Adipocyte-derived VEGF-A plays a crucial role in angiogenesis and contributes to adipocyte function and systemic metabolism, such as insulin resistance, chronic inflammation and beigeing of subcutaneous adipose tissue. Utilizing a doxycycline (Dox)-inducible adipocyte-specific VEGF-A overexpressing mouse model, we investigated the dynamics of local VEGF-A effects on tissue beiging of adipose tissue transplants. VEGF-A overexpression in adipocytes triggers angiogenesis. We also observe a rapid appearance of beige fat cells in subcutaneous white adipose tissue (sWATs) within as early as 2 days post induction of VEGF-A. In contrast to conventional cold-induced beiging, VEGF-A-induced beiging is independent of IL-4. We subjected metabolically healthy VEGF-A overexpressing adipose tissue to autologous transplantation. Transfer of subcutaneous adipose tissues taken from VEGF-A overexpressing mice into diet-induced obese mice resulted in systemic metabolic benefits, associated with improved survival of adipocytes and a concomitant reduced inflammatory response. These effects of VEGF-A are tissue autonomous, inducing WAT beigeing and angiogenesis within the transplanted tissue. Our findings indicate that manipulation of adipocyte functions with a bona fide angiogenic factor, such as VEGF-A, significantly improves the survival and volume retention of fat grafts and can convey metabolically favorable properties on the recipient on the basis of beiging.
M. Kim: None. Y.A. An: None. H. Bang: None. P.E. Scherer: None. J. Park: None.