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Sample records for melanins

  1. Melanin-binding radiopharmaceuticals

    SciTech Connect

    Packer, S; Fairchild, R G; Watts, K P; Greenberg, D; Hannon, S J

    1980-01-01

    The scope of this paper is limited to an analysis of the factors that are important to the relationship of radiopharmaceuticals to melanin. While the authors do not attempt to deal with differences between melanin-binding vs. melanoma-binding, a notable variance is assumed. (PSB)

  2. Photothermal imaging of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerimo, Josef; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-02-01

    We present photothermal images of melanin using modulation with two laser beams. Strong melanin absorption followed by efficient nonradiative relaxation caused heating and an increase in temperature. This temperature effect was used as an imaging contrast to detect melanin. Melanin from several samples including Sepia officinalis, black human hair, and live zebra fish, were imaged with a high signal-to-noise ratio. For the imaging, we focused two near infrared laser beams (pump and probe) collinearly with different wavelengths and the pump was modulated in amplitude. The thermally induced variations in the refractive index, at the modulation frequency, were detected by the scattering of the probe beam. The Photothermal method brings several imaging benefits including the lack of background interference and the possibility of imaging for an extended period of time without photodamage to the melanin. The dependence of the photothermal signal on the laser power, modulation frequency, and spatial offset of the probe is discussed. The new photothermal imaging method is promising and provides background-free and label-free imaging of melanin and can be implemented with low-cost CW lasers.

  3. Melanin pigmented solar absorbing surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Gallas, J.M.; Eisner, M.

    1980-01-01

    Selectivity enhancement is shown to result for melanin, a black biopolymer pigment, for sufficiently low sample density. The effect is proposed to follow from a consideration of the evanescent waves associated with the total internal reflection phenomenon. A relationship is discussed among powder density, pH and the paramagnetic properties of melanin; this relationship is shown to be consistent with, and offer support to an amino-acid side group proposed earlier as part of the melanin structure. A brief discussion is also presented on the optical properties of melanin and the relative importance of quinhydrone, a change transfer complex believed to exist in the polymeric structure of melanin.

  4. Photoacoustic measurement of epidermal melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viator, John A.; Svaasand, Lars O.; Aguilar, Guillermo; Choi, Bernard; Nelson, J. Stuart

    2003-06-01

    Most dermatologic laser procedures must consider epidermal melanin, as it is a broadband optical absorber which affects subsurface fluence, effectively limiting the amount of light reaching the dermis and targeted chromophores. An accurate method for quantifying epidermal melanin content would aid clinicians in determining proper light dosage for therapeutic laser procedures. While epidermal melanin content has been quantified non-invasively using optical methods, there is currently no way to determine the melanin distribution in the epidermis. We have developed a photoacoustic probe that uses a Q-switched, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser operating at 532nm to generate acoustic pulses in skin in vivo. The probe contained a piezoelectric element that detected photoacoustic waves which were then analyzed for epidermal melanin content, using a photoacoustic melanin index (PAMI). We tested 15 human subjects with skin types I--VI using the photoacoustic probe. We also present photoacoustic data for a human subject with vitiligo. Photoacoustic measurement showed melanin in the vitiligo subject was almost completely absent.

  5. Pathogenic roles for fungal melanins.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, E S

    2000-10-01

    Melanins represent virulence factors for several pathogenic fungi; the number of examples is growing. Thus, albino mutants of several genera (in one case, mutated precisely in the melanizing enzyme) exhibit decreased virulence in mice. We consider the phenomenon in relation to known chemical properties of melanin, beginning with biosynthesis from ortho-hydroquinone precursors which, when oxidized enzymatically to quinones, polymerize spontaneously to melanin. It follows that melanizing intermediates are cross-linking reagents; melanization stabilizes the external cell wall against hydrolysis and is thought to determine semipermeability in the osmotic ram (the appressorium) of certain plant pathogens. Polymeric melanins undergo reversible oxidation-reduction reactions between cell wall-penetrating quinone and hydroquinone oxidation states and thus represent polymeric redox buffers; using strong oxidants, it is possible to titrate the melanin on living cells and thereby demonstrate protection conferred by melanin in several species. The amount of buffering per cell approximately neutralizes the amount of oxidant generated by a single macrophage. Moreover, the intermediate oxidation state, the semiquinone, is a very stable free radical and is thought to trap unpaired electrons. We have suggested that the oxidation state of external melanin may be regulated by external Fe(II). An independent hypothesis holds that in Cryptococcus neoformans, an important function of the melanizing enzyme (apart from melanization) is the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III), thereby forestalling generation of the harmful hydroxyl radical from H(2)O(2). Thus, problems in fungal pathogenesis have led to evolving hypotheses regarding melanin functioning. PMID:11023965

  6. Pathogenic Roles for Fungal Melanins

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Eric S.

    2000-01-01

    Melanins represent virulence factors for several pathogenic fungi; the number of examples is growing. Thus, albino mutants of several genera (in one case, mutated precisely in the melanizing enzyme) exhibit decreased virulence in mice. We consider the phenomenon in relation to known chemical properties of melanin, beginning with biosynthesis from ortho-hydroquinone precursors which, when oxidized enzymatically to quinones, polymerize spontaneously to melanin. It follows that melanizing intermediates are cross-linking reagents; melanization stabilizes the external cell wall against hydrolysis and is thought to determine semipermeability in the osmotic ram (the appressorium) of certain plant pathogens. Polymeric melanins undergo reversible oxidation-reduction reactions between cell wall-penetrating quinone and hydroquinone oxidation states and thus represent polymeric redox buffers; using strong oxidants, it is possible to titrate the melanin on living cells and thereby demonstrate protection conferred by melanin in several species. The amount of buffering per cell approximately neutralizes the amount of oxidant generated by a single macrophage. Moreover, the intermediate oxidation state, the semiquinone, is a very stable free radical and is thought to trap unpaired electrons. We have suggested that the oxidation state of external melanin may be regulated by external Fe(II). An independent hypothesis holds that in Cryptococcus neoformans, an important function of the melanizing enzyme (apart from melanization) is the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III), thereby forestalling generation of the harmful hydroxyl radical from H2O2. Thus, problems in fungal pathogenesis have led to evolving hypotheses regarding melanin functioning. PMID:11023965

  7. ELECTRON SPIN RESONANCE STUDIES ON MELANIN.

    PubMed

    BLOIS, M S; ZAHLAN, A B; MALING, J E

    1964-11-01

    Electron spin resonance (e.s.r.) observations of squid melanin have been conducted over the temperature range 500 degrees K to 4.2 degrees K, and the effect of various chemical treatments of the melanin upon the e.s.r. spectrum has been studied. The findings have shown that the paramagnetism of this melanin follows the Curie Law from 500 degrees K to 4.2 degrees K, that the spin signal can be eliminated by the addition of Cu(++) to the melanin, and that the optical and e.s.r. absorptions of melanin are independent since either can be reduced or eliminated without affecting the other. Similar studies on synthetic melanins produced by autoxidation or by enzymatic oxidation of a number of biphenols were carried out. It was found that the e.s.r. signals of these synthetic melanins were strikingly similar (with respect to line width, line shape, and g-value) with those of squid melanin. It is concluded that the unpaired electrons observed are associated with trapped free radicals in the melanin polymer, that the biosynthesis of melanin may involve a free radical mechanism, and that these physical data are in accord with the concept of Nicolaus that melanin is a highly irregular, three-dimensional, polymer. PMID:14232133

  8. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin

    PubMed Central

    Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Melanin is a unique pigment with myriad functions that is found in all biological kingdoms. It is multifunctional, providing defense against environmental stresses such as ultraviolet (UV) light, oxidizing agents and ionizing radiation. Melanin contributes to the ability of fungi to survive in harsh environments. In addition, it plays a role in fungal pathogenesis. Melanin is an amorphous polymer that is produced by one of two synthetic pathways. Fungi may synthesize melanin from endogenous substrate via a 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) intermediate. Alternatively, some fungi produce melanin from l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-dopa). The detailed chemical structure of melanin is not known. However, microscopic studies show that it has an overall granular structure. In fungi, melanin granules are localized to the cell wall where they are likely cross-linked to polysaccharides. Recent studies suggest the fungal melanin may be synthesized in internal vesicles akin to mammalian melanosomes and transported to the cell wall. Potential applications of melanin take advantage of melanin's radioprotective properties and propensity to bind to a variety of substances. PMID:22173481

  9. [Melanin complex of the fungus Inonotus obliquus].

    PubMed

    Babitskaia, V G; Shcherba, V V; Ikonnikova, N V

    2000-01-01

    The fungus Inonotus obliquus (Pers.) Pil. synthesised high-molecular-weight phenolic pigments that were assigned to melanins according to their physicochemical properties. It was showed that copper ions (0.008%), pyrocatechol (1.0 mM), and tyrosine (20.0 mM) stimulated the melanogenesis. The production of melanin correlated with the synthesis of o- and p-diphenoloxidases. The fungal melanin had strong antioxidant and genoprotective effects. PMID:10994193

  10. Computational model of heterogeneous heating in melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellicker, Jason; DiMarzio, Charles A.; Kowalski, Gregory J.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin particles often present as an aggregate of smaller melanin pigment granules and have a heterogeneous surface morphology. When irradiated with light within the absorption spectrum of melanin, these heterogeneities produce measurable concentrations of the electric field that result in temperature gradients from thermal effects that are not seen with spherical or ellipsoidal modeling of melanin. Modeling melanin without taking into consideration the heterogeneous surface morphology yields results that underestimate the strongest signals or over{estimate their spatial extent. We present a new technique to image phase changes induced by heating using a computational model of melanin that exhibits these surface heterogeneities. From this analysis, we demonstrate the heterogeneous energy absorption and resulting heating that occurs at the surface of the melanin granule that is consistent with three{photon absorption. Using the three{photon dluorescence as a beacon, we propose a method for detecting the extents of the melanin granule using photothermal microscopy to measure the phase changes resulting from the heating of the melanin.

  11. Synthesis and characterization of melanin in DMSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bronze-Uhle, Erika S.; Batagin-Neto, Augusto; Xavier, Pedro H. P.; Fernandes, Nicole I.; de Azevedo, Eduardo R.; Graeff, Carlos F. O.

    2013-09-01

    Recently soluble melanin derivatives have been obtained by a synthetic procedure carried out in DMSO (D-melanin). In this work a comparative study of the structural characteristics of synthetic melanin derivatives obtained by oxidation of L-DOPA in H2O and DMSO are presented. To this end, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as well as proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance techniques has been employed. In addition, aging effects have been investigated for D-melanin. The results suggest that sulfonate groups (-SO2CH3) from the oxidation of DMSO, are incorporated into melanin, which confers protection to the phenolic hydroxyl group present in its structure. The solubility of D-melanin in DMSO is attributed to the presence of these groups. When D-melanin is left in air for long time periods, the sulfonate groups leave the structure, and an insoluble compound is obtained. NaOH and water have been used, in order to accelerate the release of the sulfonate groups attached to D-melanin, thereby corroborating the proposed structure and the synthesis mechanism.

  12. Effect of melanin on enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic waste.

    PubMed

    Ray, R M; Desai, J D

    1984-07-01

    Wood waste powder from Tectona grandis containing melanin was less susceptible to enzymatic hydrolysis than powder without melanin. About a 53% increase in saccharification was noted when melanin was removed. Melanin caused inhibition to all cellulolytic enzymes, but in different degrees. Endo-beta-1,4-glucanase and beta-glucosidase were markedly inhibited when melanin was preincubated with enzyme, while exo-beta-1,4-glucanase was severely inhibited when melanin was preincubated with substrate. The latter was found to be dependent on the contact time. The activities of endo-beta-1,4-glucanase and beta-glucosidase were noncompetitively inhibited by melanin. PMID:18553434

  13. Study of Melanin Bleaching After Immunohistochemistry of Melanin-containing Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-01-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3′-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium permanganate bleaching and potassium dichromate bleaching clearly destroyed DAB, whereas TCCA bleaching had no significant effect on DAB. Therefore, neither potassium permanganate nor potassium dichromate is an ideal solution, whereas TCCA might be an ideal solution for melanin bleaching after the immunohistochemical staining of melanin-containing tissues. After immunostaining followed by TCCA bleaching, the melanin could be completely removed in all 120 malignant melanoma tissue sections. Compared with the control, the DAB intensity was clear, and the tissue structure and cellular nuclei were well maintained. It is worth noting that TCCA should be freshly prepared before each experiment, and used within 2 hours of its preparation. In addition, sections should not be incubated with TCCA for over 30 minutes. PMID:24710084

  14. Study of melanin bleaching after immunohistochemistry of melanin-containing tissues.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hongwu; Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-04-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium permanganate bleaching and potassium dichromate bleaching clearly destroyed DAB, whereas TCCA bleaching had no significant effect on DAB. Therefore, neither potassium permanganate nor potassium dichromate is an ideal solution, whereas TCCA might be an ideal solution for melanin bleaching after the immunohistochemical staining of melanin-containing tissues. After immunostaining followed by TCCA bleaching, the melanin could be completely removed in all 120 malignant melanoma tissue sections. Compared with the control, the DAB intensity was clear, and the tissue structure and cellular nuclei were well maintained. It is worth noting that TCCA should be freshly prepared before each experiment, and used within 2 hours of its preparation. In addition, sections should not be incubated with TCCA for over 30 minutes. PMID:24710084

  15. Interactions of flavins with melanin. Studies on equilibrium binding of riboflavin to dopa-melanin and some spectroscopic characteristics of flavin-melanin complex.

    PubMed

    Kozik, A; Korytowski, W; Sarna, T; Bloom, A S

    1990-10-01

    Natural melanins are photoprotective pigments that in mammals are principally found in the skin, hair, and eyes. Although the molecular mechanism of photoprotection of pigmented cells has not yet been established, several hypotheses have been proposed with melanin acting as a light filter, free radical scavenger, and quencher of electronically excited states of reactive intermediates. It can be expected that the detoxicating efficiency of melanin should be enhanced if the melanin and potentially cytotoxic species are brought close together. Such a situation may occur for a number of photosensitizing dyes that have the ability to bind to melanin. The interaction of melanin with flavins has been studied under strictly controlled experimental conditions. The equilibrium dialysis method has been employed to determine dissociation constants and the number of binding sites in melanin at pH 5-9. The data reveal that synthetic DOPA-melanin has two different classes of binding sites with dissociation constants of 10(-6) and 10(-5) M, respectively. The overall binding capacity of melanin, at pH 7, is 250 nmol RF/mg melanin. The amount of bound-to-melanin RF increases with pH. The absorption spectra of melanin complexes with RF and lumiflavin indicate that hydrophobic interaction may be involved in the binding of these flavins by melanin. No changes in flavin fluorescence have been detected after binding of flavin to melanin. It appears that, contrary to cationic photosensitizing dyes, the singlet excited state of flavin molecules is not quenched by melanin. PMID:2128193

  16. Unanticipated role of melanin in causing carcinogenic cyclobutane pyrimidine dimmers.

    PubMed

    Premi, Sanjay; Brash, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

    Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) instantaneously generates cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). Paradoxically, we recently observed that UV enables the protective pigment melanin to create CPDs in the dark long after the exposure ends. UV-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidize melanin to create melanin carbonyls in a high-energy quantum state. These energetic melanin carbonyls transfer their energy to DNA in the dark, creating CPDs in the absence of UVR. PMID:27308551

  17. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    SciTech Connect

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina Congiu, Mirko Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico de; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi Biziak de Figueiredo, Natália Mulato, Marcelo

    2014-03-15

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  18. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi; de Figueiredo, Natália Biziak; Congiu, Mirko; Mulato, Marcelo; de Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico

    2014-03-01

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  19. Degradation of melanin by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Luther, J P; Lipke, H

    1980-01-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus from composted coffee and garden wastes utilized natural deproteinized insect, banana, hair, octopus, and synthetic tyrosine and dopa melanins as sole sources of carbon. With a sucrose supplement, degradation was essentially complete after 50 days in Czapek medium pH 6.5 at 30 degrees C. The catabolic rate differed for each substrate pigment, as did the molecular weight distribution of products accumulating in the medium. After incubation with L-[U-14C]melanin, over 50% was recovered in a dark fungal pigment, the remainder appearing as cell protein, chitin, lipid, CO2, and polar metabolites. When grown on melanin, the normally pale mycelia darkened with the production of a fungal allomelanin, with infrared spectrum and alkali fusion products differing from those of the substrate pigment. Isotope distribution in amino acids for A. fumigatus grown on labeled melanin supplemented with sucrose suggested separate pools for synthesis of cell proteins and melanoproteins. Deposition of allomelanin increased resistance of conidia, sterigma, and conidiophores to lytic carbohydrases as judged by scanning electron microscopy. Images PMID:6996615

  20. Epidermal melanin absorption in human skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norvang Nilsen, Lill T.; Fiskerstrand, Elisanne J.; Nelson, J. Stuart; Berns, Michael W.; Svaasand, Lars O.

    1996-01-01

    The principle of laser induced selective photothermolysis is to induced thermal damage to specific targets in such a manner that the temperature of the surrounding tissue is maintained below the threshold for thermal damage. The selectivity is obtained by selection of a proper wavelength and pulse duration. The technique is presently being used in the clinic for removal of port-wine stains. The presence of melanin in the epidermal layer can represent a limitation to the selectivity. Melanin absorption drops off significantly with increasing wavelength, but is significant in the entire wavelength region where the blood absorption is high. Treatment of port-wine stain in patients with high skin pigmentation may therefore give overheating of the epidermis, resulting in epidermal necrosis. Melanosomal heating is dependent on the energy and duration of the laser pulse. The heating mechanism for time scales less than typically 1 microsecond(s) corresponds to a transient local heating of the individual melanosomes. For larger time scales, heat diffusion out of the melanosomes become of increased importance, and the temperature distribution will reach a local steady state condition after typically 10 microsecond(s) . For even longer pulse duration, heat diffusing from neighboring melanosomes becomes important, and the temperature rise in a time scale from 100 - 500 microsecond(s) is dominated by this mechanism. The epidermal heating during the typical 450 microsecond(s) pulse used for therapy is thus dependent on the average epidermal melanin content rather than on the absorption coefficient of the individual melanosomes. This study will present in vivo measurements of the epidermal melanin absorption of human skin when exposed to short laser pulses (< 0.1 microsecond(s) ) from a Q-switched ruby laser and with long laser pulses (approximately 500 microsecond(s) ) from a free-running ruby laser or a long pulse length flashlamp pumped dye laser. The epidermal melanin

  1. Amyloids, Melanins and Oxidative Stress in Melanomagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Liu-Smith, Feng; Poe, Carrie; Farmer, Patrick J.; Meyskens, Frank L.

    2015-01-01

    Melanoma has traditionally been viewed as an ultra-violet (UV) radiation induced malignancy. While UV is a common inducing factor, other endogenous stresses such as metal ion accumulation or the melanin pigment itself, may provide alternative pathways to melanoma progression. Eumelanosomes within melanoma often exhibit disrupted membranes and fragmented pigment which may be due to alterations in their amyloid-based striatial matrix. The melanosomal amyloid can itself be toxic, especially in combination with reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) generated by endogenous NADPH oxidase (NOX) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes; a toxic mix that may initiate melanomagenesis. Further understanding of the loss of the melanosomal organization, the behavior of the exposed melanin, and the induction of ROS/RNS in melanomas may provide critical insights into this deadly disease. PMID:25271672

  2. Induction of melanin biosynthesis in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed Central

    Coyne, V E; al-Harthi, L

    1992-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae synthesized the pigment melanin in response to specific physiological conditions that were stressful to the bacterium. Pigmentation was induced when V. cholerae was subjected to hyperosmotic stress in conjunction with elevated growth temperatures (above 30 degrees C). The salt concentration tolerated by V. cholerae was lowered by additional abiotic factors such as acidic starting pH of the growth medium and limitation of organic nutrients. Although the amount of toxin detected in the culture supernatant decreased significantly in response to stressful culture conditions, no correlation between the physiological conditions that induced melanogenesis and expression of OmpU or cholera toxin was detected. Since conditions that induce melanin production in V. cholerae occur in both the aquatic environment and the human host, it is possible that melanogenesis has a specific function with respect to the survival of the bacterium in these habitats. PMID:1444398

  3. Image-based control of skin melanin texture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Ojima, Nobutoshi; Takase, Koichi; Okaguchi, Saya; Hori, Kimihiko; Miyake, Yoichi

    2006-09-01

    We introduce a useful tool for controlling the skin melanin texture of facial photographs. Controlling the skin melanin texture is an important task in the reproduction of posters, TV commercials, movies, and so on. We used component maps of melanin, which were obtained by a previous method [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 2169 (1999)] as the first processing step. We propose to control the melanin texture continuously and physiologically, based on the analysis of 123 skin textures in our database. The physiological validity for the change of the melanin texture is confirmed by comparing the synthesized image with an ultraviolet image, which can be used to predict the change of melanin texture due to aging. The control processes are implemented on programmable graphics hardware, and real-time processing is achieved for a facial videostream.

  4. Dopamine-melanin nanofilms for biomimetic structural coloration.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tong-Fei; Hong, Jong-Dal

    2015-02-01

    This article describes the formation of dopamine-melanin thin films (50-200 nm thick) at an air/dopamine solution interface under static conditions. Beneath these films, spherical melanin granules formed in bulk liquid phase. The thickness of dopamine-melanin films at the interface relied mainly on the concentration of dopamine solution and the reaction time. A plausible mechanism underlining dopamine-melanin thin film formation was proposed based on the hydrophobicity of dopamine-melanin aggregates and the mass transport of the aggregates to the air/solution interface as a result of convective flow. The thickness of the interfacial films increased linearly with the dopamine concentration and the reaction time. The dopamine-melanin thin film and granules (formed in bulk liquid phase) with a double-layered structure were transferred onto a solid substrate to mimic the (keratin layer)/(melanin granules) structure present in bird plumage, thereby preparing full dopamine-melanin thin-film reflectors. The reflected color of the thin-film reflectors depended on the film thickness, which could be adjusted according to the dopamine concentration. The reflectance of the resulted reflectors exhibited a maximal reflectance value of 8-11%, comparable to that of bird plumage (∼11%). This study provides a useful, simple, and low-cost approach to the fabrication of biomimetic thin-film reflectors using full dopamine-melanin materials. PMID:25587771

  5. In vivo stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence imaging of melanin in human skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; Abbas, Saleh; Lowe, Jared; Sierra, Heidy; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles

    2014-03-01

    The stepwise multi-photon activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin is a low cost and reliable method of detecting melanin because the activation and excitation can be a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser. Our previous work has demonstrated the melanin SMPAF images in sepia melanin, mouse hair, and mouse skin. In this study, we show the feasibility of using SMPAF to detect melanin in vivo. in vivo melanin SMPAF images of normal skin and benign nevus are demonstrated. SMPAF images add specificity for melanin detection than MPFM images and CRM images. Melanin SMPAF is a promising technology to enable early detection of melanoma for dermatologists.

