Pathophysiology of cellulite: Possible involvement of selective endotoxemia

Ilja L. Kruglikov, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The most relevant hallmarks of cellulite include a massive protrusion of superficial adipose tissue into the dermis, reduced expression of the extracellular glycoprotein fibulin-3, and an unusually high presence of MUSE cells in gluteofemoral white adipose tissue (gfWAT) that displays cellulite. Also typical for this condition is the hypertrophic nature of the underlying adipose tissue, the interaction of adipocytes with sweat glands, and dysfunctional lymph and blood circulation as well as a low-grade inflammation in the areas of gfWAT affected by cellulite. Here, we propose a new pathophysiology of cellulite, which connects this skin condition with selective accumulation of endogenous lipopolysaccharides (LPS) in gfWAT. The accumulation of LPS within a specific WAT depot has so far not been considered as a possible pathophysiological mechanism triggering localized WAT modifications, but may very well be involved in conditions such as cellulite and, secondary to that, lipedema.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalObesity Reviews
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • lipedema
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • MMP14
  • MUSE cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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