Takeyama1, R., Takekoshi2, S., Nagata2, H., Osamura2, R.Y., & Kawana1, S. 1Department of Dermatology, Nippon Medical School, Sendagi 1-1-5, Bunkyou-ku Tokyo 113-8603, Japan. 2Department of Pathology, Tokai University School of Medicine, Bohseidai, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan.

This study by researchers at Nippon Medical School and Tokai University School of Medicine in Japan demonstrated that MatTek’s MelanoDerm in vitro human skin tissue equivalent can be used to demonstrate that a compound (quercetin) has an effect on the maturation of melanosomes and that it has the potential to induce melanogenesis in human epidermis. Quercetin (3,5,7,3’,4’,-pentahydroxyflavone) is one of the most abundant natural flavonoids. It is present in various common vegetables and fruits. In this report, we examined the effect of quercetin on melanogenesis using a three-dimensional reconstituted human epidermal culture model, MelanoDerm, which is a new commercially-available cultured human epidermis containing functional melanocytes. Treatment with 10ìM quercetin induced an increase of tyrosinase activity in cultured epidermis after 3–5 days in time-dependent manner. In the quercetin-treated epidermis, furthermore, melanin content and tyrosinase expression were markedly increased, as shown by immunohistochemistry after a 7-day culture period. Ultrastructural studies clearly indicated an accumulation of mature melanosomes (stages III and IV) inside the basal layer of the cultured epidermis after the quercetin treatment. In addition, the dendrites of melanocytes extended further towards the adjacent keratinocytes after quercetin treatment. These results suggest that quercetin has an effect on maturation of melanosomes and that quercetin has the potential to induced melanogenesis in human epidermis.


Dendrite elongation, Dendrites, Flavonoids, MEL-300-A, Malanin assay, Melan-A, Melanin content, MelanoDerm, Melanogenesis, Melanosomes, S-100, Tyrosinase activity, Tyrosinase expression

Materials Tested

3,5,7,3’,4’-pentahydroxyflavone, Quercetin

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