A new approach to study human perivascular adipose tissue of the internal mammary artery by fiber-optic Raman spectroscopy supported by spectral modelling†
Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) regulates vascular function and represents a novel therapeutic target in vascular diseases. In this work, a new approach based on fiber-optic Raman spectroscopy and spectral modelling was used to characterize the chemical content of the PVAT of the internal mammary artery (IMA) of patients with advanced coronary atherosclerosis (n = 10) undergoing coronary bypass surgery. Our results showed a high degree of lipid unsaturation and low carotenoid content in the PVAT of the IMA of patients with more advanced coronary artery disease. Moreover, the spectral modelling of the IMA's PVAT composition indicated that glyceryl trioleate was a major PVAT lipid and for patients with relatively low levels of β-carotene, it was accompanied by arachidonic acid and glyceryl trilinolenate. In summary, our proof-of-concept study suggests that carotenoid content and lipid unsaturation degree may reflect the PVAT functional status and a Raman-based assessment of the PVAT of the IMA could prove useful as a novel diagnostic tool to rapidly define the PVAT phenotype in a grafted artery in patients undergoing coronary bypass.