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The melanocortin 1 receptor gene is a main determinant of human pigmentation, and a melanoma susceptibility gene, because its variants that are strongly associated with red hair color increase melanoma risk. To test experimentally the association between melanocortin 1 receptor genotype and melanoma susceptibility, we compared the responses of primary human(More)
We have successfully established normal neonatal and adult human melanocyte cultures in a growth medium containing the physiologic mitogens basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF; 0.6 ng/ml), endothelin-1 (endo-1; 10 nM), and alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH; 10 nM). The latter two factors replaced the commonly used mitogens(More)
Epidermal melanocytes are skin cells specialized in melanin production. Activation of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) on melanocytes by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) induces synthesis of the brown/black pigment eumelanin that confers photoprotection from solar UV radiation (UVR). Contrary to keratinocytes, melanocytes are slow proliferating(More)
The significance of melanotropic hormones as physiologic regulators of cutaneous pigmentation in humans is still controversial. Until recently, no direct effect for melanotropins could be demonstrated on human melanocytes. Here we present conclusive evidence that alpha-melanotropin (alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, alpha-MSH) and the related hormone(More)
Cultured epidermal keratinocytes provide an abundant supply of biologic material for wound treatment. Because restoration of barrier function is a definitive criterion for efficacy of wound closure and depends on the lipids present in the epidermis, we analyzed lipid composition of the epidermis in cultured skin substitutes in vitro and after grafting to(More)
We report the effects of two factors, donor age and anatomical site, on the proliferation and melanization of human melanocytes (MC) derived from (1) neonatal foreskins, (2) adult foreskins, or (3) adult breast or arm skin. Two different growth media have been used for this purpose. Medium I supports the long-term proliferation of neonatal MC, and medium II(More)
Activation of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) by α-melanocortin (α-MSH) stimulates eumelanin synthesis and enhances repair of ultraviolet radiation (UV)-induced DNA damage. We report on the DNA damage response (DDR) of human melanocytes to UV and its enhancement by α-MSH. α-MSH up-regulated the levels of XPC, the enzyme that recognizes DNA damage sites,(More)
One skin cancer prevention strategy that we are developing is based on synthesizing and testing melanocortin analogs that reduce and repair DNA damage resulting from exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, in addition to stimulating pigmentation. Previously, we reported the effects of tetrapeptide analogs of alpha-melanocortin (alpha-MSH) that were(More)
Endothelin-1 is a paracrine factor with mitogenic, melanogenic and survival effects on cultured human melanocytes. We report that endothelin-1 signalling reduced the generation and enhanced the repair of ultraviolet radiation (UV)-induced DNA photoproducts, and inhibited apoptosis of human melanocytes, without increasing cAMP levels, melanin content or(More)
Interleukin (IL)-1 alpha, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha are epidermal cytokines that produce many similar biologic effects. We have investigated the possibility that these cytokines act as regulators of melanization and proliferation of cultured normal human melanocytes (NHM). All three cytokines elicited a dose-dependent decrease in the(More)