When a person consumes more calories than needed, the excess calories are stored in the form of triglycerides inside fat tissue, also known as white adipose tissue (WAT). Researchers know that in obese people, WAT becomes overworked, fat cells begin to die, and immune cells become activated. But the exact mechanism by which this inflammation occurs isn't fully understood.
While many studies have focused on the signaling molecules produced by the fat cells or immune cells in WAT that might contribute to inflammation, Gupta's team took a different approach. They focused instead on the vessels that carry blood -- as well as immune cells and inflammatory molecules -- into WAT.