Apr 1, 1995

Long-term proliferation of human melanocytes is supported by the physiologic mitogens alpha-melanotropin, endothelin-1, and basic fibroblast growth factor

Experimental Cell Research
Viki B SwopeZalfa A Abdel-Malek


We have successfully established normal neonatal and adult human melanocyte cultures in a growth medium containing the physiologic mitogens basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF; 0.6 ng/ml), endothelin-1 (endo-1; 10 nM), and alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH; 10 nM). The latter two factors replaced the commonly used mitogens 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) and bovine pituitary extract (BPE), respectively. Basic FGF alone maintained the viability but did not induce the proliferation of melanocytes. The addition of endo-1 to the bFGF-containing medium resulted in reduction of tyrosinase activity without enhancement of proliferation. However, the addition of alpha-MSH to the bFGF-containing medium potentiated melanocyte proliferation and tyrosinase activity. The concomitant addition of endo-1, alpha-MSH, and bFGF significantly increased the entry of melanocytes into S phase and potentiated their proliferation. Melanocytes maintained under these conditions had the same tyrosinase activity as those maintained in a medium containing alpha-MSH and bFGF. The signal transduction pathway induced by either endo-1 or bFGF, but not alpha-MSH, includes the activation of the mitogen-activated (MAP) kinase pathway. The ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
MAPK1 gene
ACTH (1-13)NH2
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
FGF2 gene
Signal Transduction Pathways

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