Klausner, M., Neal, P., Breyfogle, B., Kubilus, J. MatTek Corp., Ashland, MA.

Organotypic skin models provide a useful, non-animal means to assess the irritancy and efficacy properties of various cosmetic products. To address the modulation of skin pigmentation, MatTek Corporation has developed MelanoDerm, a highly differentiated, three-dimensional tissue culture model of human epidermis which contains normal human melanocytes (NHM). NHM within MelanoDerm exhibit dendritic morphology, are localized in the basal cell layer, and produce melanin granules which progressively populate the layers of tissue as it is cultured. Over a four week period, cultures become increasingly pigmented with retention of normal epithelial morphology. Cultures containing NHM derived from Black donors show increased pigmentation versus those containing Caucasian derived NHM and both types of cultures are distinctly darker than NHM-free cultures. The topical application of kojic acid, a known inhibitor of melanogenesis, significantly reduced, but did not completely inhibit, melanin production and darkening. These results suggest that this model is useful to study melanogenesis, skin pigmentation, and other photobiological effects on skin in vitro.


DOPA, Kojic acid, Melanin, MelanoDerm, Melanocytes, Melanogenesis, NHM, Normal human melanocytes, Photobiological effects, Whitening agents

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