  6. Melanin content of hamster tissues, human tissues, and various melanomas

    SciTech Connect

    Watts, K.P.; Fairchild, R.G.; Slatkin, D.N.; Greenberg, D.; Packer, S.; Atkins, H.L.; Hannon, S.J.

    1981-02-01

    Melanin content (percentage by weight) was determined in both pigmented and nonpigmented tissues of Syrian golden hamsters bearing Greene melanoma. Melanin content was also measured in various other melanoma models (B-16 in C57 mice, Harding-Passey in BALB/c mice, and KHDD in C3H mice) and in nine human melanomas, as well as in selected normal tissues. The purpose was to evaluate the possible efficacy of chlorpromazine, which is known to bind to melanin, as a vehicle for boron transport in neutron capture therapy. Successful therapy would depend upon selective uptake and absolute concentration of borated compounds in tumors; these parameters will in turn depend upon melanin concentration in melanomas and nonpigmented ''background'' tissues. Hamster whole eyes, hamster melanomas, and other well-pigmented animal melanomas were found to contain 0.3 to 0.8% melanin by weight, whereas human melanomas varied from 0.1 to 0.9% (average, 0.35%). Other tissues, with the exception of skin, were lower in content by a factor of greater than or equal to30. Melanin pigment was extracted from tissues, and the melanin content was determined spectrophotometrically. Measurements were found to be sensitive to the presence of other proteins. Previous procedures for isolating and quantifying melanin often neglected the importance of removing proteins and other interfering nonmelanic substances.

  7. Temperature-enhanced synthesis of DMSO-Melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piacenti-Silva, M.; Bronze-Uhle, E. S.; Paulin, J. V.; Graeff, C. F. O.

    2014-01-01

    Melanins are a class of pigmentary conjugated macromolecules found in many biological systems. Functionalization of synthetic melanin provides interesting new properties like the greater solubility of melanin synthesized in dimethyl sulfoxide, D-Melanin. In this work we have studied the influence of temperature on D-Melanin synthesis and its properties. To this end, UV-Vis, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques have been employed to analyze D-Melanin synthesized within the range of 25-100 °C. Our results reveal that by increasing the synthesis temperature up to 100 °C, the synthesis time can be decreased by a factor of 7 when compared to room temperature. From FTIR and 13C CP/MAS NMR analyses the increase in temperature causes a decrease in the number of carbonyl groups from carboxylic acid and from ionized carboxylic acid. The decarboxylation of D-Melanin monomers at higher temperatures shows that the use of higher synthesis temperatures influences the elimination of carbonyls present in the precursor molecules, thus facilitating the polymerization of D-Melanin.

  8. Natural melanin composites by layer-by-layer assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, Taesik; Shim, Bong Sub

    2015-04-01

    Melanin is an electrically conductive and biocompatible material, because their conjugated backbone structures provide conducting pathways from human skin, eyes, brain, and beyond. So there is a potential of using as materials for the neural interfaces and the implantable devices. Extracted from Sepia officinalis ink, our natural melanin was uniformly dispersed in mostly polar solvents such as water and alcohols. Then, the dispersed melanin was further fabricated to nano-thin layered composites by the layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique. Combined with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), the melanin nanoparticles behave as an LBL counterpart to from finely tuned nanostructured films. The LBL process can adjust the smart performances of the composites by varying the layering conditions and sandwich thickness. We further demonstrated the melanin loading degree of stacked layers, combination nanostructures, electrical properties, and biocompatibility of the resulting composites by UV-vis spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscope (SEM), multimeter, and in-vitro cell test of PC12, respectively.

  9. Anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicines from Chisocheton ceramicus.

    PubMed

    Iijima, Chie; Wong, Chin Piow; Nugroho, Alfarius Eko; Sotozono, Yayoi; Someya, Saki; Hirasawa, Yusuke; Kaneda, Toshio; Hadi, A Hamid A; Morita, Hiroshi

    2016-10-01

    The ceramicines, a series of limonoids from Chisocheton ceramicus (Meliaceae), were evaluated for anti-melanin deposition activity on α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)-treated B16-F10 melanoma cell, and several ceramicines were found to be active. The structure-activity relationship of ceramicines as anti-melanin deposition inhibitors was deduced. Furthermore, the mechanism of anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicine B, a major constituent of C. ceramicus that showed potent anti-melanin deposition activity, was investigated. Tyrosinase enzymatic activity and tyrosinase mRNA expression were not affected by ceramicine B. The anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicine B was shown to be related to the downregulation of tyrosinase protein expression. These results suggest that ceramicines have potential to be used as depigmentation agents. PMID:27357963

  10. Melanin-templated rapid synthesis of silver nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background As a potent antimicrobial agent, silver nanostructures have been used in nanosensors and nanomaterial-based assays for the detection of food relevant analytes such as organic molecules, aroma, chemical contaminants, gases and food borne pathogens. In addition silver based nanocomposites act as an antimicrobial for food packaging materials. In this prospective, the food grade melanin pigment extracted from sponge associated actinobacterium Nocardiopsis alba MSA10 and melanin mediated synthesis of silver nanostructures were studied. Based on the present findings, antimicrobial nanostructures can be developed against food pathogens for food industrial applications. Results Briefly, the sponge associated actinobacterium N. alba MSA10 was screened and fermentation conditions were optimized for the production of melanin pigment. The Plackett-Burman design followed by a Box-Behnken design was developed to optimize the concentration of most significant factors for improved melanin yield. The antioxidant potential, reductive capabilities and physiochemical properties of Nocardiopsis melanin was characterized. The optimum production of melanin was attained with pH 7.5, temperature 35°C, salinity 2.5%, sucrose 25 g/L and tyrosine 12.5 g/L under submerged fermentation conditions. A highest melanin production of 3.4 mg/ml was reached with the optimization using Box-Behnken design. The purified melanin showed rapid reduction and stabilization of silver nanostructures. The melanin mediated process produced uniform and stable silver nanostructures with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against food pathogens. Conclusions The melanin pigment produced by N. alba MSA10 can be used for environmentally benign synthesis of silver nanostructures and can be useful for food packaging materials. The characteristics of broad spectrum of activity against food pathogens of silver nanostructures gives an insight for their potential applicability in incorporation of food

  11. Melanin photosensitizes ultraviolet light (UVC) DNA damage in pigmented cells

    SciTech Connect

    Huselton, C.A.; Hill, H.Z. )

    1990-01-01

    Melanins, pigments of photoprotection and camouflage, are very photoreactive and can both absorb and emit active oxygen species. Nevertheless, black skinned individuals rarely develop skin cancer and melanin is assumed to act as a solar screen. Since DNA is the target for solar carcinogenesis, the effect of melanin on Ultraviolet (UV)-induced thymine lesions was examined in mouse melanoma and carcinoma cells that varied in melanin content. Cells prelabeled with 14C-dThd were irradiated with UVC; DNA was isolated, purified, degraded to bases by acid hydrolysis and analyzed by HPLC. Thymine dimers were detected in all of the extracts of irradiated cells. Melanotic and hypomelanotic but not mammary carcinoma cell DNA from irradiated cells contained hydrophilic thymine derivatives. The quantity of these damaged bases was a function of both the UVC dose and the cellular melanin content. One such derivative was identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy as thymine glycol. The other appears to be derived from thymine glycol by further oxidation during acid hydrolysis of the DNA. The finding of oxidative DNA damage in melanin-containing cells suggests that melanin may be implicated in the etiology of caucasian skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Furthermore, the projected decrease in stratospheric ozone could impact in an unanticipated deleterious manner on dark-skinned individuals.

  12. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Chantal; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Silva, Branca M. A.; Nakouzi-Naranjo, Antonio; Zuzarte, Mónica; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth E.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    The importance of Alternaria species fungi to human health ranges from their role as etiological agents of serious infections with poor prognoses in immunosuppressed individuals to their association with respiratory allergic diseases. The present work focuses on Alternaria infectoria, which was used as a model organism of the genus, and was designed to unravel melanin production in response to antifungals. After we characterized the pigment produced by A. infectoria, we studied the dynamics of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin production during growth, the degree of melanization in response to antifungals, and how melanization affected susceptibility to several classes of therapeutic drugs. We demonstrate that A. infectoria increased melanin deposition in cell walls in response to nikkomycin Z, caspofungin, and itraconazole but not in response to fluconazole or amphotericin B. These results indicate that A. infectoria activates DHN-melanin synthesis in response to certain antifungal drugs, possibly as a protective mechanism against these drugs. Inhibition of DHN-melanin synthesis by pyroquilon resulted in a lower minimum effective concentration (MEC) of caspofungin and enhanced morphological changes (increased hyphal balloon size), characterized by thinner and less organized A. infectoria cell walls. In summary, A. infectoria synthesizes melanin in response to certain antifungal drugs, and its susceptibility is influenced by melanization, suggesting the therapeutic potential of drug combinations that affect melanin synthesis. PMID:26711773

  13. A Pathway Analysis of Melanin Patterning in a Hemimetabolous Insect.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin; Lemonds, Thomas R; Marden, James H; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-05-01

    Diversity in insect pigmentation, encompassing a wide range of colors and spatial patterns, is among the most noticeable features distinguishing species, individuals, and body regions within individuals. In holometabolous species, a significant portion of such diversity can be attributed to the melanin synthesis genes, but this has not been formally assessed in more basal insect lineages. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of how a set of melanin genes (ebony, black, aaNAT, yellow, and tan) contributes to the pigmentation pattern in a hemipteran, Oncopeltus fasciatus For all five genes, RNA interference depletion caused alteration of black patterning in a region-specific fashion. Furthermore, the presence of distinct nonblack regions in forewings and hindwings coincides with the expression of ebony and aaNAT in these appendages. These findings suggest that the region-specific phenotypes arise from regional employment of various combinations of the melanin genes. Based on this insight, we suggest that melanin genes are used in two distinct ways: a "painting" mode, using predominantly melanin-promoting factors in areas that generally lack black coloration, and, alternatively, an "erasing" mode, using mainly melanin-suppressing factors in regions where black is the dominant pigment. Different combinations of these strategies may account for the vast diversity of melanin patterns observed in insects. PMID:26984060

  14. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Chantal; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Silva, Branca M A; Nakouzi-Naranjo, Antonio; Zuzarte, Mónica; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth E; Casadevall, Arturo; Gonçalves, Teresa

    2016-03-01

    The importance of Alternaria species fungi to human health ranges from their role as etiological agents of serious infections with poor prognoses in immunosuppressed individuals to their association with respiratory allergic diseases. The present work focuses on Alternaria infectoria, which was used as a model organism of the genus, and was designed to unravel melanin production in response to antifungals. After we characterized the pigment produced by A. infectoria, we studied the dynamics of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin production during growth, the degree of melanization in response to antifungals, and how melanization affected susceptibility to several classes of therapeutic drugs. We demonstrate that A. infectoria increased melanin deposition in cell walls in response to nikkomycin Z, caspofungin, and itraconazole but not in response to fluconazole or amphotericin B. These results indicate that A. infectoria activates DHN-melanin synthesis in response to certain antifungal drugs, possibly as a protective mechanism against these drugs. Inhibition of DHN-melanin synthesis by pyroquilon resulted in a lower minimum effective concentration (MEC) of caspofungin and enhanced morphological changes (increased hyphal balloon size), characterized by thinner and less organized A. infectoria cell walls. In summary, A. infectoria synthesizes melanin in response to certain antifungal drugs, and its susceptibility is influenced by melanization, suggesting the therapeutic potential of drug combinations that affect melanin synthesis. PMID:26711773

  15. Subcellular Compartmentalization and Trafficking of the Biosynthetic Machinery for Fungal Melanin.

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Xu, Xinping; Lowry, David; Jackson, Jennifer C; Roberson, Robert W; Lin, Xiaorong

    2016-03-22

    Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs and how it is deposited as extracellular granules remain elusive. Using a forward genetic screen in the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we find that mutations in an endosomal sorting nexin abolish melanin cell-wall deposition. We find that all enzymes involved in the early steps of melanin biosynthesis are recruited to endosomes through a non-conventional secretory pathway. In contrast, late melanin enzymes accumulate in the cell wall. Such subcellular compartmentalization of the melanin biosynthetic machinery occurs in both A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. Thus, fungal melanin biosynthesis appears to be initiated in endosomes with exocytosis leading to melanin extracellular deposition, much like the synthesis and trafficking of mammalian melanin in endosomally derived melanosomes. PMID:26972005

  16. Fungal Melanin: What do We Know About Structure?

    PubMed Central

    Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Stark, Ruth E.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    The production of melanin significantly enhances the virulence of many important human pathogenic fungi. Despite fungal melanin’s importance in human disease, as well as melanin’s contribution to the ability of fungi to survive in diverse hostile environments, the structure of melanin remains unsolved. Nevertheless, ongoing research efforts have progressively revealed several notable structural characteristics of this enigmatic pigment, which will be the focus of this review. These compositional and organizational insights could further our ability to develop novel therapeutic approaches to combat fungal disease and enhance our understanding of how melanin is inserted into the cell wall. PMID:26733993

  17. Biosorption of uranium by melanin: kinetic, equilibrium and thermodynamic studies.

    PubMed

    Saini, Amardeep Singh; Melo, Jose Savio

    2013-12-01

    Limitation of conventional techniques for the removal of heavy metals present at low concentrations, has led to the need for developing alternate technologies like biosorption. In the present study we describe the use of melanin pigment synthesized through green technology, for sorption of uranium from aqueous system. Biosynthesized melanin showed good uptake over a broad pH range. Removal of uranium was rapid and equilibrium was reached within 2h of contact. It was observed that the kinetic data fits well into Lagergren's pseudo-second order equation. A maximum loading capacity of 588.24 mg g(-1) was calculated from Langmuir plot. Thermodynamic studies performed revealed that sorption process was favorable. Binding of uranium on the surface of melanin was confirmed by FT-IR and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Thus, biosynthesized melanin can be efficiently used as a sorbent for removal of uranium from aqueous solution. PMID:24099972

  18. Optical Spectra of Melanin Films Extracted from Rana esculenta L.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perna, G.; Gallone, A.; Capozzi, V.; Biagi, P. F.; Fratello, A.; Guida, G.; Zanna, P.; Argenzio, E.; Cicero, R.

    2005-01-01

    The melanin pigment extracted from the liver of Rana esculenta L. has been deposited as thin film on quartz substrate. The Raman spectra, as well as optical absorption and photoluminescence measurements have been investigated. The results show that the melanin can be described as a network of clusters having different size. The larger size clusters determine the absorption edge of the film and the smaller size ones are mainly involved in the radiative emission process.

  19. Melanin content in melanoma metastases affects the outcome of radiotherapy.

    PubMed

    Brożyna, Anna A; Jóźwicki, Wojciech; Roszkowski, Krzysztof; Filipiak, Jan; Slominski, Andrzej T

    2016-04-01

    Melanin possess radioprotective and scavenging properties, and its presence can affect the behavior of melanoma cells, its surrounding environment and susceptibility to the therapy, as showed in vitro experiments. To determine whether melanin presence in melanoma affects the efficiency of radiotherapy (RTH) we evaluated the survival time after RTH treatment in metastatic melanoma patients (n = 57). In another cohort of melanoma patients (n = 84), the relationship between melanin level and pT and pN status was determined. A significantly longer survival time was found in patients with amelanotic metastatic melanomas in comparison to the melanotic ones, who were treated with either RTH or chemotherapy (CHTH) and RTH. These differences were more significant in a group of melanoma patients treated only with RTH. A detailed analysis of primary melanomas revealed that melanin levels were significantly higher in melanoma cells invading reticular dermis than the papillary dermis. A significant reduction of melanin pigmentation in pT3 and pT4 melanomas in comparison to pT1 and T2 tumors was observed. However, melanin levels measured in pT3-pT4 melanomas developing metastases (pN1-3, pM1) were higher than in pN0 and pM0 cases. The presence of melanin in metastatic melanoma cells decreases the outcome of radiotherapy, and melanin synthesis is related to higher disease advancement. Based on our previous cell-based and clinical research and present research we also suggest that inhibition of melanogenesis can improve radiotherapy modalities. The mechanism of relationship between melanogenesis and efficacy of RTH requires additional studies, including larger melanoma patients population and orthotopic, imageable mouse models of metastatic melanoma. PMID:26910282

  20. Melanin content in melanoma metastases affects the outcome of radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Brożyna, Anna A.; Jóźwicki, Wojciech; Roszkowski, Krzysztof; Filipiak, Jan; Slominski, Andrzej T.

    2016-01-01

    Melanin possess radioprotective and scavenging properties, and its presence can affect the behavior of melanoma cells, its surrounding environment and susceptibility to the therapy, as showed in vitro experiments. To determine whether melanin presence in melanoma affects the efficiency of radiotherapy (RTH) we evaluated the survival time after RTH treatment in metastatic melanoma patients (n = 57). In another cohort of melanoma patients (n = 84), the relationship between melanin level and pT and pN status was determined. A significantly longer survival time was found in patients with amelanotic metastatic melanomas in comparison to the melanotic ones, who were treated with either RTH or chemotherapy (CHTH) and RTH. These differences were more significant in a group of melanoma patients treated only with RTH. A detailed analysis of primary melanomas revealed that melanin levels were significantly higher in melanoma cells invading reticular dermis than the papillary dermis. A significant reduction of melanin pigmentation in pT3 and pT4 melanomas in comparison to pT1 and T2 tumors was observed. However, melanin levels measured in pT3-pT4 melanomas developing metastases (pN1-3, pM1) were higher than in pN0 and pM0 cases. The presence of melanin in metastatic melanoma cells decreases the outcome of radiotherapy, and melanin synthesis is related to higher disease advancement. Based on our previous cell-based and clinical research and present research we also suggest that inhibition of melanogenesis can improve radiotherapy modalities. The mechanism of relationship between melanogenesis and efficacy of RTH requires additional studies, including larger melanoma patients population and orthotopic, imageable mouse models of metastatic melanoma. PMID:26910282

  1. UVA Phototransduction Drives Early Melanin Synthesis in Human Melanocytes

    PubMed Central

    Wicks, Nadine L.; Chan, Jason W.; Najera, Julia A.; Ciriello, Jonathan M.; Oancea, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Summary Exposure of human skin to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a powerful carcinogen [1] comprising ~95% UVA and ~5% UVB at the Earth’s surface, promotes melanin synthesis in epidermal melanocytes [2, 3], which protects skin from DNA damage [4, 5]. UVB causes DNA lesions [6] that lead to transcriptional activation of melanin-producing enzymes, resulting in delayed skin pigmentation within days [7]. In contrast, UVA causes primarily oxidative damage [8] and leads to immediate pigment darkening (IPD) within minutes, via an unknown mechanism [9, 10]. No receptor protein directly mediating phototransduction in skin has been identified. Here we demonstrate that exposure of primary human epidermal melanocytes (HEMs) to UVA causes calcium mobilization and early melanin synthesis. Calcium responses were abolished by treatment with G protein or PLC inhibitors, or by depletion of intracellular calcium stores. We show that the visual photopigment rhodopsin [11] is expressed in HEMs and contributes to UVR phototransduction. Upon UVR exposure, significant melanin production was measured within one hour; cellular melanin continued to increase in a retinal- and calcium-dependent manner up to five-fold after 24 hours. Our findings identify a novel UVA-sensitive signaling pathway in melanocytes that leads to calcium mobilization and melanin synthesis, and may underlie the mechanism of IPD in human skin. PMID:22055294

  2. Synthetic melanin films: Assembling mechanisms, scaling behavior, and structural properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorite, Gabriela S.; Coluci, Vitor R.; da Silva, Maria Ivonete N.; Dezidério, Shirlei N.; Graeff, Carlos Frederico O.; Galva~O, Douglas S.; Cotta, Mônica A.

    2006-06-01

    In this work we report on the surface characterization of melanin thin films prepared using both water-based and organic solvent-based melanin syntheses. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis of these films suggests that the organic solvent synthesis provides relatively planar basic melanin structures; these basic structures generate surface steps with height in the range of 2-3 nm and small tendency to form larger aggregates. The scaling properties obtained from the AFM data were used to infer the assembling mechanisms of these thin films which depend on the solvent used for melanin synthesis. The behavior observed in organic solvent-based melanin suggests a diffusion-limited aggregation process. Thus films with good adhesion to the substrate and smoother morphologies than water-prepared melanin films are obtained. Electronic structure calculations using a conductorlike screening model were also performed in order to elucidate the microscopic processes of thin film formation. Our results suggest that the agglomerates observed in hydrated samples originate from reaction with water at specific locations on the surface most likely defects on the planar structure.

  3. Development of gadolinium based nanoparticles having an affinity towards melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlieras, Jessica; Chezal, Jean-Michel; Miot-Noirault, Elisabeth; Roux, Amandine; Heinrich-Balard, Laurence; Cohen, Richard; Tarrit, Sébastien; Truillet, Charles; Mignot, Anna; Hachani, Roxanne; Kryza, David; Antoine, Rodolphe; Dugourd, Philippe; Perriat, Pascal; Janier, Marc; Sancey, Lucie; Lux, François; Tillement, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip.Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c2nr33457g

  4. Melanins and their possible roles through biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Césarini, J. P.

    Melanins are biopolymers which structures can be very simple or very complex. From a single essential amino acid, phenylalanine, to fully mature melanosomes, a series of events takes place: melanogenesis. A part of haemoglobin, melanins are the only pigment endogenously synthesised in humans. Their synthesis takes place in the melanocyte, a cell from neurectodermal origin (neural crest, neural tube, melanoblasts). Two important functions have been attributed to melanin: optical efficiency of the eye and colour pattern, but their role might have been much larger in lower vertebrates and several micro-organisms. By their structure, melanins have very original biophysical bioproperties. They could act as intrinsic semiconductors and may de-excite certain biological molecules by converting electronic energy into heat. Being themselves free radicals, they certainly play a major role in the quenching of free radicals produced by ultraviolet radiation. In their granular or particular form, they absorb or reflect the non-ionising radiations. Furthermore, like weak cation exchange polymers, eumelanins have the capacity to bind substantial amount of metal ions or drugs. Phaeomelanins, sulphur containing low molecular weight, may have controlled the redox state of the early steps of life on earth. In human, the skin protection role attributed to melanins is controversial. If melanins have played a major role in the establishment of a North South gradient of skin colour, it is by no mean, an adaptation phenomenon for the darker population living under strong sun exposures.

