Neuroendocrine Functions of Melanocytes : Beyond the Skin-Deep Melanin Maker

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著者

    • TAKEDA KAZUHISA
    • Department of Molecular Biology and Applied Physiology, Tohoku University School of Medicine
    • TAKAHASHI NA-Ho
    • Department of Molecular Biology and Applied Physiology, Tohoku University School of Medicine
    • SHIBAHARA SHIGEKI
    • Department of Molecular Biology and Applied Physiology, Tohoku University School of Medicine

抄録

The skin is armored with "dead cells", the stratum corneum, and is continuously exposed to external stressful environments, such as atmospheric oxygen, solar radiations, and thermal and chemical insults. Melanocytes of neural crest origin are located in the skin, eye, inner ear, and leptomeninges. Melanin pigment in the skin is produced by melanocytes under the influence of various endogenous factors, derived from neighboring keratinocytes and underlying fibroblasts. The differentiation and functions of melanocytes are regulated at multiple processes, including transcription, RNA editing, melanin synthesis, and the transport of melanosomes to keratinocytes. Impairment at each step causes the pigmentary disorders in humans, with the historical example of oculocutaneous albinism. Moreover, heterozygous mutations in the gene coding for microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, a key regulator for melanocyte development, are associated with Waardenburg syndrome type 2, an auditory-pigmentary disorder. Sun tanning, melasma, aging spots (lentigo senilis), hair graying, and melanoma are well-known melanocyte-related pathologies. Melanocytes therefore have attracted much attention of many ladies, makeup artists and molecular biologists. More recently, we have shown that lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase (L-PGDS) is expressed in melanocytes but not in other skin cell types. L-PGDS generates prostaglandin D<sub>2</sub> and also functions as an inter-cellular carrier protein for lipophilic ligands, such as bilirubin and thyroid hormones. Thus, melanocytes may exert hitherto unknown functions through L-PGDS and prostaglandin D<sub>2</sub>. Here we update the neuroendocrine functions of melanocytes and discuss the possible involvement of melanocytes in the control of the central chemosensor that generates respiratory rhythm.

収録刊行物

  • THE TOHOKU JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE  

    THE TOHOKU JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE 211(3), 201-221, 2007-03-01 

    Tohoku University Medical Press

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各種コード

  • NII論文ID(NAID)
    10018873930
  • NII書誌ID(NCID)
    AA00863920
  • 本文言語コード
    ENG
  • 資料種別
    REV
  • ISSN
    00408727
  • データ提供元
    CJP書誌  CJP引用  J-STAGE 
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