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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 9, 2018

Neck adipose tissue – tying ties in metabolic disorders

Vlatka Pandzic Jaksic, Danijela Grizelj, Ana Livun, Drago Boscic, Marko Ajduk, Rajko Kusec and Ozren Jaksic


Upper body adipose tissue accumulation has been associated with clustering of metabolic disorders and increased cardiovascular risk. Neck circumference (NC) indicated that subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) in that region is an independent pathogenic depot that might account for the additional risk missed by visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Neck adipose tissue (NAT) is not only one more ectopic depot but has several particular features that might modulate its metabolic role. Besides a controversial impact on obstructive apnea syndrome, neck fat encompasses carotid arteries as an important perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) depot. With dysfunctional changes in obesity, physiologic vascular regulation is lost and inflammatory signals accelerate atherogenesis. Unexpected was the discovery of brown and beige adipocytes in the neck of human adults. When stimulated, brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates energy through thermogenesis and it is associated with other favorable metabolic effects. Moreover, the neck is the region where the browning mechanism was disclosed. With this unique plastic nature, NAT revealed multiple ties, challenging dynamics and potential new therapeutic targets that might have significant implications on metabolic outcomes and vascular risk.

Author Statement

  1. Research funding: Authors state no funding involved.

  2. Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  3. Informed consent: Informed consent is not applicable.

  4. Ethical approval: The conducted research is not related to either human or animal use.


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Received: 2017-10-30
Accepted: 2018-1-8
Published Online: 2018-2-9

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