  5. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models. PMID:27070583

  6. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models. PMID:27070583

  7. 1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-Melanin Biosynthesis Inhibitors Increase Erythritol Production in Torula corallina, and DHN-Melanin Inhibits Erythrose Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung-Kul; Jung, Hyung-Moo; Kim, Sang-Yong

    2003-01-01

    The yeast Torula corallina is a strong erythritol producer that is used in the industrial production of erythritol. However, melanin accumulation during culture represents a serious problem for the purification of erythritol from the fermentation broth. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitors such as 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin inhibitors were added to the T. corallina cultures. Only the DHN-melanin inhibitors showed an effect on melanin production, which suggests that the melanin formed during the culturing of T. corallina is derived from DHN. This finding was confirmed by the detection of a shunt product of the pentaketide pathway, flaviolin, and elemental analysis. Among the DHN-melanin inhibitors, tricyclazole was the most effective. Supplementation with tricyclazole enhanced the production of erythritol while significantly inhibiting the production of DHN-melanin and DHN-melanin biosynthetic enzymes, such as trihydroxynaphthalene reductase. The erythrose reductase from T. corallina was purified to homogeneity by ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. Purified erythrose reductase was significantly inhibited in vitro in a noncompetitive manner by elevated levels of DHN-melanin. In contrast, the level of erythrose reductase activity was unaffected by increasing concentrations of tricyclazole. These results suggest that supplemental tricyclazole reduces the production of DHN-melanin, which may lead to a reduction in the inhibition of erythrose reductase and a higher yield of erythritol. This is the first report to demonstrate that melanin biosynthesis inhibitors increase the production of a sugar alcohol in T. corallina. PMID:12788746

  8. The stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence guided ablation of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; DiMarzio, Charles

    2015-02-01

    Previous research has shown that the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated and excited by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser, is a low-cost and reliable method for detecting melanin. We have developed a device utilizing the melanin SMPAF to guide the ablation of melanin with a 975 nm CW laser. This method provides the ability of targeting individual melanin particles with micrometer resolution, and enables localized melanin ablation to be performed without collateral damage. Compared to the traditional selective photothermolysis, which uses pulsed lasers for melanin ablation, this method demonstrates higher precision and lower cost. Therefore, the SMPAF guided selective ablation of melanin is a promising tool of melanin ablation for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

  9. Optical properties of cells with melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohde, Barukh; Coats, Israel; Krueger, James; Gareau, Dan

    2014-02-01

    The optical properties of pigmented lesions have been studied using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in a noninvasive configuration on optically thick samples such as skin in vivo. However, it is difficult to un-mix the effects of absorption and scattering with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy techniques due to the complex anatomical distributions of absorbing and scattering biomolecules. We present a device and technique that enables absorption and scattering measurements of tissue volumes much smaller than the optical mean-free path. Because these measurements are taken on fresh-frozen sections, they are direct measurements of the optical properties of tissue, albeit in a different hydration state than in vivo tissue. Our results on lesions from 20 patients including melanomas and nevi show the absorption spectrum of melanin in melanocytes and basal keratinocytes. Our samples consisted of fresh frozen sections that were unstained. Fitting the spectrum as an exponential decay between 500 and 1100 nm [mua = A*exp(-B*(lambda-C)) + D], we report on the fit parameters of and their variation due to biological heterogeneity as A = 4.20e4 +/- 1.57e5 [1/cm], B = 4.57e-3 +/- 1.62e-3 [1/nm], C = 210 +/- 510 [nm] , D = 613 +/- 534 [1/cm]. The variability in these results is likely due to highly heterogeneous distributions of eumelanin and pheomelanin.

  10. Hyperosmotic Stress Reduces Melanin Production by Altering Melanosome Formation

    PubMed Central

    Bin, Bum-Ho; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Yang, Seung Ha; Choi, Dong-Hwa; Park, Kyuhee; Shin, Dong Wook; Lee, Ai-Young; Hwang, Daehee; Cho, Eun-Gyung; Lee, Tae Ryong

    2014-01-01

    Many tissues of the human body encounter hyperosmotic stress. The effect of extracellular osmotic changes on melanin production has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we determined that hyperosmotic stress induced by organic osmolytes results in reduced melanin production in human melanoma MNT-1 cells. Under hyperosmotic stress, few pigmented mature melanosomes were detected, but there was an increase in swollen vacuoles. These vacuoles were stained with an anti-M6PR antibody that recognizes late endosomal components and with anti-TA99 and anti-HMB45 antibodies, implying that melanosome formation was affected by hyperosmotic stress. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that the M6PR-positive swollen vacuoles were multi-layered and contained melanized granules, and they produced melanin when L-DOPA was applied, indicating that these vacuoles were still capable of producing melanin, but the inner conditions were not compatible with melanin production. The vacuolation phenomenon induced by hyperosmotic conditions disappeared with treatment with the PI3K activator 740 Y-P, indicating that the PI3K pathway is affected by hyperosmotic conditions and is responsible for the proper formation and maturation of melanosomes. The microarray analysis showed alterations of the vesicle organization and transport under hyperosmotic stress. Our findings suggest that melanogenesis could be regulated by physiological conditions, such as osmotic pressure. PMID:25170965

  11. Optical and thermal characterization of natural (Sepia officinalis) melanin.

    PubMed

    Vitkin, I A; Woolsey, J; Wilson, B C; Anderson, R R

    1994-04-01

    The optical properties and the thermal diffusivity of natural cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) melanin have been measured. The optical absorption and scattering properties of melanin particles were determined at 580 nm and 633 nm, using photometric and photothermal techniques. For the photometric studies, the absorption and the transport scattering coefficients were determined from the measurements of diffuse reflectance and transmittance. The scattering anisotropy was obtained from an additional measurement of the total attenuation coefficient and independently obtained by goniometry. For photothermal studies, pulsed photothermal radiometry was used to deduce the absorption and transport scattering coefficients via a model based on optical diffusion theory. Pulsed photothermal radiometry was also used to provide the thermal diffusivity of solid melanin pressed pellets. PMID:8022888

  12. Synthetic melanin thin films: Structural and electrical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, M. I. N.; Dezidério, S. N.; Gonzalez, J. C.; Graeff, C. F. O.; Cotta, M. A.

    2004-11-01

    Scanning probe microscopy was used to investigate the structural and electrical organization at the nanoscopic level of hydrated melanin thin films synthesized by oxidizing L-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-alanine (L-dopa) in dimethyl sulfoxide. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) provided the morphologies of the L-dopa melanin films. Electrostatic force microscopy and conductive-AFM were used to spatially resolve the electrical properties of the material. Using a simple parallel plate capacitor model a method to measure the charge distribution on the sample was developed. The correlations between topography, electric charge, and current images of the sample demonstrated that the hydration process produces a restructuring of melanin observed not only through topographic variations, but also through the creation of areas with different electrical properties.

  13. Melanin determination by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for K. marxianus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ultraviolet light (UV) mutated K. marxianus was found to turn dark brown during a growth assay. This brown color was hypothesized to be melanin overproduction influenced by the UV exposure. Cell cultures were oxidized and HPLC analyzed to determine melanin concentrations. The resulting melanin con...

  14. Melanin and neuromelanin binding of drugs and chemicals: toxicological implications.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar

    2016-08-01

    Melanin is a polyanionic pigment that colors, e.g., the hair, skin and eyes. The pigment neuromelanin is closely related to melanin and is mainly produced in specific neurons of the substantia nigra. Certain drugs and chemicals bind to melanin/neuromelanin and are retained in pigment cells for long periods. This specific retention is thought to protect the cells but also to serve as a depot that slowly releases accumulated compounds and may cause toxicity in the eye and skin. Moreover, neuromelanin and compounds with high neuromelanin affinity have been suggested to be implicated in the development of adverse drug reactions in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as in the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Epidemiologic studies implicate the exposure to pesticides, metals, solvents and other chemicals as risk factors for PD. Neuromelanin interacts with several of these toxicants which may play a significant part in both the initiation and the progression of neurodegeneration. MPTP/MPP(+) that has been casually linked with parkinsonism has high affinity for neuromelanin, and the induced dopaminergic denervation correlates with the neuromelanin content in the cells. Recent studies have also reported that neuromelanin may interact with α-synuclein as well as activate microglia and dendritic cells. This review aims to provide an overview of melanin binding of drugs and other compounds, and possible toxicological implications, with particular focus on the CNS and its potential involvement in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:27311820

  15. Structural, electrical, electronic and optical properties of melanin films.

    PubMed

    Abbas, M; D'Amico, F; Morresi, L; Pinto, N; Ficcadenti, M; Natali, R; Ottaviano, L; Passacantando, M; Cuccioloni, M; Angeletti, M; Gunnella, R

    2009-03-01

    We present thick, uniform and rather flat melanin films obtained using spray deposition. The morphology of the films was investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Temperature-dependent electrical resistance of melanin thin films evidenced a semiconductor-like character and a hysteretic behavior linked to an irreversible process of water molecule desorption from the melanin film. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) was carried out to analyze the role of the functional groups in the primary and secondary structure of the macromolecule, showing that the contribution of the 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) subunit to the molecule is about 35%. Comparison of the optical absorption of the thick (800nm) and thin (80nm) films showed a spectral change when the thickness increases. From in vacuum photoconductivity (PC) measured at controlled temperatures, we suggest that the melanin films exhibit a possible charge transport mechanism by means of delocalized pi states along the stacked planar secondary structure. PMID:19190947

  16. Effects of selected organo-sulfur compounds on melanin formation.

    PubMed

    Chu, Heuy-Ling; Wang, Bor-Sen; Duh, Pin-Der

    2009-08-12

    The effect of organo-sulfur compounds, including 1-propylmercaptan (PM), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), propyl disulfide (PDS), and 2,5-dimethylthiophene (DMT), on melanin formation was investigated. Among the selected five organo-sulfur compounds, PM displayed a significant inhibitory effect on tyrosinase activity (IC(50) = 0.5 mM) and the highest inhibitory action on o-quinone formation. In the B16 intracellular model system, the inhibitory action of selected five organo-sulfur compounds on tyrosinase activity and melanin formation may be, in part, attributed to the reduction of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and positive modulation of the GSH/GSSG ratio in B16 cells. Among the five organo-sulfur compounds, PM appeared to be the most potent inhibitor of melanin formation. The analysis of inhibitory kinetics revealed that PM is a mixed-type inhibitor. This is the first study indicating that organo-sulfur compounds tested may play an important role in the regulation of melanin formation, making them the potent candidates for skin-whitening agents. PMID:19610593

  17. Dispersive Raman spectroscopy allows the identification and quantification of melanin types.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-04-01

    Melanins are the most prevalent pigments in animals and are involved in visual communication by producing colored traits that often evolve as intraspecific signals of quality. Identifying and quantifying melanins are therefore essential to understand the function and evolution of melanin-based signals. However, the analysis of melanins is difficult due to their insolubility and the lack of simple methods that allow the identification of their chemical forms. We recently proposed the use of Raman spectroscopy as a simple, noninvasive technique that can be used to identify and quantify melanins in feathers and hairs. Contrarily, other authors later stated that melanins are characterized by a lack of defined Raman signals. Here, we use confocal Raman microscopy to confirm previous analyses showing that the two main chemical forms of melanins (eumelanin and pheomelanin) exhibit distinct Raman signal and compare different excitation wavelengths to analyze synthetic pheomelanin and natural melanins in feathers of different species of birds. Our analyses indicate that only laser excitation wavelengths below 1064 nm are useful for the analysis of melanins by Raman spectroscopy, and only 780-nm laser in the case of melanins in feathers. These findings show that the capacity of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish different chemical forms of melanins depends on laser power and integration time. As a consequence, Raman spectroscopy should be applied after preliminar analyses using a range of these parameters, especially in fragile biological tissues such as feathers. PMID:25897382

  18. Dispersive Raman spectroscopy allows the identification and quantification of melanin types

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Melanins are the most prevalent pigments in animals and are involved in visual communication by producing colored traits that often evolve as intraspecific signals of quality. Identifying and quantifying melanins are therefore essential to understand the function and evolution of melanin-based signals. However, the analysis of melanins is difficult due to their insolubility and the lack of simple methods that allow the identification of their chemical forms. We recently proposed the use of Raman spectroscopy as a simple, noninvasive technique that can be used to identify and quantify melanins in feathers and hairs. Contrarily, other authors later stated that melanins are characterized by a lack of defined Raman signals. Here, we use confocal Raman microscopy to confirm previous analyses showing that the two main chemical forms of melanins (eumelanin and pheomelanin) exhibit distinct Raman signal and compare different excitation wavelengths to analyze synthetic pheomelanin and natural melanins in feathers of different species of birds. Our analyses indicate that only laser excitation wavelengths below 1064 nm are useful for the analysis of melanins by Raman spectroscopy, and only 780-nm laser in the case of melanins in feathers. These findings show that the capacity of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish different chemical forms of melanins depends on laser power and integration time. As a consequence, Raman spectroscopy should be applied after preliminar analyses using a range of these parameters, especially in fragile biological tissues such as feathers. PMID:25897382

  19. Paraquat-Melanin Redox-Cycling: Evidence from Electrochemical Reverse Engineering.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eunkyoung; Leverage, W Taylor; Liu, Yi; Panzella, Lucia; Alfieri, Maria Laura; Napolitano, Alessandra; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2016-08-17

    Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with oxidative stress and the death of melanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra. Epidemiological evidence links exposure to the pesticide paraquat (PQ) to Parkinson's disease, and this link has been explained by a redox cycling mechanism that induces oxidative stress. Here, we used a novel electrochemistry-based reverse engineering methodology to test the hypothesis that PQ can undergo reductive redox cycling with melanin. In this method, (i) an insoluble natural melanin (from Sepia melanin) and a synthetic model melanin (having a cysteinyldopamine-melanin core and dopamine-melanin shell) were entrapped in a nonconducting hydrogel film adjacent to an electrode, (ii) the film-coated electrode was immersed in solutions containing PQ (putative redox cycling reductant) and a redox cycling oxidant (ferrocene dimethanol), (iii) sequences of input potentials (i.e., voltages) were imposed to the underlying electrode to systematically engage reductive and oxidative redox cycling, and (iv) output response currents were analyzed for signatures of redox cycling. The response characteristics of the PQ-melanin systems to various input potential sequences support the hypothesis that PQ can directly donate electrons to melanin. This observation of PQ-melanin redox interactions demonstrates an association between two components that have been individually linked to oxidative stress and Parkinson's disease. Potentially, melanin's redox activity could be an important component in understanding the etiology of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. PMID:27246915

  20. Decolorization of synthetic melanins by crude laccases of Lentinus polychrous Lév.

    PubMed

    Khammuang, Saranyu; Sarnthima, Rakrudee

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are complex natural pigments that darken the skin and are difficult to degrade. This study evaluated synthetic melanin decolorization by the crude laccase from fungus Lentinus polychrous in the absence and presence of selected redox mediators. The greatest melanin decolorization activity was 87 % at pH 6.5 within 3 h in the presence of 2,2-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) diammonium salt (ABTS), whereas only about 22 % melanin decolorized at pH 5.0 in case of no mediator. The optimum temperatures for melanin decolorization in the absence and presence of ABTS were 55 and 35°C, respectively. Using a natural redox mediator, 1.0 mmol/L vanillin leads to 45 % melanin decolorization. Our results suggest the possibility of applying vanillin for L. polychrous laccase-catalyzed decolorization of melanin. PMID:22678697

  1. Keratinocyte-derived Laminin-332 Protein Promotes Melanin Synthesis via Regulation of Tyrosine Uptake*

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Heesung; Jung, Hyejung; Lee, Jung-hyun; Oh, Hye Yun; Kim, Ok Bin; Han, Inn-Oc; Oh, Eok-Soo

    2014-01-01

    Melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin, are known to be closely regulated by neighboring keratinocytes. However, how keratinocytes regulate melanin production is unclear. Here we report that melanin production in melanoma cells (B16F10 and MNT-1) was increased markedly on a keratinocyte-derived extracellular matrix compared with a melanoma cell-derived extracellular matrix. siRNA-mediated reduction of keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 expression decreased melanin synthesis in melanoma cells, and laminin-332, but not fibronectin, enhanced melanin content and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-regulated melanin production in melanoma cells. Similar effects were observed in human melanocytes. Interestingly, however, laminin-332 did not affect the expression or activity of tyrosinase. Instead, laminin-332 promoted the uptake of extracellular tyrosine and, subsequently, increased intracellular levels of tyrosine in both melanocytes and melanoma cells. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 contributes to melanin production by regulating tyrosine uptake. PMID:24951591

  2. Melanin: spin behaviour and implications for bioelectronic devices (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meredith, Paul; Sheliakina, Margarita; Mostert, Bernard

    2015-10-01

    The melanins are a broad class of pigmentary macromolecules found through nature that perform a wide range of functions including photo-protection [1]. The most common melanin - the brown, black pigment eumelanin, has been much studied because of its role in melanoma and also for its functional material properties [2]. Synthetic eumelanin has been shown to be photoconductive in the solid state and also possess a water content dependent dark conductivity [3]. It is now well established that these electrical properties arise from hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour, leading to the proposition that melanins could be model biocompatible systems for ion-to-electron transduction in bioelectronics. In my talk, I will discuss the basic science behind these bioelectronics properties - electrical and optical. In this context I will also describe recent electron paramagnetic spin studies which isolate the role of the various chemical moieties responsible for the hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour. I will also highlight preliminary results on prototype melanin-based bioelectronics devices and discuss possible architectures to realise elements such as solid-state switches and transducers. [1] "The physical and chemical properties of eumelanin", P. Meredith and T. Sarna, Pigment Cell Research, 19(6), pp572-594 (2006). [2] "Electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices inspired by nature", P Meredith, C.J. Bettinger, M. Irimia-Vladu, A.B. Mostert and P.E. Schwenn, Reports on Progress in Physics, 76, 034501 (2013). [3] "Is melanin a semiconductor: humidity induced self doping and the electrical conductivity of a biopolymer", A.B. Mostert, B.J. Powell, F.L. Pratt, G.R. Hanson, T. Sarna, I.R. Gentle and P. Meredith, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 109(23), 8943-8947 (2012).

  3. Melanin accelerates the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxygenation of p-hydroxyanisole (MMEH)

    PubMed

    Menter, J M; Townsel, M E; Moore, C L; Williamson, G D; Soteres, B J; Fisher, M S; Willis, I

    1990-01-01

    Although pigment melanin has long been though of as "inert," recent work has attested to its chemical reactivity. In this communication, we report that either commercial synthetic melanin prepared by persulfate oxidation of tyrosine ("Sigma melanin") or sepia melanin extracted from cuttlefish markedly accelerates the in vitro oxygenation of p-hydroxyanisole (MMEH), catalyzed by mushroom or B-16 melanoma tyrosinase. Kinetics of 4-methoxy-1,2-benzoquinone formation (lambda max = 413 nm) or of molecular O2 uptake were biphasic, with an initial slow rate ("lag time") followed by a fast linear increase. The biphasic response reflects an initial slow hydroxylation followed by a fast dehydrogenation. Added melanin markedly decreased the lag time but had little effect on subsequent dehydrogenation. Similar effects were observed for tyrosine itself. A complex between MMEH and melanin appears to be the "active" species in these reactions. The results indicate that melanin acts as an electron conduit, which accepts electrons from the substrate and transfers them to tyrosinase. The magnitude of the effect depends on the type of melanin as well as on its oxidation state. Kinetic analysis indicates that both melanins are very efficient at transferring electron to tyrosinase, and that Sigma melanin is roughly threefold more efficient than sepia melanin. The qualitative similarity of reaction between the synthetic and "natural" melanins suggests that the former may serve as a first approximation to the in vivo situation. On the other hand, the observed quantitative differences and the sensitivity of these results to the chemical state of melanin suggests that this methodology might eventually be adapted as a non-destructive probe of melanin in situ.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2117269

  4. When the circadian clock meets the melanin pigmentary system.

    PubMed

    Slominski, Andrzej T; Hardeland, Rüdiger; Reiter, Russel J

    2015-04-01

    Silencing of BMAL1 and PER1 stimulates melanogenic activity of follicular and epidermal melanocytes, indicating a novel role for peripheral circadian clock processes in the regulation of melanin pigmentation. Linking the expression levels of BMAL1/PER1 with changes in melanogenesis opens exciting opportunities to study the role of the local molecular clock in modulation of melanocyte functions in the hair follicle and the epidermis with attendant effects on epidermal barrier functions in general. PMID:25785947

  5. Snapshot RGB mapping of skin melanin and hemoglobin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spigulis, Janis; Oshina, Ilze

    2015-05-01

    The concept of snapshot red-green-blue (RGB) multispectral imaging was applied for skin chromophore mapping. Three monochromatic spectral images have been extracted from a single RGB image dataset at simultaneous illumination of skin by 473-, 532-, and 659-nm laser lines. The spectral images were further transformed into distribution maps of skin melanin, oxyhemoglobin, and deoxyhemoglobin, related to pigmented and vascular skin malformations. The performance and clinical potential of the proposed technique are discussed.

