Functionally distinct melanocyte populations revealed by reconstitution of hair follicles in mice

    November 2010 in “Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research
    Hitomi Aoki, Akira Hara, Tsutomu Motohashi, Masatake Osawa, Takahiro Kunisada
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    TLDR Only skin melanocytes, not other types, can color hair in mice.
    The study by Hitomi Aoki and colleagues explored the roles of different melanocyte populations in hair follicle regeneration in mice. They discovered that only epidermal melanocytes, not dermal or non-cutaneous melanocytes, could integrate into hair follicles and contribute to pigmentation. This suggests that melanocytes are functionally distinct based on their location, with epidermal melanocytes being essential for hair pigmentation. The findings have implications for understanding the pathogenesis of melanocyte-related diseases and developing treatments for conditions such as melanocytosis, vitiligo, and melanomas. The study also emphasized the importance of the microenvironment for melanocyte migration and differentiation. The number of mice used in the study was not provided.
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