Published Oct. 23 in Frontiers in Physiology – Vascular Physiology, the research focuses on the differences between male and female abdominal fat in mice. A team of researchers under the direction of Faculty of Health Professor Tara Haas found that female abdominal fat had more blood vessels than the fat on males, which could be a factor in protecting the health of females as they gain fat from eating a high-fat diet.
Males and females develop fat tissue differently and also differ in susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and diabetes. However, the underlying biology behind why fat tissue in females is more protective against these conditions was not well understood, says Haas, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science.
Blood vessels are critical for maintaining healthy fat tissue by ensuring that the expanding fat cells are supplied with enough oxygen and nutrients, so the researchers looked at whether the abilities of the fat tissue to grow blood vessels and maintain healthy fat tissue would be different between males and females.
Researchers found that female mice have a higher number of blood vessels in their fat than males, and that females increase their number of blood vessels as they are fed a high-fat diet, while male mice do not.
“We concluded that this response enabled females to maintain healthier fat and better insulin sensitivity,” said Haas.
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Citation:Female Mice Have Higher Angiogenesis in Perigonadal Adipose Tissue Than Males in Response to High-Fat Diet.
Martina Rudnicki, Ghoncheh Abdifarkosh, Omid Rezvan, Emmanuel Nwadozi, Emilie Roudier, Tara L. Haas. Frontiers in Physiology, 2018; 9 DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01452 .