  6. Melanin-based colour polymorphism responding to climate change.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-11-01

    Climate warming leads to a decrease in biodiversity. Organisms can deal with the new prevailing environmental conditions by one of two main routes, namely evolving new genetic adaptations or through phenotypic plasticity to modify behaviour and physiology. Melanin-based colouration has important functions in animals including a role in camouflage and thermoregulation, protection against UV-radiation and pathogens and, furthermore, genes involved in melanogenesis can pleiotropically regulate behaviour and physiology. In this article, I review the current evidence that differently coloured individuals are differentially sensitive to climate change. Predicting which of dark or pale colour variants (or morphs) will be more penalized by climate change will depend on the adaptive function of melanism in each species as well as how the degree of colouration covaries with behaviour and physiology. For instance, because climate change leads to a rise in temperature and UV-radiation and dark colouration plays a role in UV-protection, dark individuals may be less affected from global warming, if this phenomenon implies more solar radiation particularly in habitats of pale individuals. In contrast, as desertification increases, pale colouration may expand in those regions, whereas dark colourations may expand in regions where humidity is predicted to increase. Dark colouration may be also indirectly selected by climate warming because genes involved in the production of melanin pigments confer resistance to a number of stressful factors including those associated with climate warming. Furthermore, darker melanic individuals are commonly more aggressive than paler conspecifics, and hence they may better cope with competitive interactions due to invading species that expand their range in northern latitudes and at higher altitudes. To conclude, melanin may be a major component involved in adaptation to climate warming, and hence in animal populations melanin-based colouration is

  7. Flavonoids and Melanins: a common strategy across two kingdoms.

    PubMed

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2 (-)). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as free radical scavenging mechanisms. Both are phenol compounds constitutively synthesized and enhanced after exposure to UV rays, often conferring a red-brown-dark tissue pigmentation. Noteworthy, beside anti-oxidant scavenging activity, melanins and flavonoids have acquired secondary functions that, both in plants and animals, concern reproductions and fitness. Plants highly pigmented are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Darker wild vertebrates are generally more aggressive, sexually active and resistant to stress than lighter individuals. Flavonoids have been associated with signal attraction between flowers and insects and with plant-plant interaction. Melanin pigmentation has been proposed as trait in bird communication, acting as honest signals of quality. This review shows how the molecular mechanisms leading to tissue pigmentation have many functional analogies between plants and animals and how their origin lies in simpler organisms such as Cyanobacteria. Comparative studies between plant and animal kingdoms can reveal new insight of the antioxidant strategies in vivant. PMID:25516714

  8. Malignant melanoma arising in melanin-producing medullary thyroid carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Hirokawa, Mitsuyoshi; Miyauchi, Akira; Otsuru, Minoru; Daa, Tsutomu

    2016-01-01

    Introduction We report a case of malignant melanoma arising in medullary thyroid carcinoma that has not yet been described. Presentation of case A 66-year-old woman presented with a mass in her thyroid. The resected mass was black in color, and was composed of a mixture of classic medullary thyroid carcinoma and pleomorphic atypical cells containing melanin pigments. The pleomorphic atypical cells were morphologically consistent with malignant melanoma, and expressed Melan-A, HMB-45, and S-100 protein as determined by immunohistochemistry. Some of these cells were also positive for calcitonin and chromogranin A. Although the malignant melanoma metastasized to the lymph nodes, the patient remained free from local recurrence and distant metastasis and the primary malignant melanoma lesion was not identified for up to 11 years after the thyroidectomy. Discussion 11 melanin-producing MTC cases have been reported to date. In the reported cases, the term “malignant melanoma” was not used, likely because the melanin-containing carcinoma cells were not morphologically consistent with malignant melanoma, but with medullary carcinoma. Conclusion Malignant melanoma arising in MTC may have a favorable prognosis. PMID:26852361

  9. Flavonoids and Melanins: A Common Strategy across Two Kingdoms

    PubMed Central

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2-). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as free radical scavenging mechanisms. Both are phenol compounds constitutively synthesized and enhanced after exposure to UV rays, often conferring a red-brown-dark tissue pigmentation. Noteworthy, beside anti-oxidant scavenging activity, melanins and flavonoids have acquired secondary functions that, both in plants and animals, concern reproductions and fitness. Plants highly pigmented are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Darker wild vertebrates are generally more aggressive, sexually active and resistant to stress than lighter individuals. Flavonoids have been associated with signal attraction between flowers and insects and with plant-plant interaction. Melanin pigmentation has been proposed as trait in bird communication, acting as honest signals of quality. This review shows how the molecular mechanisms leading to tissue pigmentation have many functional analogies between plants and animals and how their origin lies in simpler organisms such as Cyanobacteria. Comparative studies between plant and animal kingdoms can reveal new insight of the antioxidant strategies in vivant. PMID:25516714

  10. Hesperetin induces melanin production in adult human epidermal melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Usach, Iris; Taléns-Visconti, Raquel; Magraner-Pardo, Lorena; Peris, José-Esteban

    2015-06-01

    One of the major sources of flavonoids for humans are citrus fruits, hesperidin being the predominant flavonoid. Hesperetin (HSP), the aglycon of hesperidin, has been reported to provide health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effects. However, the effect of HSP on skin pigmentation is not clear. Some authors have found that HSP induces melanogenesis in murine B16-F10 melanoma cells, which, if extrapolated to in vivo conditions, might protect skin against photodamage. Since the effect of HSP on normal melanocytes could be different to that observed on melanoma cells, the described effect of HSP on murine melanoma cells has been compared to the effect obtained using normal human melanocytes. HSP concentrations of 25 and 50 µM induced melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in human melanocytes in a concentration-dependent manner. Compared to control melanocytes, 25 µM HSP increased melanin production and tyrosinase activity 1.4-fold (p < 0.01) and 1.1-fold (p < 0.01), respectively, and the corresponding increases in the case of 50 µM HSP were 1.9-fold (p < 0.001) and 1.3-fold (p < 0.001). Therefore, HSP could be considered a valuable photoprotective substance if its capacity to increase melanin production in human melanocyte cultures could be reproduced on human skin. PMID:25765751

  11. On the structure of human hair melanins from an infrared spectroscopy analysis of their interactions with Cu 2+ ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilińska, Barbara

    2001-10-01

    Melanins were isolated from dark and red human hair and complexed with copper ions at various pH values in a complexing medium. IR spectra of melanins and their Cu 2+-complexes for pellets with KBr were obtained. The IR spectra indicate that Cu 2+ ions bound to melanins are fixed by different carboxyl and hydroxyl (phenolic and/or alcoholic) groups in the macromolecule. From these results it is concluded that, generally, melanin carboxyl groups are responsible for interactions of metal ions with the melanin molecule. Complexes of melanins isolated from dark and red human hair show structural differences when analysed by IR spectroscopy. Conclusions from these investigations assist in the differentiation of structures of analysed hair melanins. IR spectral analysis of melanin samples and their complexes suggest that melanin samples obtained from red hair may contain eumelanin.

  12. Sub-nm 3D observation of human hair melanin by high-voltage STEM.

    PubMed

    Imai, Takehito; Higuchi, Kimitaka; Yamamoto, Yuta; Arai, Shigeo; Nakano, Takashi; Tanaka, Nobuo

    2016-04-01

    The ultrastructure of melanin granules in human hair was studied using 1,000 kV high-voltage scanning transmission electron microscopy to successfully reconstruct three-dimensional images of the whole melanin granule. It was revealed that the melanin granule was composed of a membrane-like outer structure that included many spherical vesicles, and an inner matrix containing a sheet-like structure in the elongated direction of the melanin granule and a sheet-like arrays structure in the cross direction. The outer structure of the melanin granule was maintained even after exposure to hair-bleaching agents to decompose the melanin granule, suggesting that the outer structure was a highly robust structure and composition compared with the inner matrix . PMID:26705324

  13. A versatile method for the removal of melanin from ribonucleic acids in melanocytic cells.

    PubMed

    Satyamoorthy, K; Li, G; Van Belle, P A; Elder, D E; Herlyn, M

    2002-10-01

    Melanin pigments often co-purify during preparation of nucleic acids from cells or tissues of melanocytic origin. Contaminating melanin can severely impede subsequent analyses of RNA. We attempted to eliminate melanin in RNA preparations using selected gel matrices. We show here that co-purified melanin pigments can be largely eliminated from RNA samples after passing through polyacrylamide-based beads (Bio-Gel P-60). After isolation from the pigment-containing cells or tissues, RNA was subsequently processed through batch or column purification under acidic pH conditions. The resulting RNA was devoid of contaminating melanin pigments and amenable to molecular reactions such as polymerase chain reaction and cDNA synthesis by reverse transcriptase. Although the process results in some loss of input RNA, this purification procedure is simple, robust and can easily be adopted in any laboratory for the molecular analysis of RNA that requires removal of melanin contamination. PMID:12394186

  14. Dermal melanin concentration of yellow perch Perca flavescens in relation to water transparency.

    PubMed

    Rheault, G; Langevin, M; Cabana, G; Glémet, H

    2015-11-01

    A positive relationship was observed between Secchi disc depth and dermal melanin concentration in yellow perch Perca flavescens sampled from 11 humic lakes located on the Canadian Shield in southern Quebec (Canada). Secchi disc depth explained 23% of the variations of dermal melanin concentration. Secchi disc depth and thus water transparency appear to have a positive influence on melanin production in the dermis of P. flavescens. PMID:26399476

  15. Solution structure of copper ion-induced molecular aggregates of tyrosine melanin.

    PubMed

    Gallas, J M; Littrell, K C; Seifert, S; Zajac, G W; Thiyagarajan, P

    1999-08-01

    Melanin, the ubiquitous biological pigment, provides photoprotection by efficient filtration of light and also by its antioxidant behavior. In solutions of synthetic melanin, both optical and antioxidant behavior are affected by the aggregation states of melanin. We have utilized small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering to determine the molecular dimensions of synthetic tyrosine melanin in its unaggregated state in D(2)O and H(2)O to study the structure of melanin aggregates formed in the presence of copper ions at various copper-to-melanin molar ratios. In the absence of copper ions, or at low copper ion concentrations, tyrosine melanin is present in solution as a sheet-like particle with a mean thickness of 12.5 A and a lateral extent of approximately 54 A. At a copper-to-melanin molar ratio of 0.6, melanin aggregates to form long, rod-like structures with a radius of 32 A. At a higher copper ion concentration, with a copper-to-melanin ratio of 1.0, these rod-like structures further aggregate, forming sheet-like structures with a mean thickness of 51 A. A change in the charge of the ionizable groups induced by the addition of copper ions is proposed to account for part of the aggregation. The data also support a model for the copper-induced aggregation of melanin driven by pi stacking assisted by peripheral Cu(2+) complexation. The relationship between our results and a previous hypothesis for reduced cellular damage from bound-to-melanin redox metal ions is also discussed. PMID:10423458

  16. Histoplasma capsulatum Synthesizes Melanin-Like Pigments In Vitro and during Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Gómez, Beatriz L.; Youngchim, Sirida; Díez, Soraya; Aisen, Philip; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M.; Restrepo, Angela; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2002-01-01

    Melanin is made by several important pathogenic fungi and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of fungal infections. This study investigated whether the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum produced melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Growth of H. capsulatum mycelia in chemically defined minimal medium produced pigmented conidia. Growth of H. capsulatum yeast in chemically defined minimal medium with l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) or (-)-epinephrine produced pigmented cells. Treatment of the pigmented cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and hot concentrated acid yielded dark particles that were similar in size and shape to their respective propagules. Melanin-binding monoclonal antibodies (MAb) labeled pigmented conidia, yeast, and the isolated particles as determined by immunofluorescence microscopy. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy revealed that pigmented yeast cells and particles derived from pigmented cells were stable free radicals consistent with their identification as melanins. Tissues from mice infected with H. capsulatum and from biopsy specimens from a patient with histoplasmosis contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAb. Digestion of infected mouse tissues yielded dark particles that reacted with the melanin-binding MAb and were similar in appearance to H. capsulatum yeast cells. Additionally, sera from infected mice contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. Phenoloxidase activity capable of synthesizing melanin from L-DOPA was detected in cytoplasmic yeast cell extracts. These findings indicate that H. capsulatum conidia and yeast can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and that yeast cells can synthesize pigment in vivo. Since melanin is an important virulence factor in other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may have a similar role to play in the pathogenesis of histoplasmosis. PMID:12183562

  17. Non-contact assessment of melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amelard, Robert; Scharfenberger, Christian; Wong, Alexander; Clausi, David A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is a pigment that is highly absorptive in the UV and visible electromagnetic spectra. It is responsible for perceived skin tone, and protects against harmful UV effects. Abnormal melanin distribution is often an indicator for melanoma. We propose a novel approach for non-contact melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding to estimate the two-dimensional melanin distribution based on its absorptive characteristics. In the proposed system, a novel multispectral, cross-polarized, temporally-coded illumination sequence is synchronized with a camera to measure reflectance under both multispectral and ambient illumination. This allows us to eliminate the ambient illumination contribution from the acquired reflectance measurements, and also to determine the melanin distribution in an observed region based on the spectral properties of melanin using the Beer-Lambert law. Using this information, melanin distribution maps can be generated for objective, quantitative assessment of skin type of individuals. We show that the melanin distribution map correctly identifies areas with high melanin densities (e.g., nevi).

  18. Applying photoacoustics to quantification of melanin concentration in retinal pigment epithelium (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Xiao; Zhang, Hao F.; Liu, Wenzhong

    2016-03-01

    The melanin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) protects retina and other ocular tissues by photo-screening and acting as antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It helps maintain normal visual functions since human eye is subjected to lifelong high oxygen stress and photon exposure. Loss of the RPE melanin weakens the protection mechanism and jeopardizes ocular health. Local decrease in the RPE melanin concentration is believed to be both a cause and a sign of early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading blinding disease in developed world. Current technology cannot quantitatively measure the RPE melanin concentration which might be a promising marker in early AMD screening. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an emerging optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure the RPE melanin concentration if the dependence of the detectable photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes on the RPE melanin concentrations is verified. In this study, we tested the feasibility of using PA signal ratio from RPE melanin and the nearby retinal blood vessels as an indicator of the RPE melanin variation. A novel whole eye optical model was designed and Monte Carlo modeling of light (MCML) was employed. We examined the influences on quantification from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness. The results show that the scheme is robust to individual histological and illumination variations. This study suggests that PAOM is capable of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin concentration in vivo.

  19. Production and Cytotoxicity of Extracellular Insoluble and Droplets of Soluble Melanin by Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3

    PubMed Central

    Madhusudhan, D. N.; Mazhari, Bi Bi Zainab; Dastager, Syed G.

    2014-01-01

    A Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 strain with potential to synthesize both insoluble and soluble melanins was detected. Melanins are quite distinguished based on their solubility for varied biotechnological applications. The present investigation reveals the enhanced production of insoluble and soluble melanins in tyrosine medium by a single culture. Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 was characterized by 16S rRNA gene analysis. An enhanced production of 5.29 g/L insoluble melanin was achieved in a submerged bioprocess following response surface methodology. Combined interactive effect of temperature (50°C), pH (8.5), tyrosine (2.0 g/L), and beef extract (0.5 g/L) were found to be critical variables for enhanced production in central composite design analysis. An optimized indigenous slant culture system was an innovative approach for the successful production (264 mg/L) of pure soluble melanin from the droplets formed on the surface of the culture. Both insoluble and soluble melanins were confirmed and characterized by Chemical, reactions, UV, FTIR, and TLC analysis. First time, cytotoxic study of melanin using brine shrimps was reported. Maximum cytotoxic activity of soluble melanin was Lc50-0.40 µg/mL and insoluble melanin was Lc50-0.80 µg/mL. PMID:24839603

  20. Structural Characterization of Melanin Pigments from Commercial Preparations of the Edible Mushroom Auricularia auricula

    PubMed Central

    Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Toriola, Stacy; Nakouzi, Antonio; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth; Gerfen, Gary; Tumpowsky, Paul; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most widely consumed edible mushrooms are pigmented, and these have been associated with some beneficial health effects. Nevertheless, the majority of the reported compounds associated with these desirable properties are non-pigmented. We have previously reported that melanin pigment from the edible mushroom Auricularia auricula can protect mice against ionizing radiation, although no physicochemical characterization was reported. Consequently, in this study we have characterized commercial A. auricula mushroom preparations for melanin content and carried out structural characterization of isolated insoluble melanin materials using a panel of sophisticated spectroscopic and physical/imaging techniques. Our results show that approximately 10% of the dry mass of A. auricula is melanin and that the pigment has physicochemical properties consistent with those of eumelanins, including hosting a stable free radical population. Electron microscopy studies show that melanin is associated with the mushroom cell wall in a manner similar to that of melanin from the model fungus C. neoformans. Elemental analysis of melanin indicated C, H, and N ratios consistent with 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid/5,6-dihydroxyindole and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene eumelanin. Validation of the identity of the isolated product as melanin was achieved by EPR analysis. A. auricula melanin manifested structural differences, relative to the C. neoformans melanin, with regard to the variable proportions of alkyl chains or oxygenated carbons. Given the necessity for new oral and inexpensive radioprotective materials coupled with the commercial availability of A. auricula mushrooms, this product may represent an excellent source of edible melanin. PMID:26244793

  1. Melanin fate in the human epidermis: a reassessment of how best to detect and analyse histologically.

    PubMed

    Joly-Tonetti, Nicolas; Wibawa, Judata I D; Bell, Mike; Tobin, Desmond

    2016-07-01

    Melanin is the predominant pigment responsible for skin colour and is synthesized by the melanocyte in the basal layer of the epidermis and then transferred to surrounding keratinocytes. Despite its optical properties, melanin is barely detectable in unstained sections of human epidermis. However, identification and localization of melanin is of importance for the study of skin pigmentation in health and disease. Current methods for the histologic quantification of melanin are suboptimal and are associated with significant risk of misinterpretation. The aim of this study was to reassess the existing literature and to develop a more effective histological method of melanin quantification in human skin. Moreover, we confirm that Warthin-Starry (WS) stain provides a much more sensitive and more specific melanin detection method than the commonplace Fontana-Masson (FM) stain. For example, WS staining sensitivity allowed the visualization of melanin even in very pale Caucasian skin that was missed by FM or Von Kossa (VK) stains. From our reassessment of the histology-related literature, we conclude that so-called melanin dust is most likely an artifact of discoloration due to non-specific silver deposition in the stratum corneum. Unlike FM and VK, WS was not associated with this non-specific stratum corneum darkening, misinterpreted previously as 'degraded' melanin. Finally, WS melanin particle counts were largely similar to previously reported manual counts by transmission electron microscopy, in contrast to both FM and VK. Together these findings allow us to propose a new histology/Image J-informed method for the accurate and precise quantification of epidermal melanin in skin. PMID:26998907

  2. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: Mechanisms of actions in a mice model

    SciTech Connect

    Kunwar, A.; Adhikary, B.; Jayakumar, S.; Barik, A.; Chattopadhyay, S.; Raghukumar, S.; Priyadarsini, K.I.

    2012-10-15

    The radioprotective effect of extracellular melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, isolated from the fungus Gliocephalotrichum simplex was examined in BALB/C mice, and the probable mechanism of action was established. At an effective dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, melanin exhibited both prophylactic and mitigative activities, increasing the 30-day survival of mice by 100% and 60%, respectively, after exposure to radiation (7 Gy, whole body irradiation (WBI)). The protective activity of melanin was primarily due to inhibition of radiation-induced hematopoietic damages as evidenced by improvement in spleen parameters such as index, total cellularity, endogenous colony forming units, and maintenance of circulatory white blood cells and platelet counts. Melanin also reversed the radiation-induced decrease in ERK phosphorylation in splenic tissue, which may be the key feature in its radioprotective action. Additionally, our results indicated that the sustained activation of AKT, JNK and P38 proteins in splenic tissue of melanin pre-treated group may also play a secondary role. This was also supported by the fact that melanin could prevent apoptosis in splenic tissue by decreasing BAX/Bcl-XL ratio, and increasing the expressions of the proliferation markers (PCNA and Cyclin D1), compared to the radiation control group. Melanin also reduced the oxidative stress in hepatic tissue and abrogated immune imbalance by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6 and TNFα). In conclusion, our results confirmed that fungal melanin is a very effective radioprotector against WBI and the probable mechanisms of radioprotection are due to modulation in pro-survival (ERK) signaling, prevention of oxidative stress and immunomodulation. -- Highlights: ► Melanin showed promising radioprotection under pre and post irradiation condition. ► Melanin protects the hematopoietic system from radiation induced damage. ► Melanin modulates pro-survival pathways, immune system

  3. From tyrosine to melanin: Signaling pathways and factors regulating melanogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rzepka, Zuzanna; Buszman, Ewa; Beberok, Artur; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are natural pigments of skin, hair and eyes and can be classified into two main types: brown to black eumelanin and yellow to reddish-brown pheomelanin. Biosynthesis of melanins takes place in melanosomes, which are specialized cytoplasmic organelles of melanocytes - dendritic cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis, uveal tract of the eye, hair follicles, as well as in the inner ear, central nervous system and heart. Melanogenesis is a multistep process and begins with the conversion of amino acid L-tyrosine to DOPAquinone. The addition of cysteine or glutathione to DOPAquinone leads to the intermediates formation, followed by subsequent transformations and polymerization to the final product, pheomelanin. In the absence of thiol compounds DOPAquinone undergoes an intramolecular cyclization and oxidation to form DOPAchrome, which is then converted to 5,6-dihydroksyindole (DHI) or 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA). Eumelanin is formed by polymerization of DHI and DHICA and their quinones. Regulation of melanogenesis is achieved by physical and biochemical factors. The article presents the intracellular signaling pathways: cAMP/PKA/CREB/MITF cascade, MAP kinases cascade, PLC/DAG/PKCβ cascade and NO/cGMP/PKG cascade, which are involved in the regulation of expression and activity of the melanogenesis-related proteins by ultraviolet radiation and endogenous agents (cytokines, hormones). Activity of the key melanogenic enzyme, tyrosinase, is also affected by pH and temperature. Many pharmacologically active substances are able to inhibit or stimulate melanin biosynthesis, as evidenced by in vitro studies on cultured pigment cells. PMID:27356601

  4. Complexation in two-component chlortetracycline-melanin solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapina, V. A.; Pershukevich, P. P.; Dontsov, A. E.; Bel'Kov, M. V.

    2008-01-01

    The spectra and kinetics of fluorescence of two-component solutions of the chlortetracycline (CHTC)-DOPA-melanin (melanin or ME) system in water have been investigated. The data obtained have been compared to similar data for solutions of CHTC-melanosome from bull eye (MB), which contains natural melanin, in K-phosphate buffer at pH 7.4. The overall results indicate the occurrence of complexation between molecules of CHTC and ME as they are being excited. The studies of complexation in the solution of CHTC-MB in the buffer are complicated by the formation of a CHTC-buffer complex. The effect of optical radiation in the range 330-750 nm on the CHTC-ME complex shows selectivity: the greatest change in the spectrum occurs when the wavelength of the exciting radiation coincides with the long-wavelength band maximum of the fluorescence excitation spectrum of the CHTC-ME complex in aqueous solution. In this range, CHTC and especially ME show high photochemical stability. The nature of the radiation effect on the studied compounds in the hard UV range (λ < 330 nm) differs greatly from that in the range 330-750 nm. It is apparently accompanied by significant photochemical transmutations of all system components. By comparing the characteristics of the CHTC-ME systems with those of the related drug doxycycline (DC-ME), the conclusion has been made that the chlorine atom plays a vital role in formation of the short-wavelength band in the fluorescence spectrum of the CHTC-ME complex.

