Our current research is to look prinicipally at the effects of fats surrounding small arteries and its influence on vascular tone. There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that the release of substances from fat cells can influence both vascular contraction and relaxation. In pathological states such as obesity and diabetes there appears to be a loss of some of the healthy factors which leads to an increase in arterial contraction and higher blood pressures. Our group was the first to report that in human arteries the bioavailability of adiponectin which is a vasodilator substance released from healthy adipocytes is lost and that this can contribute to an increase in vascular tone and the generation of the conditions that will be predispose to diabetes. We have other projects on-going with regard to the effects of high blood pressure on end-organ damage and the physiological responses to blood pressure in terms of structural reorganisation and its derangement in pathological organisations when blood pressure becomes severe or out of control. Most recently we have highlighted the role of macrophages and eosinophils in influencing the production of adipokines by perivascular fat.
- Micro-vascular problems (eg nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy)
- Macro-vascular complications of diabetes
- Perivascular adipocytes
- Inflammatory mediators