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Melanin pigmentation protects the skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR). There are two types of melanin, the red phaeomelanin and the black eumelanin, both of which are present in human skin. Eumelanin is photoprotective whereas phaeomelanin, because of its potential to generate free radicals in response to UVR, may contribute to(More)
Alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) is a proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptide, which is produced in the pituitary and at other sites including the skin. It has numerous effects and in the skin has a pigmentary action through the activation of the melanocortin-1 (MC-1) receptor, which is expressed by melanocytes. Recent evidence suggests(More)
Cryostat sections of human skin were stained with monoclonal antibodies to involucrin, a range of cytokeratins, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), and an ovarian cystadenocarcinoma antibody (OM1) to identify combinations of antibodies that could be used to discriminate between basal and differentiated sebocytes and other cell types present in the(More)
Melanocytes are cells of neural crest origin. In the human epidermis, they form a close association with keratinocytes via their dendrites. Melanocytes are well known for their role in skin pigmentation, and their ability to produce and distribute melanin has been studied extensively. One of the factors that regulates melanocytes and skin pigmentation is(More)
Melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) plays an important role in determining the cutaneous response to ultraviolet radiation and may also influence melanoma progression. We have previously shown that variants of the melanocortin receptor present on melanocytes, MC1R, are associated with sun sensitivity and red hair in a UK population and therefore now(More)
Generalized vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder characterized by acquired white patches of skin and overlying hair, the result of loss of melanocytes from involved areas. The most common disorder of pigmentation, vitiligo occurs with a frequency of 0.1-2.0% in various populations. Family clustering of cases is not uncommon, in a non-Mendelian pattern(More)
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) are produced in the skin under the influence of UV radiation. These compounds are highly reactive and can induce DNA lesions in epidermal cells. Melanin is considered to protect human skin against DNA damage by absorbing UV radiation. We have investigated whether melanin can, in addition,(More)
The skin pigment melanin is produced in melanocytes in highly specialized organelles known as melanosomes. Melanosomes are related to the organelles of the endosomal/lysosomal pathway and can have a low internal pH. In the present study we have shown that melanin synthesis in human pigment cell lysates is maximal at pH 6.8. We therefore investigated the(More)
The melanocortin 1 (MC-1) receptor is a key control point in the regulation of skin pigmentation. Alpha-MSH is an agonist at this receptor and through its activation regulates melanocyte function. alpha-MSH is cleaved from pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) in the pituitary, but in humans the skin is a more important source of the peptide. Skin pigmentation is(More)
While ACTH is known to induce skin pigmentation in man, its effects on cultured human melanocytes have not been investigated. Using a culture system free of artificial mitogens, we report for the first time that ACTH stimulates melanogenesis in cultured human melanocytes. While ACTH, alpha-MSH and the synthetic alpha-MSH analogue Nle4DPhe7 alpha-MSH all(More)