  5. Bio-inspired Structural Colors from Deposition of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles by Evaporative Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Ming; Li, Yiwen; Deheyn, Dimitri; Yue, Xiujun; Gianneschi, Nathan; Shawkey, Matthew; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-03-01

    Melanin, a ubiquitous black or brown pigment in the animal kingdom, is a unique but poorly understood biomaterial. Many bird feathers contain melanosomes (melanin-containing organelles), which pack into ordered nanostructures, like multilayer or two-dimensional photonic crystal structures, to produce structural colors. To understand the optical properties of melanin and how melanosomes assemble into certain structures to produce colors, we prepared synthetic melanin (polydopamine) particles with variable sizes and aspect ratios. We have characterized the absorption and refractive index of the synthetic melanin particles. We have also shown that we can use an evaporative process to self-assemble melanin films with a wide range of colors. The colors obtained using this technique is modeled using a thin-film interference model and the optical properties of the synthetic melanin nanoparticles. Our results on self-assembly of synthetic melanin nanoparticles provide an explanation as why the use of melanosomes to produce colors is prevalent in the animal kingdom. National science foundation, air force office of scientific research, human frontier science program.

  6. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine

    PubMed Central

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies. PMID:27031728

  7. Monte Carlo investigation on quantifying the retinal pigment epithelium melanin concentration by photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Xiao; Liu, Wenzhong; Zhang, Hao F.

    2015-10-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) melanin plays an important role in maintaining normal visual functions. A decrease in the RPE melanin concentration with aging is believed to be associated with several blinding diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. Quantifying the RPE melanin noninvasively is therefore important in evaluating the retinal health and aging conditions. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure variations in the RPE melanin if the relationship between the detected photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes and the RPE melanin concentrations can be established. In this work, we tested the feasibility of using PA signals from retinal blood vessels as references to measure RPE melanin variation using Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. The influences from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness were examined. We proposed a calibration scheme by relating detected PA signals to the RPE melanin concentrations, and we found that the scheme is robust to these tested parameters. This study suggests that PAOM has the capability of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin in vivo.

  8. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine.

    PubMed

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies. PMID:27031728

  9. Inhibition of melanin content by Punicalagins in the super fruit pomegranate (Punica granatum).

    PubMed

    Rana, Jatinder; Diwakar, Ganesh; Saito, Lisa; Scholten, Jeffrey D; Mulder, Timothy

    2013-01-01

    Current efforts to develop effective skin lightening products through the inhibition of melanin production have focused on compounds that inhibit the function and activity of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the melanin biosynthesis pathway. Synthetic tyrosinase inhibitors, such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, and arbutin, have been reported to cause skin irritation or acute dermatitis, raising concerns about the safety of these compounds. As a result, there is a need for safe natural ingredients that show effective skin lightening. In this report, we have identified a natural ingredient, pomegranate fruit extract, that inhibits melanin production in melanocytes and shows potential for use as a cosmetic skin lightening agent. In addition, we have identified a polyphenolic compound, punicalagins, as the active melanin inhibitor in pomegranate fruit extract based on its capacity to directly inhibit melanin production. PMID:24397882

  10. Melanin targets LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP): A novel pathogenetic mechanism in fungal disease.

    PubMed

    Chamilos, Georgios; Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Brakhage, Axel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul

    2016-05-01

    Intracellular swelling of conidia of the major human airborne fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus results in surface exposure of immunostimulatory pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and triggers activation of a specialized autophagy pathway called LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) to promote fungal killing. We have recently discovered that, apart from PAMPs exposure, cell wall melanin removal during germination of A. fumigatus is a prerequisite for activation of LAP. Importantly, melanin promotes fungal pathogenicity via targeting LAP, as a melanin-deficient A. fumigatus mutant restores its virulence upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells of mice. Mechanistically, fungal cell wall melanin selectively excludes the CYBA/p22phox subunit of NADPH oxidase from the phagosome to inhibit LAP, without interfering with signaling regulating cytokine responses. Notably, inhibition of LAP is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications. PMID:27028978

  11. Accumulation of melanin in the peritoneum causes black abdomens in broilers.

    PubMed

    Wang, J; Wang, Y; Luo, C; Qu, H; Shu, D

    2014-03-01

    A suspected case of localized visceral hyperpigmentation was described for a breed of broiler in China. Using optical microscopy, the accumulation of pigments in the abdominal skin and visceral peritoneum was observed. Electron microscopy was used to further study the ultrastructure of the pigmented peritoneum, and pigment granules resembling melanosomes at different stages were found, and melanocytes were present in this tissue. Infrared spectroscopy was used to analyze the physical-chemical properties of pigments extracted from these broilers. Using synthetic melanin as a reference and the melanin from the peritoneum of Silkie fowls as a control, the pigments in the peritonea of these broilers were found to be melanin, and it had a chemical structure similar to that of melanin from the Silkie fowl peritoneum. In this way, the black abdomens of these broilers were found to have been caused by accumulation of melanin produced by melanocytes in visceral peritonea. PMID:24604870

  12. Comparison of Antioxidant Activities of Melanin Fractions from Chestnut Shell.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zeng-Yu; Qi, Jian-Hua

    2016-01-01

    Chestnut shell melanin can be used as a colorant and antioxidant, and fractionated into three fractions (Fr. 1, Fr. 2, and Fr. 3) with different physicochemical properties. Antioxidant activities of the fractions were comparatively evaluated for the first time. The fractions exhibited different antioxidative potential in different evaluation systems. Fr. 1, which is only soluble in alkaline water, had the strongest peroxidation inhibition and superoxide anion scavenging activity; Fr. 2, which is soluble in alkaline water and hydrophilic organic solvents but insoluble in neutral and acidic water, had the greatest power to chelate ferrous ions; and Fr. 3, which is soluble both in hydrophilic organic solvents and in water at any pH conditions, had the greatest hydroxyl (·OH) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH·) radicals scavenging abilities, reducing power, and phenolic content. The pigment fractions were superior to butylated hydroxytolune (BHT) in ·OH and DPPH· scavenging and to ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) in the Fe(2+)-chelation. They were inferior to BHT in peroxidation inhibition and O₂·(-) scavenging and reducing power. However, BHT is a synthetic antioxidant and cannot play the colorant role. The melanin fractions might be used as effective biological antioxidant colorants. PMID:27110763

  13. Multimodal microscopy and the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua

    The author's work is divided into three aspects: multimodal microscopy, stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, and customized-profile lenses (CPL) for on-axis laser scanners, which will be introduced respectively. A multimodal microscope provides the ability to image samples with multiple modalities on the same stage, which incorporates the benefits of all modalities. The multimodal microscopes developed in this dissertation are the Keck 3D fusion multimodal microscope 2.0 (3DFM 2.0), upgraded from the old 3DFM with improved performance and flexibility, and the multimodal microscope for targeting small particles (the "Target" system). The control systems developed for both microscopes are low-cost and easy-to-build, with all components off-the-shelf. The control system have not only significantly decreased the complexity and size of the microscope, but also increased the pixel resolution and flexibility. The SMPAF of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near-infrared (NIR) laser, has potential applications for a low-cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. The photophysics of melanin SMPAF has been studied by theoretical analysis of the excitation process and investigation of the spectra, activation threshold, and photon number absorption of melanin SMPAF. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin, mouse melanoma, and human black and white hairs are compared with images taken by conventional multi-photon fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). SMPAF images significantly increase specificity and demonstrate the potential to increase sensitivity for melanin detection compared to MPFM images and CRM images. Employing melanin SMPAF imaging to detect melanin inside human skin in vivo has been demonstrated, which proves the effectiveness of melanin detection using SMPAF for medical purposes. Selective melanin ablation with micrometer resolution has been presented using the Target system

  14. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    PubMed

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  15. The Role of Gingival Melanin Pigmentation in Inflammation of Gingiva, Based on Genetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Eid, Hossam A; Syed, Sadatullah; Soliman, Abdel Nasser MM

    2013-01-01

    Background: Aim of the study was to investigate the relationship of melanin pigment and inflammatory process within gingival tissues based on clinical and genetic analysis by differential display technique and DNA sequencing. Materials and Methods: Seventy gingival biopsy specimens were taken from individuals with melanin pigmentation as well as healthy and inflamed gingiva. Specimens were examined by differential display technique using six different arbitrary primers. Cloning, sequencing and sequence analysis for six different genes were performed. Results: Gingival specimens with hyperpigmentation (clinical melanin score = 3) showed presence of both, down- and up-regulatory genes when compared with the gingival specimen with clinical melanin score 0. These genes may have a role in curtailing the progress of gingival inflammation associated with melanin hyperpigmentation. Conclusion: Melanin hyper pigmentation may possess a defensive role against progress of gingival inflammation How to cite this article:Eid HA, Syed S, Soliman AN. The Role of Gingival Melanin Pigmentation in Inflammation of Gingiva, Based on Genetic Analysis. J Int Oral Health 2013; 5(4):1-7. PMID:24155612

  16. Structural Studies of Bleached Melanin by Synchrotron Small-angle X-ray Scattering¶

    SciTech Connect

    Littrell, Kenneth C.; Gallas, James M.; Zajac, Gerry W.; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan

    2003-01-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to measure the effects of chemical bleaching on the size and morphology of tyrosine-derived synthetic melanin dispersed in aqueous media. The average size as measured by the radius of gyration of the melanin particles in solution, at neutral to mildly basic pH, decreases from 16.5 to 12.5 angstroms with increased bleaching. The melanin particles exhibit scattering characteristic of sheet-like structures with a thickness of approximately 11 angstroms at all but the highest levels of bleaching. The scattering data are well described by the form factor for scattering from a pancake-like circular cylinder. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that unbleached melanin, at neutral to mildly basic pH, is a planar aggregate of 6- to 10-nm-sized melanin protomolecules, hydrogen bonded through their quinone and phenolic perimeters. The observed decrease in melanin particle size with increased bleaching is interpreted as evidence for deaggregation, most probably the result of oxidative disruption of hydrogen bonds and an increase in the number of charged, carboxylic acid groups, whereby the melanin aggregates disassociate into units composed of decreasing numbers of protomolecules.

  17. A Non-canonical Melanin Biosynthesis Pathway Protects Aspergillus terreus Conidia from Environmental Stress.

    PubMed

    Geib, Elena; Gressler, Markus; Viediernikova, Iuliia; Hillmann, Falk; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Nietzsche, Sandor; Hertweck, Christian; Brock, Matthias

    2016-05-19

    Melanins are ubiquitous pigments found in all kingdoms of life. Most organisms use them for protection from environmental stress, although some fungi employ melanins as virulence determinants. The human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and related Ascomycetes produce dihydroxynaphthalene- (DHN) melanin in their spores, the conidia, and use it to inhibit phagolysosome acidification. However, biosynthetic origin of melanin in a related fungus, Aspergillus terreus, has remained a mystery because A. terreus lacks genes for synthesis of DHN-melanin. Here we identify genes coding for an unusual NRPS-like enzyme (MelA) and a tyrosinase (TyrP) that A. terreus expressed under conidiation conditions. We demonstrate that MelA produces aspulvinone E, which is activated for polymerization by TyrP. Functional studies reveal that this new pigment, Asp-melanin, confers resistance against UV light and hampers phagocytosis by soil amoeba. Unexpectedly, Asp-melanin does not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, thus likely contributing specifically to survival of A. terreus conidia in acidic environments. PMID:27133313

  18. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  19. Quantification method for the appearance of melanin pigmentation using independent component analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, Nobutoshi; Okiyama, Natsuko; Okaguchi, Saya; Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Hori, Kimihiko; Miyake, Yoichi

    2005-04-01

    In the cosmetics industry, skin color is very important because skin color gives a direct impression of the face. In particular, many people suffer from melanin pigmentation such as liver spots and freckles. However, it is very difficult to evaluate melanin pigmentation using conventional colorimetric values because these values contain information on various skin chromophores simultaneously. Therefore, it is necessary to extract information of the chromophore of individual skins independently as density information. The isolation of the melanin component image based on independent component analysis (ICA) from a single skin image was reported in 2003. However, this technique has not developed a quantification method for melanin pigmentation. This paper introduces a quantification method based on the ICA of a skin color image to isolate melanin pigmentation. The image acquisition system we used consists of commercially available equipment such as digital cameras and lighting sources with polarized light. The images taken were analyzed using ICA to extract the melanin component images, and Laplacian of Gaussian (LOG) filter was applied to extract the pigmented area. As a result, for skin images including those showing melanin pigmentation and acne, the method worked well. Finally, the total amount of extracted area had a strong correspondence to the subjective rating values for the appearance of pigmentation. Further analysis is needed to recognize the appearance of pigmentation concerning the size of the pigmented area and its spatial gradation.

  20. Biologically derived melanin electrodes in aqueous sodium-ion energy storage devices

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young Jo; Wu, Wei; Chun, Sang-Eun; Whitacre, Jay F.; Bettinger, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Biodegradable electronics represents an attractive and emerging paradigm in medical devices by harnessing simultaneous advantages afforded by electronically active systems and obviating issues with chronic implants. Integrating practical energy sources that are compatible with the envisioned operation of transient devices is an unmet challenge for biodegradable electronics. Although high-performance energy storage systems offer a feasible solution, toxic materials and electrolytes present regulatory hurdles for use in temporary medical devices. Aqueous sodium-ion charge storage devices combined with biocompatible electrodes are ideal components to power next-generation biodegradable electronics. Here, we report the use of biologically derived organic electrodes composed of melanin pigments for use in energy storage devices. Melanins of natural (derived from Sepia officinalis) and synthetic origin are evaluated as anode materials in aqueous sodium-ion storage devices. Na+-loaded melanin anodes exhibit specific capacities of 30.4 ± 1.6 mAhg−1. Full cells composed of natural melanin anodes and λ-MnO2 cathodes exhibit an initial potential of 1.03 ± 0.06 V with a maximum specific capacity of 16.1 ± 0.8 mAhg−1. Natural melanin anodes exhibit higher specific capacities compared with synthetic melanins due to a combination of beneficial chemical, electrical, and physical properties exhibited by the former. Taken together, these results suggest that melanin pigments may serve as a naturally occurring biologically derived charge storage material to power certain types of medical devices. PMID:24324163

  1. Cutaneous melanin exhibiting fluorescence emission under near-infrared light excitation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhiwei; Zeng, Haishan; Hamzavi, Iltefat; Alajlan, Abdulmajeed; Tan, Eileen; McLean, David I; Lui, Harvey

    2006-01-01

    Under ultraviolet and visible light excitation, melanin is essentially a nonfluorescent substance. This work reports our study on near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence properties of melanins, and explores potential applications of NIR fluorescence techniques for evaluating skin disorders involving melanin. The NIR fluorescence spectrum is obtained using a fiber optic NIR spectrometer under 785-nm laser excitation. In vitro measurements are performed on synthetic dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, melanin extracted from Sepia ink sacs, human hair, animal fur, and bird feathers. Paired spectral comparisons of white and black skin appendages show that melanization of hair, fur, or feathers more than doubles the NIR fluorescence. In vivo NIR autofluorescence of normal dorsal and volar forearm skin of 52 volunteers is measured. Dorsal forearm skin, which is darker than volar skin, exhibits significantly greater NIR fluorescence. Patients with vitiligo (n=4), compound nevus (n=3), nevus of Ota (n=1), superficial spreading melanoma (n=3), and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (n=1) are also evaluated. NIR fluorescence is greater within the lesion than the surrounding normal skin for all these conditions except vitiligo, where the converse was true. The observed melanin NIR fluorescence provides a new approach to in vitro and in vivo melanin detection and quantification that may be particularly useful for evaluating pigmented skin lesions. PMID:16822060

  2. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  3. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    PubMed Central

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  4. Analysis of the structure of synthetic and natural melanins by solid-phase

    SciTech Connect

    Duff, G.A.; Roberts, J.E.; Foster, N.

    1988-09-06

    The structures of one synthetic and two natural melanins are examined by solid-state NMR using cross polarization, magic angle sample spinning, and high-power proton decoupling. The structural features of synthetic dopa malanin are compared to those of melanin from malignant melanoma cells grown in culture and sepia melanin from squid ink. Natural abundance /sup 13/C and /sup 15/N spectra show resonances consistent with known pyrrolic and indolic structures within the heterogeneous biopolymer; /sup 13/C spectra indicate the presence of aliphatic residues in all three materials. These solid-phase experiments illustrate the promise of solid-phase NMR for elucidating structural from insoluble biomaterials.

  5. Melanin Concentration Gradients in Modern and Fossil Feathers

    PubMed Central

    Field, Daniel J.; D’Alba, Liliana; Vinther, Jakob; Webb, Samuel M.; Gearty, William; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    In birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs, within-feather pigmentation patterns range from discrete spots and stripes to more subtle patterns, but the latter remain largely unstudied. A ∼55 million year old fossil contour feather with a dark distal tip grading into a lighter base was recovered from the Fur Formation in Denmark. SEM and synchrotron-based trace metal mapping confirmed that this gradient was caused by differential concentration of melanin. To assess the potential ecological and phylogenetic prevalence of this pattern, we evaluated 321 modern samples from 18 orders within Aves. We observed that the pattern was found most frequently in distantly related groups that share aquatic ecologies (e.g. waterfowl Anseriformes, penguins Sphenisciformes), suggesting a potential adaptive function with ancient origins. PMID:23555675

  6. Lasers in esthetic treatment of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation: a review article.

    PubMed

    Bakhshi, Mahin; Rahmani, Somayeh; Rahmani, Ali

    2015-11-01

    The health and suitability of mouth components play an important role towards defining facial attractiveness. An important component of the oral cavity is the color of the gingival tissue. Gingival melanin hyperpigmentation is caused by several reasons and affects people across ethnicity, race, age, and both gender. Lasers are presently being used for gingival melanin depigmentation. In this article, we reviewed studies on laser parameters, duration of gingival healing, pain perception during and after the operation, scores used for the evaluation of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation, follow-up period, treatment results, and recurrence reports. We conclude that laser ablation for gingival depigmentation is one of the most pleasant, reliable, acceptable, and impressive techniques available for treating gingival melanin hyperpigmentation. PMID:26370204

  7. Mechanisms of branching reactions in melanin formation - Ab initio quantum engineering approach -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishida, Ryo; Menez Aspera, Susan; Kasai, Hideaki

    Melanin, a pigment found in animals, consists of two types of oligomeric unit: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The color of the skin, the hair, and the eyes is controlled by the ratio of eumelanin/pheomelanin production. Especially, dopachrome and dopaquinone are the precursor molecules of melanin which directly affect the composition of melanin through their branching reactions. Dopachrome is converted into two possible monomers of eumelanin. Dopaquinone can undergo both eumelanin and pheomelanin synthesis. To understand the mechanisms and controlling factors that govern the conversions, reactions of the two molecules are investigated using density functional theory-based first-principles calculations. Our results deepen mechanistic understanding of the reactions and open possibilities to design properties and functions of melanin. In this talk, we will discuss about the competitions of the branching reactions.

  8. Analysis of lysosomal membrane proteins exposed to melanin in HeLa cells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Objectives There have been developed to use targeting ability for antimicrobial, anticancerous, gene therapy and cosmetics through analysis of various membrane proteins isolated from cell organelles. Methods It was examined about the lysosomal membrane protein extracted from lysosome isolated from HeLa cell treated by 100 ppm melanin for 24 hours in order to find associated with targeting ability to melanin using by 2-dimensional electrophoresis. Results The result showed 14 up-regulated (1.5-fold) and 13 down-regulated (2.0-fold) spots in relation to melanin exposure. Conclusions It has been found that lysosomal membrane proteins are associated with melanin to decolorize and quantity through cellular activation of lysosome. PMID:27158002

  9. Bio-Inspired Structural Colors Produced via Self-Assembly of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Ming; Li, Yiwen; Allen, Michael C; Deheyn, Dimitri D; Yue, Xiujun; Zhao, Jiuzhou; Gianneschi, Nathan C; Shawkey, Matthew D; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-05-26

    Structural colors arising from interactions of light with submicron scale periodic structures have been found in many species across all taxa, serving multiple biological functions including sexual signaling, camouflage, and aposematism. Directly inspired by the extensive use of self-assembled melanosomes to produce colors in avian feathers, we set out to synthesize and assemble polydopamine-based synthetic melanin nanoparticles in an effort to fabricate colored films. We have quantitatively demonstrated that synthetic melanin nanoparticles have a high refractive index and broad absorption spanning across the UV-visible range, similar to natural melanins. Utilizing a thin-film interference model, we demonstrated the coloration mechanism of deposited films and showed that the unique optical properties of synthetic melanin nanoparticles provide advantages for structural colors over other polymeric nanoparticles (i.e., polystyrene colloidal particles). PMID:25938924

  10. Natural melanin: a potential pH-responsive drug release device.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Marco; Viveiros, Raquel; Correia, Tiago R; Correia, Ilídio J; Bonifácio, Vasco D B; Casimiro, Teresa; Aguiar-Ricardo, Ana

    2014-07-20

    This work proposes melanin as a new nanocarrier for pH-responsive drug release. Melanin is an abundant natural polymer that can be easily extracted from cuttlefish as nanoparticles with a suitable size range for drug delivery. However, despite its high potentiality, the application of this biopolymer in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields is yet to be explored. Herein, melanin nanoparticles were impregnated with metronidazole, chosen as model antibiotic drug, using supercritical carbon dioxide. The drug release profile was investigated at acidic and physiologic pH, and the dominant mechanism was found to follow a non-Fickian transport. Drug release from melanin shows a strong pH dependency, which allied to its biocompatibility and lack of cytotoxicity envisages its potential application as nanocarrier in formulations for colon and intestine targeted drug delivery. PMID:24768404

  11. Gamma-resonance study of the reaction of iron ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Bagirov, R.M.; Stukan, R.A.; Lapina, V.A.; Dontsov, A.E.; Ostrovskii, M.A.

    1986-07-01

    The reaction of Fe/sup 3 +/ and Fe/sup 2 +/ ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin, which is a model compound of natural melanin (the melanoprotein granules in the pigment epithelial cells in vertebrate and human eyes), has been studied by gamma-resonance spectroscopy. The investigations showed that L-dopa melanin is capable of effectively binding iron ions and that it displays oxidative or reducing properties with respect to Fe, depending on the composition of the subsystem of the Fe ions and the ambient pH. Trivalent Fe/sup 3 +/ ions form stronger complexes with L-dopa melanin than do Fe/sup 2 +/ ions. The coordination takes place mainly with the carboxyl groups and the amino and imino groups of the polymer. The conformational state of the polymer apparently changes as the pH is varied.

  12. Flux pinning mechanism and Hc2-anisotropy in melanin doped bulk MgB2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahabuddin Shah, M.; Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Alzayed, Nasser S.; Parakkandy, Jafar M.

