Adipose tissues consisting of adipocytes, microvasculature, and stroma are completely ablated upon overexpression of leptin in rats. This tissue regression is mediated by enhanced lipid beta-oxidation, adipocyte dedifferentiation, and apoptosis. To further characterize this phenomenon, we studied the possible effect of leptin on the adipose microvasculature. Tissue microvasculature is maintained by the interplay between positive and negative signals mediated by factors including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor, angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), and Ang-2. Expression of the negative signal Ang-2 was reported in fetal tissues and in the adult ovary, which undergoes vascular remodeling or regression. We demonstrate that leptin induces the expression of Ang-2 in adipose tissue without a concomitant increase in VEGF. Induction of Ang-2 occurred in an autocrine manner, as demonstrated in cultured adipocytes but not in several other cell types. This tissue-specific induction of Ang-2 coincided with initiation of apoptosis in adipose endothelial cells. We propose that induction of Ang-2 by leptin in adipose cells is one of the events leading to adipose tissue regression.