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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5038602, 10 pages
Research Article

Obesity Induces Artery-Specific Alterations: Evaluation of Vascular Function and Inflammatory and Smooth Muscle Phenotypic Markers

Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Eliana Akamine

Received 2 February 2017; Accepted 19 March 2017; Published 30 March 2017

Academic Editor: Kibret Mequanint

Copyright © 2017 Antonio Garcia Soares et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vascular alterations are expected to occur in obese individuals but the impact of obesity could be different depending on the artery type. We aimed to evaluate the obesity effects on the relaxing and contractile responses and inflammatory and smooth muscle (SM) phenotypic markers in two vascular beds. Obesity was induced in C57Bl/6 mice by 16-week high-fat diet and vascular reactivity, mRNA expression of inflammatory and SM phenotypic markers, and collagen deposition were evaluated in small mesenteric arteries (SMA) and thoracic aorta (TA). Endothelium-dependent relaxation in SMA and TA was not modified by obesity. In contrast, contraction induced by depolarization and contractile agonists was reduced in SMA, whereas only contraction induced by adrenergic agonist was reduced in TA of obese mice. Obesity increased the mRNA expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in SMA and TA. The expression of genes necessary for maintaining contractile ability was increased by obesity, but the increase was more pronounced in TA. Collagen deposition was increased in SMA, but not in TA, of obese mice. Although the endothelial function was still preserved, the SM of the two artery types was impaired by obesity, but the impairment was higher in SMA, which could be associated with SM phenotypic changes.