In vitro dedifferentiation of melanocytes from adult epidermis

Bernadett Kormos, Nora Belso, Attila Bebes, Gábor Szabad, Sarolta Bacsa, Márta Széll, Lajos Kemény, Zsuzsanna Bata-Csörgo

Research output: Article

27 Citations (Scopus)


In previous work we described a novel culture technique using a cholera toxin and PMA-free medium (Mel-mix) for obtaining pure melanocyte cultures from human adult epidermis. In Mel-mix medium the cultured melanocytes are bipolar, unpigmented and highly proliferative. Further characterization of the cultured melanocytes revealed the disappearance of c-Kit and TRP-1 and induction of nestin expression, indicating that melanocytes dedifferentiated in this in vitro culture. Cholera toxin and PMA were able to induce c-Kit and TRP-1 protein expressions in the cells, reversing dedifferentiation. TRP-1 mRNA expression was induced in dedifferentiated melanocytes by UV-B irradiated keratinocyte supernatants, however direct UV-B irradiation of the cells resulted in further decrease of TRP-1 mRNA expression. These dedifferentiated, easily accessible cultured melanocytes provide a good model for studying melanocyte differentiation and possibly transdifferentiation. Because melanocytes in Mel-mix medium can be cultured with human serum as the only supplement, this culture system is also suitable for autologous cell transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17197
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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