alexa Autocrine and paracrine regulation of melanocytes in human skin and in pigmentary disorders.


Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research

Author(s): Imokawa G

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Abstract Recently melanogenic paracrine or autocrine cytokine networks have been discovered in vitro between melanocytes and other types of skin cells. These include endothelin (ET)-1, granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor, membrane-type stem cell factor (SCF) and growth-related oncogene-alpha for interactions between keratinocytes and melanocytes, and hepatocyte growth factor and soluble type SCF for interactions between fibroblasts and melanocytes. These networks are also associated with corresponding receptors expressed on melanocytes, including ET B receptor and the SCF receptor, c-KIT. Consistent with in vitro findings on the melanogenic paracrine or autocrine cytokine networks, we have found that the up- or down-regulation of such networks is intrinsically involved in vivo in the stimulation of melanocyte functions in several epidermal hyper- or hypo-pigmentary disorders. These are ET-1/ET B receptor as well as membrane type SCF/c-KIT for ultraviolet B-melanosis, granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor for ultraviolet A-melanosis, ET-1/ET B receptor as well as membrane type SCF for lentigo senilis, growth related oncogene-alpha for Riehl's melanosis, sphingosylphosphorylcholine for hyperpigmentation in atopic dermatitis, ET-1 for seborrhoeic keratosis, soluble type SCF as well as hepatocyte growth factor for dermatofibroma and café-au-lait macules, and c-KIT for vitiligo vulgaris. These unveiled regulatory mechanisms involved in the abnormal up- or down-regulated levels of lesional melanocyte function provide new insights into therapeutic tools utilizing blockage of responsible cytokine networks. This article was published in Pigment Cell Res and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research

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