    2014-06-01

    Flux pinning mechanism in melanin doped MgB2 superconductor has been studied using a scaling law proposed by Dew-Hughes and another method proposed by Eisterer. Our experimental data could be fitted very closely by the aforementioned scaling law. The fitting parameters, the positions of peaks bpeak and k = bpeak/bn confirm a grain-boundary pinning in the 10% melanin doped sample, while the undoped sample consists of mixed pinning. Furthermore, percolation theory was utilized under grain-boundary approximation to investigate the role of Hc2-anisotropy in the critical current density, and its dependence on applied field as well as temperature. The Hc2-anisotropy decreases with melanin doping resulting in the increase of Jc in high field. There is suppression of flux pinning maximum due to melanin doping, which is found to be the main reason for the degradation of low-field Jc.

  13. Aluminum ions accelerated the oxidative stress of copper-mediated melanin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Junwei; Bi, Shuping

    2003-11-01

    A comparison between the effects of aluminum and cupric ions on the dopachrome (DC) conversion and the cooperation effect of the both ions in the DOPA oxidation to melanin pathway has been studied by UV-Vis spectrophotometric method. Both aluminum and cupric ions catalyze the DC conversion reaction, which is an important step in the melanin synthesis pathway. However, cupric ions catalyze the conversion of DC to yield 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) but the product of DC conversion catalyzed by aluminum is 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI). DOPA oxidation catalyzed by aluminum and cupric ions is studied in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The results from our experiments provide evidence that aluminum can markedly increase the oxidative stress of copper-mediated the melanin formation and influence the properties of the melanin by means of changing the ratio of DHICA/DHI in the acidic environment (pH 5.5).

  14. The role of melanin as protector against free radicals in skin and its role as free radical indicator in hair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrling, Thomas; Jung, Katinka; Fuchs, Jürgen

    2008-05-01

    Throughout the body, melanin is a homogenous biological polymer containing a population of intrinsic, semiquinone-like radicals. Additional extrinsic free radicals are reversibly photo-generated by UV and visible light. Melanin photochemistry, particularly the formation and decay of extrinsic radicals, has been the subject of numerous electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy studies. Several melanin monomers exist, and the predominant monomer in a melanin polymer depends on its location within an organism. In skin and hair, melanin differs in content of eumelanin or pheomelanin. Its bioradical character and its susceptibility to UV irradiation makes melanin an excellent indicator for UV-related processes in both skin and hair. The existence of melanin in skin is strongly correlated with the prevention against free radicals/ROS generated by UV radiation. Especially in the skin melanin (mainly eumelanin) ensures the only natural UV protection by eliminating the generated free radicals/ROS. Melanin in hair can be used as a free radical detector for evaluating the efficacy of hair care products. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of melanin as protector of skin against UV generated free radicals and as free radical indicator in hair.

  15. Detection of Antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Melanin in In Vitro and In Vivo Studies during Infection ▿

    PubMed Central

    Urán, Martha E.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Restrepo, Angela; Hamilton, Andrew J.; Gómez, Beatriz L.; Cano, Luz E.

    2011-01-01

    Several cell wall constituents, including melanins or melanin-like compounds, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of microbial diseases caused by diverse species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and helminthes. Among these microorganisms, the dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produces melanin in its conidial and yeast forms. In the present study, melanin particles from P. brasiliensis were injected into BALB/c mice in order to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). We identified five immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) κ-chain and four IgM melanin-binding MAbs. The five IgG1 κ-chain isotypes are the first melanin-binding IgG MAbs ever reported. The nine MAbs labeled P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast cells both in vitro and in pulmonary tissues. The MAbs cross-reacted with melanin-like purified particles from other fungi and also with commercial melanins, such as synthetic and Sepia officinalis melanin. Melanization during paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) was also further supported by the detection of IgG antibodies reactive to melanin from P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast in sera and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from P. brasiliensis-infected mice, as well as in sera from human patients with PCM. Serum specimens from patients with other mycoses were also tested for melanin-binding antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cross-reactivities were detected for melanin particles from different fungal sources. These results suggest that melanin from P. brasiliensis is an immunologically active fungal structure that activates a strong IgG humoral response in humans and mice. PMID:21813659

  16. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

    PubMed

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin) in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown) and belly (white-to-brownish) feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu) differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations, potentially

  17. Production and Characterization of Melanin by Submerged Culture of Culinary and Medicinal Fungi Auricularia auricula.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Xiao, Gongnian; Thring, Ronald W; Chen, Wan; Zhou, Huabin; Yang, Hailong

    2015-05-01

    Natural melanin is of great potential value and application in the fields of pharmacology, cosmetics, and functional foods. In the present study, statistically designed experiments were conducted for the optimization of the media to enhance the production of melanin by submerged culture of Auricularia auricula. Glucose, tyrosine, peptone, and CaCO3 were found to have significant effects (P < 0.015) on melanin biosynthesis by a Plackett-Burman experimental design and subsequently optimized using response surface methodology. Optimal media were obtained at the following concentrations: glucose, 0.90 g/L; tyrosine, 6.68 g/L; peptone, 6.99 g/L; and CaCO3, 6.75 g/L. The validity of the optimum media was verified in separate experiments in which the melanin yield of 1008.08 mg/L was obtained under optimum conditions, compared with 306.52 mg/L at other conditions, i.e., a 3.29-fold increase. Furthermore, the important physical and chemical properties of A. auricula melanin were determined. The findings from the present study indicate that large-scale production of natural melanin by submerged culture of A. auricular could be a useful approach. PMID:25800528

  18. UV-induced Melanin Chemiexcitation: A New Mode of Melanoma Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Brash, Douglas E

    2016-06-01

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), DNA photoproducts usually created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. Surprisingly, we found that, in melanocytes, CPDs were generated for hours after UVA or UVB exposure. These "dark CPDs" constituted the majority of CPDs in cultured human and murine melanocytes and in mouse skin, and they were most prominent in skin containing pheomelanin, the melanin responsible for blonde and red hair. The mechanism was also a surprise. Dark cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) arise when ultraviolet (UV)-induced superoxide and nitric oxide combine to form peroxynitrite, one of the few biological molecules capable of exciting an electron. This process, termed "chemiexcitation," is the source of bioluminescence in lower organisms. Excitation occurred in fragments of melanin, creating a quantum triplet state that had the energy of a UV photon but which induced CPDs by radiationless energy transfer to DNA. UVA and peroxynitrite also solubilized melanin and permeabilized the nuclear membrane, allowing melanin to enter. Melanin is evidently carcinogenic as well as protective. Chemiexcitation may also trigger pathogenesis in internal tissues because the same chemistry should arise wherever superoxide and nitric oxide arise near cells that contain melanin. PMID:26951162

  19. Melanin from the Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: A Spectroscopic Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Raja

    2014-01-01

    Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state 13C NMR), we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation. PMID:24416247

  20. Influence of melanin on mutation load in Drosophila populations after long-term irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Mosse, I.B.; Lyakh, I.P.

    1994-09-01

    The effect of melanin on the level of mutation load has been studied in experimental Drosophila populations exposed to radiation for 115 generations. Four types of populations have been analyzed: (1) control; (2) treated with melanin; (3) irradiated; (4) irradiated and treated with melanin. Melanin was produced by auto-oxidation of 1-dioxyphenylallanine and was constantly added to food. Populations were X-irradiated twice in each generation (at the larvae stage with 6 Gy and at the imago stage with 9 Gy). The level of recessive mutation on the third chromosome was analyzed by a standard genetic method of balanced lethals. The data obtained have shown that the populations exposed to long-term irradiation have the greatest number of mutations decreasing viability. Melanin exhibited radioprotective properties-it reduced the percentage of lethal, semilethal and subvital mutations. Thus the possibility of effective protection of populations exposed to radiation for many generations by melanin has been shown for the first time. 19 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  1. Nitroxides as redox probes of melanins: dark-induced and photoinduced changes in redox equilibria

    SciTech Connect

    Sarna, T.; Korytowski, W.; Sealy, R.C.

    1985-05-15

    The interaction of nitroxide free radicals and their reduced products (hydroxylamines) with synthetic and natural melanins has been studied. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy was used to measure changes in radical concentration in the dark and during irradiation with visible or uv light. Some reduction of nitroxide occurs in the dark, and is reversible: the nitroxide can be completely regenerated by the one-electron oxidant ferricyanide. The kinetics of the process depend strongly on radical charge and pH. For positively charged nitroxides the rate is much faster than for either neutral or anionic radicals. At pH 10 the rate is about 20 times faster than at pH 5. Oxidation of hydroxylamine also can occur so that a redox equilibrium is established. The equilibrium constant has been estimated for the reaction between a nitroxide and melanin from autoxidation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine. Results are also dependent upon the type of melanin used and chemical modification (oxidation or reduction) of the melanin. Redox equilibria are altered during irradiation with either visible or uv light. Rapid oxidation of hydroxylamine to nitroxide is apparent, together with a slower reduction of nitroxide. Action spectra for these processes are related to those for melanin radical production and oxygen consumption in nitroxide-free melanin systems. Reduction of nitroxide is inhibited by oxygen, suggesting a competition between nitroxide and oxygen for photoinduced reducing equivalents.

  2. The interaction of melanin with ionizing and UVC radiations: Characterization of thymine damage

    SciTech Connect

    Huselton, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    These studies were undertaken to determine whether melanin could protect DNA against the harmful effects of ionizing or UVC radiations. A simple, in vitro, model system was developed to evaluate eumelanin (Sigma melanin) as a radioprotector of solutions of 0.1 mM thymine or thymidine exposed to 570Gy of ionizing radiation. Sigma melanin was compared to several amino acids, other biomolecules or to other forms of melanin. To investigate the role of melanin as a passive screen of UVC radiation, melanotic (I{sub 3}), amelanotic (AMEL) cells (both derived from a Cloudman S91 melanoma) and non-melanotic (EMT6) cells were labelled with radioactive dTHd and exposed to 0, 1, 5 or 10KJ/m{sup 2} of UVC. The DNA was extracted; the bases hydrolyzed with concentrated HCl. Thymine bases were separated by reverse phase HPLC. No difference in dimer content was observed between I{sub 3} and AMEL cells, but EMT6 cells had nearly twice the amount of dimer. Overall thymine degradation was more pronounced in I{sub 3} cells than in the other two cell lines, due to the production of non-dimer thymine damage. This damage was identified as thymine glycol by HPLC and mass spectrometry. Melanin, upon exposure to UVC, appears to enhance thymine damage by producing oxidative damage.

  3. The contribution of the melanin pathway to overall body pigmentation during ontogenesis of Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Lemonds, Thomas R; Liu, Jin; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-08-01

    The most prominent colors observed in insects are black or brown, whose production is attributed to the melanin pathway. At present, though, the contribution of this pathway to overall body pigmentation throughout ontogenesis is still lacking. To address this question we examined the roles of 2 key melanin genes (TH and DDC), in embryonic and postembryonic development of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Our results show that the melanin pathway does not contribute to the light brown coloration observed in the first nymphs. However, the dark brown coloration in mid nymphs and adults is produced solely from the melanin pathway. In addition, the DDC RNAi results reveal that it is dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, acts as the main contributor in this process. Overall, present study provides a new insight into insect pigmentation suggesting that genetic mechanisms of coloration can change during ontogenesis. Future studies of additional basal insect lineages will be required to assess in more details the generality of this phenomenon. PMID:27158782

  4. Tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumholz, Arie; Chavez, Sarah; Yao, Junjie; Fleming, Timothy; Gillanders, William E.; Wang, Lihong V.

    2011-03-01

    It is difficult to distinguish between tumor cells and surrounding cells without staining as is done in histology. We developed tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a reporter gene for photoacoustic tomography. Tyrosinase is the primary enzyme responsible for the production of melanin and alone is sufficient to produce melanin in non-melanogenic cells. Two cell lines were created: a stably transfected HeLa line and a transiently transfected 293 line. A phantom experiment was performed with the 293 transfected cells 48 hours post transfection and the results compared with oxygenated whole blood, B16 melanoma and 293 control cells. An in vivo experiment was performed using the transfected HeLa cells xenografted into a nude mouse ear, and then imaged. The results show strong contrast for tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin in both the 293 cells in the tube phantom as well as the in vivo result showing melanin in a nude mouse ear. Transfection increased expression in 293 cells 159 fold and image contrast compared to blood by as much as 50 fold. Due to the strong signal obtained at longer wavelengths and the decrease of blood signal at the same wavelengths, tyrosinase catalyzed melanin is a good candidate as a molecular imaging contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography.

  5. Characterization and biological activities of extracellular melanin produced by Schizophyllum commune (Fries).

    PubMed

    Arun, G; Eyini, M; Gunasekaran, P

    2015-06-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Here, we have isolated and characterized extracellular melanin from mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune. The extracellular dark pigment produced by the broth culture of S. commune, after 21 days of incubation was recovered by hot acid-alkali treatment. The melanin nature of the pigment was characterized by biochemical tests and further, confirmed by UV, IR, EPR, NMR and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectra. Extracellular melanin, at 100 μg/ml, showed significant antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas fluorescens and antifungal activity against Trichophyton simii and T. rubrum. At a concentration of 50 μg/ml, melanin showed high free radical scavenging activity of DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) indicating its antioxidant potential. It showed concentration dependent inhibition of cell proliferation of Human Epidermoid Larynx Carcinoma Cell Line (HEP-2). This study has demonstrated characterization of melanin from basidiomycetes mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune and its applications. PMID:26155678

  6. Preparation of Thin Melanin-Type Films by Surface-Controlled Oxidation.

    PubMed

    Salomäki, Mikko; Tupala, Matti; Parviainen, Timo; Leiro, Jarkko; Karonen, Maarit; Lukkari, Jukka

    2016-04-26

    The preparation of thin melanin films suitable for applications is challenging. In this work, we present a new alternative approach to thin melanin-type films using oxidative multilayers prepared by the sequential layer-by-layer deposition of cerium(IV) and inorganic polyphosphate. The interfacial reaction between cerium(IV) in the multilayer and 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) in the adjacent aqueous solution leads to the formation of a thin uniform film. The oxidation of DHI by cerium(IV) proceeds via known melanin intermediates. We have characterized the formed DHI-melanin films using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-vis spectroscopy, and spectroelectrochemistry. When a five-bilayer oxidative multilayer is used, the film is uniform with a thickness of ca. 10 nm. Its chemical composition, as determined using XPS, is typical for melanin. It is also redox active, and its oxidation occurs in two steps, which can be assigned to semiquinone and quinone formation within the indole structural motif. Oxidative multilayers can also oxidize dopamine, but the reaction stops at the dopamine quinone stage because of the limited amount of the multilayer-based oxidizing agent. However, dopamine oxidation by Ce(IV) was studied also in solution by UV-vis spectroscopy and mass spectrometry in order to verify the reaction mechanism and the final product. In solution, the oxidation of dopamine by cerium shows that the indole ring formation takes place already at low pH and that the mass spectrum of the final product is practically identical with that of commercial melanin. Therefore, layer-by-layer formed oxidative multilayers can be used to deposit functional melanin-type thin films on arbitrary substrates by a surface-controlled reaction. PMID:27049932

  7. Melanin-Covered Nanoparticles for Protection of Bone Marrow During Radiation Therapy of Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Pazo, Valeria; Friedman, Matthew; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Cahill, Sean; Frases, Susana; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2010-12-01

    Purpose: Protection of bone marrow against radiotoxicity during radioimmunotherapy and in some cases external beam radiation therapy such as hemi-body irradiation would permit administration of significantly higher doses to tumors, resulting in increased efficacy and safety of treatment. Melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, possesses radioprotective properties. We hypothesized that melanin, which is insoluble, could be delivered to the bone marrow by intravenously administrated melanin-covered nanoparticles (MNs) because of the human body's 'self-sieving' ability, protecting it against ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials: The synthesis of MNs was performed via enzymatic polymerization of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and/or 5-S-cysteinyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine on the surface of 20-nm plain silica nanoparticles. The biodistribution of radiolabeled MNs in mice was done at 3 and 24 h. Healthy CD-1 mice (Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., Wilmington, MA) or melanoma tumor-bearing nude mice were given MNs intravenously, 50 mg/kg of body weight, 3 h before either whole-body exposure to 125 cGy or treatment with 1 mCi of {sup 188}Re-labeled 6D2 melanin-binding antibody. Results: Polymerization of melanin precursors on the surface of silica nanoparticles resulted in formation of a 15-nm-thick melanin layer as confirmed by light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence. The biodistribution after intravenous administration showed than MN uptake in bone marrow was 0.3% and 0.2% of injected dose per gram at 3 and 24 h, respectively, whereas pre-injection with pluronic acid increased the uptake to 6% and 3% of injected dose per gram, respectively. Systemic MN administration reduced hematologic toxicity in mice treated with external radiation or radioimmunotherapy, whereas no tumor protection by MNs was observed. Conclusions: MNs or similar structures provide a novel approach to protection of bone marrow from ionizing radiation

  8. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland

    PubMed Central

    Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment. PMID:25909751

  9. Melanin pigmentation gives rise to black spots on the wings of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Ito, Katsuhiko; Yoshikawa, Manabu; Fujii, Takeshi; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Several mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori show body color variation at the larval and adult stages. The Wild wing spot (Ws) mutant exhibits a phenotype in which the moth has a spot on the apex of the forewing. In this study, we investigated this trait to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the color pattern. Microscopy of the black spot of Ws mutants showed that the pigment emerges in the scales of the wing, and accumulation of the pigment becomes strong just before eclosion. We next examined the relationship between the black spot of the Ws mutant and melanin. The spectrophotometry using alkaline extracts from the black spot in the wing showed the highest absorption intensity at 405nm, which is the absorbance wavelength of melanin. Moreover, inhibition assays for enzymes implicated in melanin synthesis using 3-iodo-l-tyrosine (a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor) and L-α-methyl-DOPA (a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor) revealed that treatment with each inhibitor disrupted the pigmentation of the wing of the Ws mutant. On the basis of these results, we analyzed the expression pattern of five genes involved in melanin formation, and found that the expression levels of yellow and laccase2 were increased just before pigmentation, whereas those of DDC, tan, and TH were increased when the apex of the wing turned black. These results showed that melanin pigmentation gives rise to the black spot on the wing. PMID:27405010

  10. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin.

    PubMed

    Serrano, Gabriel; Almudéver, Patricia; Serrano, Juan M; Cortijo, Julio; Faus, Carmen; Reyes, Magda; Expósito, Inmaculada; Torrens, Ana; Millán, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin-fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller). The product was applied by hand massage (A) or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B). An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C). Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin-fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin-fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47%) of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. PMID:26170707

  11. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2013-03-01

    Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo.

  12. Evolutionary shifts in the melanin-based color system of birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-02-01

    Melanin pigments contained in organelles (melanosomes) impart earthy colors to feathers. Such melanin-based colors are distributed across birds and thought to be the ancestral color-producing mechanism in birds. However, we have had limited data on melanin-based color and melanosome diversity in Palaeognathae, which includes the flighted tinamous and large-bodied, flightless ratites and is the sister taxon to all other extant birds. Here, we use scanning electron microscopy and spectrophotometry to assess melanosome morphology and quantify reflected color for 19 species within this clade. We find that brown colors in ratites are uniquely associated with elongated melanosomes nearly identical in shape to those associated with black colors. Melanosome and color diversity in large-bodied ratites is limited relative to other birds (including flightless penguins) and smaller bodied basal maniraptoran dinosaur outgroups of Aves, whereas tinamous show a wider range of melanosome forms similar to neognaths. The repeated occurrence of novel melanosome forms in the nonmonophyletic ratites suggests that melanin-based color tracks changes in body size, physiology, or other life history traits associated with flight loss, but not feather morphology. We further anticipate these findings will be useful for future color reconstructions in extinct species, as variation in melanosome shape may potentially be linked to a more nuanced palette of melanin-based colors. PMID:26767728

  13. Improved production of melanin from Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 by optimization of media factors.

    PubMed

    Raman, Nitya Meenakshi; Shah, Pooja Harish; Mohan, Misha; Ramasamy, Suganthi

    2015-12-01

    Melanins are indolic polymers produced by many genera included among plants, animals and microorganisms and targeted mainly for their wide range of applications in cosmetics, agriculture and medicine. An approach to analyse the cumulative effect of parameters for enhanced melanin production was carried out using response surface methodology. In this present study, optimization of media and process parameters for melanin production from Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 (GenBank: JX041523; NFCCI accession number: 3826) was carried out by an initial univariate approach followed by statistical response surface methodology. The univariate approach was used to standardise the parameters that can be used for the 12-run Plackett-Burman design that is used for screening for critical parameters. Further optimization of parameters was analysed using Box-Behnken design. The optimum conditions observed were temperature, moisture and sodium dihydrogen phosphate concentration. The yield of every run of both designs were confirmed to be melanin by laboratory tests of analysis in the presence of acids, base and water. This is the first report confirming an increase in melanin production A. fumigatus AFGRD105 without the addition of costly additives. PMID:26597959

  14. Aspergillus Cell Wall Melanin Blocks LC3-Associated Phagocytosis to Promote Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Valsecchi, Isabel; Gresnigt, Mark S; Samonis, George; Drakos, Elias; Boumpas, Dimitrios; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Netea, Mihai G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Brakhage, Axel A; El-Benna, Jamel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul; Chamilos, Georgios

    2016-01-13

    Concealing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) is a principal strategy used by fungi to avoid immune recognition. Surface exposure of PAMPs during germination can leave the pathogen vulnerable. Accordingly, β-glucan surface exposure during Aspergillus fumigatus germination activates an Atg5-dependent autophagy pathway termed LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP), which promotes fungal killing. We found that LAP activation also requires the genetic, biochemical or biological (germination) removal of A. fumigatus cell wall melanin. The attenuated virulence of melanin-deficient A. fumigatus is restored in Atg5-deficient macrophages and in mice upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells. Mechanistically, Aspergillus melanin inhibits NADPH oxidase-dependent activation of LAP by excluding the p22phox subunit from the phagosome. Thus, two events that occur concomitantly during germination of airborne fungi, surface exposure of PAMPs and melanin removal, are necessary for LAP activation and fungal killing. LAP blockade is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications. PMID:26749442

  15. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    2012-05-01

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent. Significant costs imposed by an ornament would ensure that only the highest quality individuals display the most exaggerated forms of the signal. Firm evidence that melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent is still rare in birds. In an experimental test of this central assumption, we report condition-dependent expression of a melanin-based trait in the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus). We manipulated nestling body condition by reducing or increasing the number of nestlings soon after hatching. A few days before fledging, we measured the width of sub-terminal black bands on the tail feathers. Compared to nestlings from enlarged broods, individuals raised in reduced broods were in better condition and thereby developed larger sub-terminal bands. Furthermore, in 2 years, first-born nestlings also developed larger sub-terminal bands than their younger siblings that are in poorer condition. This demonstrates that expression of melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent.

