Objective:The aim was to investigate adipose tissue vascular and metabolic effects of an adrenaline infusion in vivo in subjects with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).Design:Clinical intervention study with 1-h intravenous adrenaline infusion.Subjects:Eight male overweight T2DM subjects and eight male weight-matched, non-T2DM subjects were studied before, during and after an 1-h intravenous adrenaline infusion. Adipose tissue blood flow (ATBF) was determined by Xenon wash-out technique, and microvascular volume in the adipose tissue was studied by contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging. Adipose tissue fluxes of glycerol, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), triacylglycerol and glucose were measured by Fick's principle after catherisation of a radial artery and a vein draining the abdominal, subcutaneous adipose tissue.Results:ATBF increased similarly in both groups during the adrenaline infusion. One hour post adrenaline, ATBF was still increased in overweight T2DM subjects. Adrenaline increased microvascular volume in non-T2DM subjects while this response was impaired in overweight T2DM subjects. Adrenaline-induced increase in lipolysis was similar in both groups, but NEFA output from adipose tissue was delayed in overweight T2DM subjects. Glucose uptake in adipose tissue increased in non-T2DM subjects during adrenaline infusion but was unchanged in overweight T2DM subjects. This results in a delayed excess release of NEFA from the adipose tissue in overweight T2DM subjects after cessation of the adrenaline infusion.Conclusion:Capillaries in the adipose tissue are recruited by adrenaline in non-T2DM subjects; however, this response is impaired in overweight T2DM subjects. NEFA, released in adipose tissue during adrenaline stimulation, is insufficiently re-esterified in situ in overweight T2DM subjects, probably owing to increased ATBF after adrenaline infusion and inability to increase adipose tissue glucose uptake.