Skin aging: Are adipocytes the next target?

Ilja L. Kruglikov, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Dermal white adipose tissue (dWAT) is increasingly appreciated as a special fat depot. The adipocytes in this depot exert a variety of unique effects on their surrounding cells and can undergo massive phenotypic changes. Significant modulation of dWAT content can be observed both in intrinsically and extrinsically aged skin. Specifically, skin that has been chronically photo-damaged displays a reduction of the dWAT volume, caused by the replacement of adipocytes by fibrotic structures. This is likely to be caused by the recently uncovered process described as "adipocyte-myofibroblast transition" (AMT). In addition, contributions of dermal adipocytes to the skin aging processes are also indirectly supported by spatial correlations between the prevalence of hypertrophic scarring and the appearance of signs of skin aging in different ethnic groups. These observations could elevate dermal adipocytes to prime targets in strategies aimed at counteracting skin aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1457-1469
Number of pages13
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Adipocyte-myofibroblast transition
  • Dermal adipocytes
  • Skin aging
  • Ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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