  16. Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography of melanin provides intrinsic contrast based on depolarization

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Bernhard; Baumann, Stefan O.; Konegger, Thomas; Pircher, Michael; Götzinger, Erich; Schlanitz, Ferdinand; Schütze, Christopher; Sattmann, Harald; Litschauer, Marco; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula; Hitzenberger, Christoph K.

    2012-01-01

    Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is a functional extension of OCT. In addition to imaging based on tissue reflectivity, PS-OCT also enables depth-resolved mapping of sample polarization properties such as phase-retardation, birefringent axis orientation, Stokes vectors, and degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU). In this study, PS-OCT was used to investigate the polarization properties of melanin. In-vitro measurements in samples with varying melanin concentrations revealed polarization scrambling, i.e. depolarization of backscattered light. Polarization scrambling in the PS-OCT images was more pronounced for higher melanin concentrations and correlated with the concentration of the melanin granules in the phantoms. Moreover, in-vivo PS-OCT was performed in the retinas of normal subjects and individuals with albinism. Unlike in the normal eye, polarization scrambling in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was less pronounced or even not observable in PS-OCT images of albinos. These results indicate that the depolarizing appearance of pigmented structures like, for instance, the RPE is likely to be caused by the melanin granules contained in these cells. PMID:22808437

  17. Amphetamine binding to synthetic melanin and scatchard analysis of binding data.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Lata; Scott, Karen S; Cole, Michael D

    2005-01-01

    Previous research into drug-hair binding shows that hair color affects drug-hair binding. There are no structural disparities in hair of different colors other than the type and content of melanin present. For this reason, this investigation focuses on synthetic eumelanin as a site for drug interaction using amphetamine as the candidate drug. The binding study was carried out at room temperature. The interaction between synthetic eumelanin and amphetamine was monitored using UV-Vis spectrophotometry at 257.2 nm. As the molecular weight of melanin is unknown, the number of binding sites could not be calculated directly. Hence the ratio of the number of mumoles of drug bound and the dry weight of melanin in mug was considered. Equilibrium was reached when approximately 32% of the drug was bound to melanin. Hence this study proves that amphetamine binds to synthetic eumelanin in vitro. Data interpretation using Scatchard analysis yielded a curvilinear plot with upward concavity indicating multiple binding sites on melanin and negative cooperativity. PMID:16105258

  18. A novel histochemical method for a simultaneous staining of melanin and collagen fibers.

    PubMed

    Carriel, Víctor S; Aneiros-Fernandez, Jose; Arias-Santiago, Salvador; Garzón, Ingrid J; Alaminos, Miguel; Campos, Antonio

    2011-03-01

    For the histopathologic diagnosis of melanocytic lesions, it could be necessary to identify the melanin pigment because its visualization is unspecific with hematoxylin-eosin (HE). The Fontana-Masson (FM) technique is used in histopathology in this type of lesion, which allows the identification of the pigment, but it loses all the morphologic parameters. The authors describe a modification to the FM method, for the evaluation of the morphology, the argentaffin reaction of the melanin, and collagens fibers of the extracellular matrix simultaneously, for which they have developed the Fontana-Masson picrosirius (FMPS) method. Biopsies of different melanocytic lesions were used for the performance of the HE, FM, and FMPS methods. The pixel intensity of the reaction for melanin, collagen, and epithelium was determined with ImageJ software. The FMPS method allows the evaluation of morphological characteristics, identifying the melanin pigment and collagen fibers with high intensity simultaneously. This method does not differ significantly from FM in the identification of melanin, maintaining its sensitivity and specificity. In addition, it does not differ in the demonstration of the morphology with HE. However, FMPS is significantly superior in the identification of collagen fibers. The FMPS method combines morphological and histochemical parameters that could be useful in the study of pigmented lesions of melanocytic origin. PMID:21378281

  19. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico

    2012-01-01

    Abstract. Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000  nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo. PMID:23235925

  20. Detection of Melanin-Like Pigments in the Dimorphic Fungal Pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis In Vitro and during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Beatriz L.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Díez, Soraya; Youngchim, Sirida; Aisen, Philip; Cano, Luz E.; Restrepo, Angela; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2001-01-01

    Melanins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several human diseases, including some microbial infections. In this study, we analyzed whether the conidia and the yeasts of the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Growth of P. brasiliensis mycelia on water agar alone produced pigmented conidia, and growth of yeasts in minimal medium with l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) produced pigmented cells. Digestion of the pigmented conidia and yeasts with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and hot concentrated acid yielded dark particles that were the same size and shape as their propagules. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated reactivity of a melanin-binding monoclonal antibody (MAb) with the pigmented conidia, yeasts, and particles. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy identified the yeast-derived particles produced in vitro when P. brasiliensis was grown in l-DOPA medium as a melanin-like compound. Nonreducing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of cytoplasmic yeast extract revealed a protein that catalyzed melanin synthesis from l-DOPA. The melanin binding MAb reacted with yeast cells in tissue from mice infected with P. brasiliensis. Finally digestion of infected tissue liberated particles reactive to the melanin binding MAb that had the typical morphology of P. brasiliensis yeasts. These data strongly suggest that P. brasiliensis propagules, both conidia and yeast cells, can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and in vivo. Based on what is known about the function of melanin in the virulence of other fungi, this pigment may play a role in the pathogenesis of paracoccidioidomycosis. PMID:11500453

  1. Evolution of albinism in cave planthoppers by a convergent defect in the first step of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Cetković, Helena; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    Albinism, the reduction or loss of melanin pigment, is found in many diverse cave-dwelling animals. The mechanisms responsible for loss of melanin pigment are poorly understood. In this study we use a melanogenic substrate assay to determine the position where melanin synthesis is blocked in independently evolved cave planthoppers from Hawaii and Croatia. In this assay, substrates of enzymes responsible for melanin biosynthesis are added to fixed specimens in vitro and their ability to rescue black melanin pigmentation is determined. L-tyrosine, the first substrate in the pathway, did not produce melanin pigment, whereas L-DOPA, the second substrate, restored black pigment. Substrates in combination with enzyme inhibitors were used to test the possibility of additional downstream defects in the pathway. The results showed that downstream reactions leading from L-DOPA and dopamine to DOPA-melanin and dopamine-melanin, the two types of insect melanin, are functional. It is concluded that albinism is caused by a defect in the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway in cave-adapted planthoppers from widely separated parts of the world. However, Western blots indicated that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the only enzyme shown to operate at the first step in insects, is present in Hawaiian cave planthoppers. Thus, an unknown factor(s) operating at this step may be important in the evolution of planthopper albinism. In the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus, a genetic defect has also been described at the first step of melanin synthesis suggesting convergent evolution of albinism in both cave-adapted insects and teleosts. PMID:23017027

  2. Melanin-Concentrating Hormone: A New Sleep Factor?

    PubMed Central

    Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia; Monti, Jaime M.

    2011-01-01

    Neurons containing the neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are mainly located in the lateral hypothalamus and the incerto-hypothalamic area, and have widespread projections throughout the brain. While the biological functions of this neuropeptide are exerted in humans through two metabotropic receptors, the MCHR1 and MCHR2, only the MCHR1 is present in rodents. Recently, it has been shown that the MCHergic system is involved in the control of sleep. We can summarize the experimental findings as follows: (1) The areas related to the control of sleep and wakefulness have a high density of MCHergic fibers and receptors. (2) MCHergic neurons are active during sleep, especially during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. (3) MCH knockout mice have less REM sleep, notably under conditions of negative energy balance. Animals with genetically inactivated MCHR1 also exhibit altered vigilance state architecture and sleep homeostasis. (4) Systemically administered MCHR1 antagonists reduce sleep. (5) Intraventricular microinjection of MCH increases both slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep; however, the increment in REM sleep is more pronounced. (6) Microinjection of MCH into the dorsal raphe nucleus increases REM sleep time. REM seep is inhibited by immunoneutralization of MCH within this nucleus. (7) Microinjection of MCH in the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat enhances REM sleep time and reduces REM sleep latency. All these data strongly suggest that MCH has a potent role in the promotion of sleep. Although both SWS and REM sleep are facilitated by MCH, REM sleep seems to be more sensitive to MCH modulation. PMID:21516258

  3. Oral melanin pigmentation in 467 Thai and Malaysian people with special emphasis on smoker's melanosis.

    PubMed

    Hedin, C A; Axéll, T

    1991-01-01

    At the faculties of dentistry in Chiang Mai, Thailand (CM), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL), 234 and 233 consecutive out-patients were interviewed concerning tobacco and chewing habits and examined for the presence of oral melanin pigmentation. Tobacco was regularly used by 32% and 28% of the studied populations in CM and KL. Cigarette smoking was the predominant habit, but the chewing of betel and tea leaves (miang) and the smoking of banana leaf cigars (khi yo) was also registered. The genetically acquired pigmentation dominated. Although nearly all non-tobacco users in the Malay and Indian populations had oral melanin pigmentation, it was found that tobacco smokers had significantly more oral surfaces pigmented than non-tobacco users. Among Thais, the percentage of pigmented individuals was significantly higher among tobacco smokers. It was concluded that tobacco smoking stimulates oral melanocytes to a higher melanin production also in dark-skinned ethnic groups. PMID:2002444

  4. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-04-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29-270 mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850-5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 min.

  5. The Protective Role of Melanin Against UV Damage in Human Skin

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Michaela; Hearing, Vincent J.

    2009-01-01

    Human skin is repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that influences the function and survival of many cell types and is regarded as the main causative factor in the induction of skin cancer. It has been traditionally believed that skin pigmentation is the most important photoprotective factor, since melanin, besides functioning as a broadband UV absorbent, has antioxidant and radical scavenging properties. Besides, many epidemiological studies have shown a lower incidence for skin cancer in individuals with darker skin compared to those with fair skin. Skin pigmentation is of great cultural and cosmetic importance, yet the role of melanin in photoprotection is still controversial. This article outlines the major acute and chronic effects of UV radiation on human skin, the properties of melanin, the regulation of pigmentation and its effect on skin cancer prevention. PMID:18435612

  6. Phenolic melanin precursors provide a rational approach to the design of antitumor agents for melanoma

    SciTech Connect

    Jimbow, K.; Miura, T.; Ito, S.; Ishikawa, K.

    1989-01-01

    A unique biological property of the melanocyte, melanin synthesis may permit a rational approach to design agents for better management of malignant melanoma. This in vivo and in vitro study examined the selective melanocytotoxicity and antimelanoma effects of phenolic compounds, cysteinylphenol (CP), cysteaminylphenol (CAP), and related compounds, and found (1) that both 4-S-CP and 4-S-CAP are melanin precursors, (2) that 4-S-CAP possesses a marked depigmenting potency with selective destruction of melanocytes in black follicles, and (3) a significant inhibition in the protein synthesis and tumor growth of B16 melanoma. Importantly, a whole body autoradiography indicated that these phenolic melanin precursors are selectively incorporated into melanoma tissues after i.p. administration.

  7. Effect of aluminum (III) on the conversion of dopachrome in the melanin synthesis pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Junwei; Bi, Shuping

    2003-06-01

    The effect of aluminum ions on the kinetics and mode of the conversion of dopachrome (DC) in acidic environment has been studied using UV-Vis spectrophotometric and cyclic voltammetric methods. The DC conversion step is an important reaction in melanogenesis. Aluminum ions catalyze greatly the decarboxylative transformation of DC to give 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) rather than 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) at pH 5.5, which enhance the ratio of formation DHI/DHICA in melanin synthesis pathway. The kinetics of DC conversion catalyzed by aluminum ions is dependent on the concentration of DC and aluminum ions. These results provide evidence that aluminum ions could play a role in the synthesis of melanin pathway in acidic condition through catalyzing the DC decarboxylative transformation to yield DHI and influence the melanin structure and properties.

  8. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29–270mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850–5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 minutes. PMID:25803095

  9. Characterization of a Fungal Thioesterase Having Claisen Cyclase and Deacetylase Activities in Melanin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Vagstad, Anna L; Hill, Eric A; Labonte, Jason W; Townsend, Craig A

    2012-01-01

    Summary Melanins are a broad class of darkly-pigmented macromolecules formed by oxidative polymerization of phenolic monomers. In fungi, melanins are known virulence factors that contribute to pathogenicity. Their biosynthesis generally involves polymerization of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene via a 1,3,6,8- tetrahydroxynaphthalene (THN) precursor assembled by multidomain, nonreducing polyketide synthases. Multiple, convergent routes to THN have evolved in fungi. Parallel heptaketide and hexaketide pathways exist that utilize conventional C-terminal thioesterase/Claisen cyclase domains and separate side-chain deacylases. Here, in vitro characterization of Pks1 from Colletotrichum lagenarium establishes a true THN synthase with a bifunctional thioesterase (TE) catalyzing both cyclization and deacetylation of an enzyme-bound hexaketide substrate. Chimeric TE domains were generated by swapping lid regions of active sites between classes of melanin TEs to gain insight into this unprecedented catalysis of carbon–carbon bond making and breaking by an α/β-hydrolase fold enzyme. PMID:23261597

  10. Analysis of the melanin distribution in different ethnic groups by in vivo laser scanning microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniou, C.; Lademann, J.; Richter, H.; Astner, S.; Patzelt, A.; Zastrow, L.; Sterry, W.; Koch, S.

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSM) is able to visualize differences in melanin content and distribution in different Skin Phototypes. The investigations were carried out on six healthy volunteers with Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI. Representative skin samples of Skin Phototypes II, V, and VI were obtained for histological analysis from remaining tissue of skin grafts and were used for LSM-pathologic correlation. LSM evaluation showed significant differences in melanin distribution in Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI, respectively. Based on the differences in overall reflectivity and image brightness, a visual evaluation scheme showed increasing brightness of the basal and suprabasal layers with increasing Skin Phototypes. The findings correlated well with histological analysis. The results demonstrate that LSM may serve as a promising adjunctive tool for real time assessment of melanin content and distribution in human skin, with numerous clinical applications and therapeutic and preventive implications.

  11. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Saager, Rolf B.; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J.; Kelly, Kristen M.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between ∼5% (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ∼30–65  μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R2=0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R2=0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types. PMID:26065839

  12. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saager, Rolf B.; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J.; Kelly, Kristen M.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2015-06-01

    The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between ˜5% (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ˜30-65 μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R2=0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R2=0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types.

  13. Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy Versus Mexameter(®) MX18 Measurements of Melanin and Erythema in an African Population.

    PubMed

    Wright, Caradee Y; Karsten, Aletta E; Wilkes, Marcus; Singh, Ann; du Plessis, Johan; Albers, Patricia N; Karsten, Petrus A

    2016-07-01

    Melanin provides protection against excess exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and related adverse health effects. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) can be used to calculate cutaneous melanin and erythema, but this is complex and has been mostly used for light-to-medium pigmented skin. Handheld reflectance spectrophotometers, such as the Mexameter(®) MX18, can also be used. We compared DRS-calculated melanin and erythema values with Mexameter melanin and erythema index values to understand how these techniques/measurements correlate in an African population of predominantly deeply pigmented skin. Five hundred and three participants comprised 68.5% self-identified Black African, 9.9% Indian/Asian, 18.4% White and 2.9% Colored. The majority of Black African (45%), Indian/Asian (34%) and Colored (53%) participants self-identified their skin as being "brown." Measured melanin levels increased with darker self-reported skin color. DRS-calculated and Mexameter melanin values demonstrated a positive correlation (Spearman rho = 0.87, P < 0.001). The results from both instruments showed erythema values were strongly correlated with their own melanin values. This finding is considered spurious and may result from the complexity of separating brown and red pigment when using narrowband reflectance techniques. Further work is needed to understand melanin, erythema and color in Black skin given sun-related health risks in vulnerable groups in Africa. PMID:27276188

  14. Condition-dependence, pleiotropy and the handicap principle of sexual selection in melanin-based colouration.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-05-01

    The signalling function of melanin-based colouration is debated. Sexual selection theory states that ornaments should be costly to produce, maintain, wear or display to signal quality honestly to potential mates or competitors. An increasing number of studies supports the hypothesis that the degree of melanism covaries with aspects of body condition (e.g. body mass or immunity), which has contributed to change the initial perception that melanin-based colour ornaments entail no costs. Indeed, the expression of many (but not all) melanin-based colour traits is weakly sensitive to the environment but strongly heritable suggesting that these colour traits are relatively cheap to produce and maintain, thus raising the question of how such colour traits could signal quality honestly. Here I review the production, maintenance and wearing/displaying costs that can generate a correlation between melanin-based colouration and body condition, and consider other evolutionary mechanisms that can also lead to covariation between colour and body condition. Because genes controlling melanic traits can affect numerous phenotypic traits, pleiotropy could also explain a linkage between body condition and colouration. Pleiotropy may result in differently coloured individuals signalling different aspects of quality that are maintained by frequency-dependent selection or local adaptation. Colouration may therefore not signal absolute quality to potential mates or competitors (e.g. dark males may not achieve a higher fitness than pale males); otherwise genetic variation would be rapidly depleted by directional selection. As a consequence, selection on heritable melanin-based colouration may not always be directional, but mate choice may be conditional to environmental conditions (i.e. context-dependent sexual selection). Despite the interest of evolutionary biologists in the adaptive value of melanin-based colouration, its actual role in sexual selection is still poorly understood. PMID

  15. Simultaneous in vivo imaging of melanin and lipofuscin in the retina with multimodal photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiangyang; Zhang, Hao F.; Zhou, Lixiang; Jiao, Shuliang

    2012-02-01

    We combined photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) with autofluorescence imaging for simultaneous in vivo imaging of dual molecular contrasts in the retina using a single light source. The dual molecular contrasts come from melanin and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Melanin and lipofuscin are two types of pigments and are believed to play opposite roles (protective vs. exacerbate) in the RPE in the aging process. We successfully imaged the retina of pigmented and albino rats at different ages. The experimental results showed that multimodal PAOM system can be a potentially powerful tool in the study of age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

  16. Melanin-concentrating hormone control of sleep-wake behavior.

    PubMed

    Monti, Jaime M; Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia

    2013-08-01

    The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a 19 aminoacid peptide found in mammals predominantly in neurons located in the lateral hypothalamus and incerto-hypothalamic area. The biological function of MCH is mediated by two G-protein-coupled receptors known as MCHR1 and MCHR2, although the latter is expressed only in carnivores, primates and man. The MCHR1 couples to Gi, Gq and Go proteins, with Gi leading to the inhibition of both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic events. Within the central nervous system (CNS) MCH participates in a number of functions including sleep-wake behavior. In this respect, MCHergic neurons project widely throughout the CNS to brain regions involved in the regulation of behavioral states. MCHergic neurons are silent during wakefulness (W), increase their firing during slow wave sleep (SWS) and still more during REM sleep (REMS). Studies in knockout mice for MCH (MCH(-/-)) have shown a reduction in SWS and an increase of W during the light and the dark phase of the light-dark cycle. Moreover, in response to food deprivation a marked reduction in REMS time was observed in these animals. Conflicting effects on sleep variables have been reported in MCHR1(-/-) mice by different authors. The i.c.v. administration of MCH increases REMS and SWS in the rat. In addition, an enhancement of REMS has been described following the microinjection of the neuropeptide into the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat, while its infusion into the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and the basal forebrain (horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca) is followed by an increase of REMS and a reduction of W in the rat. Immunoneutralization of MCH in the DR augmented W and suppressed REMS in the rat, as did the s.c. injection of selective MCHR1 antagonists. The robust REMS-inducing effect of MCH is likely related to the deactivation of monoaminergic, orexinergic, glutamatergic, cholinergic (W-on) and GABAergic (REM-off) neurons involved in the generation of W and the

  17. Melanin-independent accumulation of turgor pressure in appressoria of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant pathogenic fungi, turgor pressure accumulation in appressoria produces a mechanical force enabling the direct penetration of hyphae through the plant cell epidermis. Melanin has been reported to function as an impermeable barrier to osmolytes, which allow appressoria to accumulate high...

  18. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression.

    PubMed

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Ro, Hyunju; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α -melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content. PMID:23781272

  19. LASER BIOLOGY: Visualisation of the distributions of melanin and indocyanine green in biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genina, E. A.; Fedosov, I. V.; Bashkatov, A. N.; Zimnyakov, D. A.; Altshuler, G. B.; Tuchin, V. V.

    2008-03-01

    A double-wavelength laser scanning microphotometer with the high spectral and spatial resolutions is developed for studying the distribution of endogenic and exogenic dyes in biological tissues. Samples of hair and skin biopsy with hair follicles stained with indocyanine green are studied. The spatial distribution of indocyanine green and melanin in the biological tissue is determined from the measured optical transmittance.

  20. Melanins and melanogenesis: from pigment cells to human health and technological applications.

    PubMed

    d'Ischia, Marco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Cicoira, Fabio; Di Mauro, Eduardo; Garcia-Borron, Josè Carlos; Commo, Stephane; Galván, Ismael; Ghanem, Ghanem; Kenzo, Koike; Meredith, Paul; Pezzella, Alessandro; Santato, Clara; Sarna, Tadeusz; Simon, John D; Zecca, Luigi; Zucca, Fabio A; Napolitano, Alessandra; Ito, Shosuke

    2015-09-01

    During the past decade, melanins and melanogenesis have attracted growing interest for a broad range of biomedical and technological applications. The burst of polydopamine-based multifunctional coatings in materials science is just one example, and the list may be expanded to include melanin thin films for organic electronics and bioelectronics, drug delivery systems, functional nanoparticles and biointerfaces, sunscreens, environmental remediation devices. Despite considerable advances, applied research on melanins and melanogenesis is still far from being mature. A closer intersectoral interaction between research centers is essential to raise the interests and increase the awareness of the biomedical, biomaterials science and hi-tech sectors of the manifold opportunities offered by pigment cells and related metabolic pathways. Starting from a survey of biological roles and functions, the present review aims at providing an interdisciplinary perspective of melanin pigments and related pathway with a view to showing how it is possible to translate current knowledge about physical and chemical properties and control mechanisms into new bioinspired solutions for biomedical, dermocosmetic, and technological applications. PMID:26176788

  1. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spencer, Karen A.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P.; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if or how the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or color-imparting structural feather microstructure may be adversely affected by condition. Here we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, while in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account.

  2. Differential effects of endoparasitism on the expression of carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration.

