Type 2 diabetes and its major risk factor, obesity, are a growing burden for public health. The mechanisms that connect obesity and its related disorders, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension, are still undefined. Microvascular dysfunction may be a pathophysiologic link between insulin resistance and hypertension in obesity. Many studies have shown that adipose tissue-derived substances (adipokines) interact with (micro)vascular function and influence insulin sensitivity. In the past, research focused on adipokines from perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT). In this review, we focus on the interactions between adipokines, predominantly from PVAT, and microvascular function in relation to the development of insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. © 2011 The Author(s).