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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)