Hypertension is the leading contributor to global disease burden and the most common cause of preventable death. Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) has recently emerged as a key regulator of vascular tone and blood pressure. PVAT surrounds most blood vessels and releases anticontractile factors that influence vasodilation.
The production of these anticontractile mediators is driven by the sympathetic neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE), but the source of NE that drives this effect is unknown. It is possible that the anticontractile effects of PVAT are driven by local mediators released by non-neuronal cells, by neural innervation, or by circulating neurotransmitters. Therefore, the objective of this project is to understand the mechanisms that mediate neurotransmission in PVAT in health and disease.