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The expression of functional MSH receptors on cultured human melanocytes

Lookup NU author(s): Professor John Lunec, Professor Anthony Thody


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Although alpha-MSH increases skin darkening in humans, there are several reports that it fails to have melanogenic effects on human melanocytes in vitro. The purpose of this study was to see whether cultured human melanocytes express MSH receptors. Human melanocytes were grown in the absence of artificial mitogens such as 12-0-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and cholera toxin (CT) and incubated for 2 h at room temperature with increasing amounts of I-125-labelled Nle4DPhe7-alpha-MSH with and without excess cold peptide. Binding was saturable and specific: Scatchard analysis gave a K(d) of 4.9 x 10(-11) M and approximately 700 binding sites/cell. Human keratinocytes and fibroblasts showed no specific binding. The addition of 1 mM dibutyryl cAMP to the culture medium caused a 62% increase in MSH binding to human melanocytes. A smaller increase (25%) was seen with 10(-9) M CT while 25 mM TPA caused a 24% decrease. These results show that human melanocytes in culture express MSH receptors and that this expression can be modulated by mitogens.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Donatien, P.D., Hunt, G., Pieron, C., Lunec, J., Taieb, A., Thody, A.J.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Unknown

Journal: Archives of Dermatological Research

Year: 1992

Volume: 284

Issue: 7

Pages: 424-426

Print publication date: 01/12/1992

ISSN (print): 0340-3696

ISSN (electronic): 1432-069X


DOI: 10.1007/BF00372074


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