonsalo, S.; Hariharan, S.; Lackman, M.H.; Karaman, S. Capillary Rarefaction in Obesity and Metabolic Diseases—Organ-Specificity and Possible Mechanisms. Cells 2020, 9, 2683. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9122683

AMA Style

Paavonsalo S, Hariharan S, Lackman MH, Karaman S. Capillary Rarefaction in Obesity and Metabolic Diseases—Organ-Specificity and Possible Mechanisms. Cells. 2020; 9(12):2683. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9122683

Chicago/Turabian Style

Paavonsalo, Satu, Sangeetha Hariharan, Madeleine H. Lackman, and Sinem Karaman. 2020. "Capillary Rarefaction in Obesity and Metabolic Diseases—Organ-Specificity and Possible Mechanisms" Cells 9, no. 12: 2683. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9122683

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