Mechanism of depigmentation by hydroquinone.

@article{Jimbow1974MechanismOD,
  title={Mechanism of depigmentation by hydroquinone.},
  author={Kowichi Jimbow and Hiroto Obata and Madhu A. Pathak and Thomas B. Fitzpatrick},
  journal={The Journal of investigative dermatology},
  year={1974},
  volume={62 4},
  pages={
          436-49
        }
}
Histochemical (dopa reaction) and electron microscopic studies were carried out to elucidate the nature of the chemical depigmentation produced by hydroquinone (HQ). Depigmentation was induced by topical application or subcutaneous injection of HQ in black guinea pigs. The present study showed that HQ preferentially affected the nonfollicular and follicular melanocyte system. It caused decreased formation of melanosomes, a marked alteration in the internal structure of melanosomes, an increased… 

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TLDR
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It is proposed that hydroquinone inhibits not only the formation, melanization and degradation of melanosomes but also interacts with the membranous structures of melanocytes eventually causing necrosis of whole melanocytes.

Environmentally induced vitiligo (Leucoderma) from depigmenting agents and chemicals

AbstractDepigmentation of the skin due to the melanocytotoxic or melanocytocidal properties of certain chemicals, particularly alkylated phenols and catechols, is now a well recognized and

Glutathione as a depigmenting agent: an overview

TLDR
In vitro and in vivo studies that show evidence of glutathione involvement in the melanogenic pathway are reviewed and its anti‐melanogenic effect is shed and concepts supported by the various experimental evidence presented form basis for future research in the treatment of pigmentary disorders.

Enhancement of the depigmenting effect of hydroquinone by cystamine and buthionine sulfoximine

TLDR
The possibility exists that in the future a combination of HQ plus cystamine or BSO could be used to treat disorders such as melasma and post‐Inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Detection of environmental depigmenting substances

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There was no universal solvent or optimal body site, although all tested areas could be depigmented, and a model for screening medicinal and industrial chemicals for depigmenting capacity is proposed.
...

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Therapy with topically applied hydroquinone did not lead to complete disappearance of pathological hypermelanosis, but results were satisfactory enough to help most patients become less self-conscious about their pigmentary abnormalities.

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