Understanding Pericardial Adipose Tissue Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in the Context of Obesity



Kirsh, Aleah

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of Guelph


Consumption of a high-fat diet (HFD) can alter mitochondrial bioenergetics within adipose tissue (AT) contributing to an increased risk of all-cause-mortality. However, AT also presents with the ability to induce mitochondrial uncoupling, an anti-obesogenic response. The ability of AT to induce uncoupling/browning is not uniform across AT depots, and little is known about pericardial AT (pWAT), the depot in direct contact with the heart. Therefore, this thesis aims to characterize mitochondrial bioenergetics in pWAT, and the response to HFD and obesity. Relative to epididymal AT, pWAT displayed increased uncoupling protein-1 content, mitochondrial electron transport chain abundance, leak respiration, and morphological characteristics of brown AT. When challenged with a HFD, and in a hyperphagic model of obesity, pWAT increased in abundance but retained markers of uncoupling. Altogether, these data highlight the brown characteristics of pWAT, and suggests it has a possible protective role in oxidizing/limiting excessive lipid delivery to the heart.



pericardial adipose tissue, mitochondrial bioenergetics, obesity