    PubMed Central

    McGraw, K J; Hill, G E

    2000-01-01

    The striking diversity of sexual dimorphisms in nature begs the question: Why are there so many signal types? One possibility is that ornamental traits convey different sets of information about the quality of the sender to the receiver. The colourful, pigmented feathers of male birds seem to meet the predictions of this hypothesis. Evidence suggests that carotenoid pigmentation reflects the nutritional condition of males during moult, whereas in many instances melanin pigmentation is a reliable indicator of social status. However, as of yet there have been no experimental tests to determine how these two ornament types respond to the same form of environmental stress. In this study, we tested the effect of endoparasitic infection by intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp.) on the expression of both carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration in captive male American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis). We found that the carotenoid-based plumage and bill coloration of parasitized males was less saturated than that developed by unparasitized males, but that the brightness and size of melanin-based black caps did not differ between the groups. These findings provide the most robust empirical support to date for the notion that carotenoid and melanin ornaments reveal different information to conspecifics. PMID:11007328

  3. Transferring biomarker into molecular probe: melanin nanoparticle as a naturally active platform for multimodality imaging.

    PubMed

    Fan, Quli; Cheng, Kai; Hu, Xiang; Ma, Xiaowei; Zhang, Ruiping; Yang, Min; Lu, Xiaomei; Xing, Lei; Huang, Wei; Gambhir, Sanjiv Sam; Cheng, Zhen

    2014-10-29

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (<10 nm) water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MNP) was developed and showed unique photoacoustic property and natural binding ability with metal ions (for example, (64)Cu(2+), Fe(3+)). Therefore, MNP can serve not only as a photoacoustic contrast agent, but also as a nanoplatform for positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Traditional passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for prebuilding reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs to allow for U87MG tumor accumulation due to its targeting property combined with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation. PMID:25292385

  4. Testing in Mice the Hypothesis That Melanin Is Protective in Malaria Infections

    PubMed Central

    Waisberg, Michael; Vickers, Brandi K.; Yager, Stephanie B.; Lin, Christina K.; Pierce, Susan K.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria has had the largest impact of any infectious disease on shaping the human genome, exerting enormous selective pressure on genes that improve survival in severe malaria infections. Modern humans originated in Africa and lost skin melanization as they migrated to temperate regions of the globe. Although it is well documented that loss of melanization improved cutaneous Vitamin D synthesis, melanin plays an evolutionary ancient role in insect immunity to malaria and in some instances melanin has been implicated to play an immunoregulatory role in vertebrates. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that melanization may be protective in malaria infections using mouse models. Congenic C57BL/6 mice that differed only in the gene encoding tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the synthesis of melanin, showed no difference in the clinical course of infection by Plasmodium yoelii 17XL, that causes severe anemia, Plasmodium berghei ANKA, that causes severe cerebral malaria or Plasmodium chabaudi AS that causes uncomplicated chronic disease. Moreover, neither genetic deficiencies in vitamin D synthesis nor vitamin D supplementation had an effect on survival in cerebral malaria. Taken together, these results indicate that neither melanin nor vitamin D production improve survival in severe malaria. PMID:22242171

  5. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content. PMID:23781272

  6. Metal exposure influences the melanin and carotenoid-based colorations in great tits.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Mateos-Gonzalez, F; Cotín, J; Pagani-Nuñez, E; Torné-Noguera, A; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    Metals are naturally found in the environment but are also emitted through anthropogenic activities, raising some concerns about the potential deleterious effects of these elements on wildlife. The potential effects of metals on bird coloration have been the focus of several recent studies since animal colored-signals often reflect the physiology of their bearers and are thus used by animals to assess the quality of another individual as a mate or competitor. These studies have shown that the melanin pigmentation seems to be positively associated and the carotenoid-based coloration negatively associated with metal exposure in wild birds. Although these studies have been very useful to show the associations between metal exposure and coloration, only few of them have actually quantified the levels of metal exposure at the individual level; always focusing on one or two of them. Here, we measured the concentrations of eight metals in great tits' feathers and then assessed how these levels of metals were associated with the carotenoid and melanin-based colorations. We found that the melanin pigmentation was positively associated with the copper concentration and negatively correlated with the chromium concentration in feathers. In addition, we have shown that the carotenoid-based coloration was negatively associated with the feather's mercury concentration. This study is the first one to identify some metals that might affect positively and negatively the deposition of melanin and carotenoid into the plumage of wild birds. PMID:26100730

  7. Transferring Biomarker into Molecular Probe: Melanin Nanoparticle as a Naturally Active Platform for Multimodality Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (<10 nm) water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MNP) was developed and showed unique photoacoustic property and natural binding ability with metal ions (for example, 64Cu2+, Fe3+). Therefore, MNP can serve not only as a photoacoustic contrast agent, but also as a nanoplatform for positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Traditional passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for prebuilding reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs to allow for U87MG tumor accumulation due to its targeting property combined with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation. PMID:25292385

  8. [Obtaining of water soluble microbial melanin and study of its some properties].

    PubMed

    Agadzhanian, A A; Asaturian, R A; Ambartsumian, A A; Sargisian, L B; Ovsepian, A S; Vardanian, A H; Sagiian, A S

    2011-01-01

    The effective sorption method for melanin isolation and purification from fermentation solutions of Bacillus thuringiensis serovar galleriae K1 has been elaborated, the principle process flowsheet is presented. The identification of obtained pigment with the samples of natural and synthetic melanin was done by IR-spectroscopy, and the intensity ratio of optical absorption at 650 and 500 nm allows to refer the isolated melanin to eumelanin class. By thermal treatment it was determined, that melanin's amorphous sediment is steady at up to 120 degrees C temperatures, at that the concentration of paramagnetic centers is changed from 0.053 x 10(18) spin/g (48 degrees C) to 0.25 x 10(18) spin/g (120 degrees C). The rising of the temperature of treatment up to 210 degrees C brings to substantial increase of the concentration of unpaired electrons, and at 280 degrees C its sharp growth is observed. At 350 degrees C growth stops, then sharp decrease is observed. The obtained results were confirmed by methods of IR spectroscopy and derivatographic analysis. PMID:22232896

  9. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure.

    PubMed

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline; Spencer, Karen A; Heidinger, Britt J; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if, or how, the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or the role of the microstructure of feathers in imparting structural color to feathers may be adversely affected by condition. Here, we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, whereas in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases, we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account. PMID:24987010

  10. Visualisation of the distributions of melanin and indocyanine green in biological tissues

    SciTech Connect

    Genina, E A; Fedosov, I V; Bashkatov, A N; Zimnyakov, D A; Tuchin, V V; Altshuler, G B

    2008-03-31

    A double-wavelength laser scanning microphotometer with the high spectral and spatial resolutions is developed for studying the distribution of endogenic and exogenic dyes in biological tissues. Samples of hair and skin biopsy with hair follicles stained with indocyanine green are studied. The spatial distribution of indocyanine green and melanin in the biological tissue is determined from the measured optical transmittance. (laser biology)

  11. Pharmacokinetics study of Zr-89-labeled melanin nanoparticle in iron-overload mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pengjun; Yue, Yuanyuan; Pan, Donghui; Yang, Runlin; Xu, Yuping; Wang, Lizhen; Yan, Junjie; Li, Xiaotian; Yang, Min

    2016-09-01

    Melanin, a natural biological pigment present in many organisms, has been found to exhibit multiple functions. An important property of melanin is its ability to chelate metal ions strongly, which might be developed as an iron chelator for iron overload therapy. Herein, we prepared the ultrasmall water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MP) and firstly evaluate the pharmacokinetics of MP in iron-overload mice to provide scientific basis for treating iron-overload. To study the circulation time and biodistribution, MP was labeled with (89)Zr, a long half-life (78.4h) positron-emitting metal which is suited for the labeling of nanoparticles and large bioactive molecule. MP was chelated with (89)Zr directly at pH5, resulting in non-decay-corrected yield of 89.6% and a radiochemical purity of more than 98%. The specific activity was at least190 MBq/μmol. The (89)Zr-MP was stable in human plasma and PBS for at least 48h. The half-life of (89)Zr-MP was about 15.70±1.74h in iron-overload mice. Biodistribution studies and MicroPET imaging showed that (89)Zr-MP mainly accumulated in liver and spleen, which are the target organ of iron-overload. The results indicate that the melanin nanoparticle is promising for further iron overload therapy. PMID:27359110

  12. Interpreting melanin-based coloration through deep time: a critical review

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, Johan; Moyer, Alison; Schweitzer, Mary H.; Sjövall, Peter; Uvdal, Per; Nilsson, Dan E.; Heimdal, Jimmy; Engdahl, Anders; Gren, Johan A.; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Kear, Benjamin P.

    2015-01-01

    Colour, derived primarily from melanin and/or carotenoid pigments, is integral to many aspects of behaviour in living vertebrates, including social signalling, sexual display and crypsis. Thus, identifying biochromes in extinct animals can shed light on the acquisition and evolution of these biological traits. Both eumelanin and melanin-containing cellular organelles (melanosomes) are preserved in fossils, but recognizing traces of ancient melanin-based coloration is fraught with interpretative ambiguity, especially when observations are based on morphological evidence alone. Assigning microbodies (or, more often reported, their ‘mouldic impressions’) as melanosome traces without adequately excluding a bacterial origin is also problematic because microbes are pervasive and intimately involved in organismal degradation. Additionally, some forms synthesize melanin. In this review, we survey both vertebrate and microbial melanization, and explore the conflicts influencing assessment of microbodies preserved in association with ancient animal soft tissues. We discuss the types of data used to interpret fossil melanosomes and evaluate whether these are sufficient for definitive diagnosis. Finally, we outline an integrated morphological and geochemical approach for detecting endogenous pigment remains and associated microstructures in multimillion-year-old fossils. PMID:26290071

  13. Dual functions of a melanin-based ornament in the common yellowthroat

    PubMed Central

    Tarof, Scott A; Dunn, Peter O; Whittingham, Linda A

    2005-01-01

    Melanin-based ornaments often function as signals in male–male competition, whereas carotenoid-based ornaments appear to be important in female mate choice. This difference in function is thought to occur because carotenoid pigments are more costly to produce than melanins and are thus more reliable indicators of male quality. We examined the role of melanin- and carotenoid-based ornaments in male–male competition and female choice in the common yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas, a sexually dichromatic passerine. Males display a black facial mask produced by melanin pigmentation and a bright yellow bib (throat, breast and belly) produced by carotenoid pigmentation. In controlled aviary experiments, mask size was the best predictor of both male–male competition and female mate choice, and, therefore, mask size may be regarded as an ornament of dual function. These dual functions may help to maintain the reliability of mask size as an indicator of male quality, despite the potentially low cost of production. The size of the bib was unrelated to male–male competition or female choice, but there was a tendency for females to prefer males with more colourful bibs. We propose that the black mask is important in competition for territories with other males and for attracting females. Our results highlight the need for more studies of the mechanisms of sexual selection in species with ornaments composed of different pigment types. PMID:16024373

  14. GAMMA RADIATION INTERACTS WITH MELANIN TO ALTER ITS OXIDATION-REDUCTION POTENTIAL AND RESULTS IN ELECTRIC CURRENT PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Turick, C.; Ekechukwu, A.; Milliken, C.

    2011-05-17

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials.

  15. Insulin-sensitizing and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects of the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from Inonotus obliquus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Han; Hyun, Chang-Kee

    2014-09-01

    Inonotus obliquus has been traditionally used for treatment of metabolic diseases; however, the mechanism remains to be elucidated. In this study, we found that the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from I. obliquus improved insulin sensitivity and reduced adiposity in high fat (HF)-fed obese mice. When the melanin complex was treated to 3T3-L1 adipocytes, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased significantly, and its phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent action was proven with wortmannin treatment. Additionally, dose-dependent increases in Akt phosphorylation and glucose transporter 4 translocation into the plasma membrane were observed in melanin complex-treated cells. Adiponectin gene expression in 3T3-L1 cells incubated with melanin complex increased which was corroborated by increased AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in HepG2 and C2C12 cells treated with conditioned media from the 3T3-L1 culture. Melanin complex-treated 3T3-L1 cells showed no significant change in expression of several lipogenic genes, whereas enhanced expressions of fatty acid oxidative genes were observed. Similarly, the epididymal adipose tissue of melanin complex-treated HF-fed mice had higher expression of fatty acid oxidative genes without significant change in lipogenic gene expression. Together, these results suggest that the water-soluble melanin complex of I. obliquus exerts antihyperglycemic and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects, making it a candidate for promising antidiabetic agent. PMID:24615848

  16. Surface Structure Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia Mutated in the Melanin Synthesis Pathway and Their Human Cellular Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F.; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A.; Kaveri, Srini V.; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.

    2014-01-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface. PMID:24818666

  17. Gamma radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential and results in electric current production.

    PubMed

    Turick, Charles E; Ekechukwu, Amy A; Milliken, Charles E; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2011-08-01

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials. PMID:21632287

  18. Real-time in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy of melanin-containing cells: A promising diagnostic intervention.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Wenzhong; Song, Xiuzu; Peng, Jianzhong; Xu, Aie; Bi, Zhigang

    2015-12-01

    The use of noninvasive imaging techniques to evaluate different types of skin lesions is increasing popular. In vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is a new method for high resolution non-invasive imaging of intact skin in situ and in vivo. Although many studies have investigated melanin-containing cells in lesions by in vivo CLSM, few studies have systematically characterized melanin-containing cells based on their morphology, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness. In this study, the characteristics of melanin-containing cells were further investigated by in vivo CLSM. A total of 130 lesions, including common nevi, giant congenital pigmented nevi, vitiligo, melasma, melanoma, and chronic eczema, were imaged by in vivo CLSM. This research helps dermatologists understand the characteristics of melanin-containing cells and facilitate the clinical application of melanin-containing cells in the investigation of dermatological disease. In summary, melanin-containing cells include keratinocytes, melanocytes, macrophages, and melanocytic skin tumor cells. Our study presents the CLSM characteristics of melanin-containing cells to potentially facilitate in vivo diagnosis based on shape, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness. PMID:26515646

  19. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli to optimize melanin synthesis from glucose

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Natural aromatic polymers, mainly melanins, have potential and current applications in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The biotechnological production of this class of compounds is based on tyrosinase-dependent conversion of L-tyrosine and other aromatic substrates into melanins. The purpose of this work was to apply metabolic engineering for generating Escherichia coli strains with the capacity to synthesize an aromatic polymer from a simple carbon source. Results The strategy was based on the expression in E. coli of the MutmelA gene from Rhizobium etli, encoding an improved mutant tyrosinase. To direct the carbon flow from central metabolism into the common aromatic and the L-tyrosine biosynthetic pathways, feedback inhibition resistant versions of key enzymes were expressed in strains lacking the sugar phosphotransferase system and TyrR repressor. The expressed tyrosinase consumed intracellular L-tyrosine, thus causing growth impairment in the engineered strains. To avoid this issue, a two phase production process was devised, where tyrosinase activity was controlled by the delayed addition of the cofactor Cu. Following this procedure, 3.22 g/L of melanin were produced in 120 h with glucose as carbon source. Analysis of produced melanin by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed similar characteristics to a pure eumelanin standard. Conclusions This is the first report of a process for producing melanin from a simple carbon source at grams level, having the potential for reducing production cost when compared to technologies employing L-tyrosine as raw material. PMID:24225202

  20. Inhibitory effect of Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kanehira ethanol extracts on melanin synthesis via repression of tyrosinase expression.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shih-Chieh; Chen, Chun-Hao; Yu, Chih-Wen; Chen, Hsiao Ling; Huang, Wei-Tung; Chang, Yun-Shiang; Hung, Shu-Hsien; Lee, Tai-Lin

    2016-09-01

    Melanin contributes to skin color, and tyrosinase is the enzyme that catalyzes the initial steps of melanin formation. Therefore, tyrosinase inhibitors may contribute to the control of skin hyperpigmentation. The inhibition of tyrosinase activity by Cinnamomum zeylanicum extracts was previously reported. In this report, we test the hypothesis that Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kanehira, an endemic plant to Taiwan, contains compounds that inhibit tyrosinase activity, similar to C. zeylanicum. The cytotoxicity of three sources of C. osmophloeum Kanehira ethanol extracts was measured in B16-F10 cells using a methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. At concentrations greater than 21.25 μg/mL, the ethanol extracts were toxic to the cells; therefore, 21.25 μg/mL was selected to test the tyrosinase activities. At this concentration, all three ethanol extracts decreased the melanin content by 50% in IBMX-induced B16-F10 cells. In addition to the melanin content, greater than 20% of the tyrosinase activity was inhibited by these ethanol extracts. The RT-PCR results showed that tyrosinase and transcription factor MITF mRNAs expression were down-regulated. Consistent with the mRNA results, greater than 40% of the human tyrosinase promoter activity was inhibited based on the reporter assay. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the ethanol extracts protect cells from UV exposure. C. osmophloeum Kanehira neutralized the IBMX-induced increase in melanin content in B16-F10 cells by inhibiting tyrosinase gene expression at the level of transcription. Moreover, the ethanol extracts also partially inhibited UV-induced cell damage and prevented cell death. Taken together, we conclude that C. osmophloeum Kanehira is a potential skin-whitening and protective agent. PMID:27084445

  1. In vivo isolation of the effects of melanin from underlying hemodynamics across skin types using spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saager, Rolf B.; Sharif, Ata; Kelly, Kristen M.; Durkin, Anthony J.

    2016-05-01

    Skin is a highly structured tissue, raising concerns as to whether skin pigmentation due to epidermal melanin may confound accurate measurements of underlying hemodynamics. Using both venous and arterial cuff occlusions as a means of inducing differential hemodynamic perturbations, we present analyses of spectra limited to the visible or near-infrared regime, in addition to a layered model approach. The influence of melanin, spanning Fitzpatrick skin types I to V, on underlying estimations of hemodynamics in skin as interpreted by these spectral regions are assessed. The layered model provides minimal cross-talk between melanin and hemodynamics and enables removal of problematic correlations between measured tissue oxygenation estimates and skin phototype.

  2. Ex vivo models to evaluate the role of ocular melanin in trans-scleral drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Pescina, Silvia; Santi, Patrizia; Ferrari, Giulio; Padula, Cristina; Cavallini, Pierugo; Govoni, Paolo; Nicoli, Sara

    2012-08-15

    Trans-scleral delivery is nowadays considered as a possible way to deliver drugs to the posterior segment of the eye. Despite the potentiality of this administration route, there is a lack of fundamental knowledge on the role of the numerous barriers involved. The aim of this work was to develop an easy and cheap ex vivo method to evaluate the barrier properties of the choroid-Bruch's layer and in particular to estimate the role of melanin in drug diffusion through ocular tissues. In vitro binding studies were performed to estimate drug affinity for melanin; model molecules used were methylene blue, propranolol, levofloxacin and methylprednisolone sodium succinate. The ex vivo model set up is based on porcine eye bulbs with light blue iris or brown iris. While the choroid of brown eyes is dark, the choroid of blue eyes is transparent, due to the absence of melanin. Permeation experiments using pigmented and not-pigmented porcine tissues gave the opportunity to discriminate between the barrier role of choroid-Bruch's membrane as such and the barrier role of melanin. Ex vivo permeation experiments can be performed using isolated choroid-Bruch's or the sclera-choroid-Bruch's layer. In this last case, it is possible to take into account also the barrier role of the sclera that tends to decrease the drug concentration at the sclera/choroid interface, thus amplifying the effect of melanin. The data obtained in this paper indicate that for some drugs melanin can really represent a barrier and the effect can imply a lower drug flux or simply a longer lag time depending on the kind of drug and the concentration applied. However, it is a saturable barrier, thus its effect can probably be overtaken by high doses or multiple administrations. The ex vivo model set up can help to refine computational models, to better evaluate the interplay among static, dynamic and metabolic barriers. Additionally, since human eyes display a full range of pigmentation, the model could also be

  3. EPR characteristics of free radicals in DOPA-melanin-moxifloxacin complexes at ambient level of UVA radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beberok, Artur; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Buszman, Ewa; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2014-01-01

    EPR studies pointed out that o-semiquinone free radicals with g-values 2.0038-2.0040 take part in moxifloxacin-melanin complex formation. The process contributed to increase in free radicals concentration in nonirradiated complexes. This effect was observed for the complexes with 1 × 10-4 M, 1 × 10-3 M and 4 × 10-3 M drug concentrations. UV irradiation contributed to decrease in free radicals concentration in DOPA-melanin complexes with moxifloxacin, besides the complexes with the drug concentration of 1 × 10-4 M. The strongest decrease was observed for DOPA-melanin-moxifloxacin complexes with the drug concentration of 1 × 10-3 M. Homogeneous broadening of EPR lines, strong dipolar interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes characterized all the tested melanin samples.

  4. Quantifying melanin distribution using pump-probe microscopy and a 2D morphological autocorrelation transformation for melanoma diagnosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Warren, Warren S.

    2014-03-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is a quantitative molecular imaging technique that yields diagnostically relevant information from endogenous pigments, like melanin, by probing their ultrafast photodynamic properties. Previously, the method was applied to image thin, pigmented, cutaneous samples at different stages of melanoma, and results have shown a correlation between melanin photodynamic behavior and malignancy. Here, we add to the diagnostic power of the method by applying principles of mathematical morphology to parameterize melanins' image structure. Along with bulk melanin chemical information, results show that this method can differentiate invasive melanomas from non-invasive and benign lesions with high sensitivity and specificity (92.3% and 97.5%, respectively, with N = 53). The mathematical method and the statistical analysis are described in detail and results from cutaneous and ocular conjuctival melanocytic lesions are presented.

  5. Preparation of water-soluble melanin from squid ink using ultrasound-assisted degradation and its anti-oxidant activity.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xin; Chen, Shiguo; Hu, Yaqin; Li, Guoyun; Liao, Ningbo; Ye, Xingqian; Liu, Donghong; Xue, Changhu

    2014-12-01

    Water-soluble squid melanin fractions were firstly prepared using ultrasound-assistant degradation method under alkaline condition, which is optimized by response surface methodology. The processing melanin fractions were divided into different molecular weight (Mw) fractions by membrane separation (below 10 kDa, among 10-50 kDa and over 50 kDa). The AFM image and particle-size analysis showed monomer units of the melanin were destroyed, and huge polymers were degraded into smaller soluble particles after ultrasound. While, UV, IR and solid (13)C NMR spectra indicated that the basic structure of melanin fraction was still retained after ultrasound process. Further analysis showed soluble melanin fractions obtained in 0.5 and 1 M NaOH, with Mw above 10 kDa exhibited much higher in vitro antioxidant potency. The IC50 of these fractions (IC50 among 19-80 μg) on scavenging O 2 ∙¯ is more efficient than carnosine (IC50 = 355 μg/ml.), a commercialized antioxidant. They (IC50 mong 115-180 μg/ml) are as efficient as carnosine (IC50 = 110 μg/ml) on scavenging ∙OH. Our research has reported a novel method for preparation of water-soluble melanin fractions from squid ink, which could be a promising free radical scavenger from nature resource. PMID:25477634

  6. Statistical analysis on activation and photo-bleaching of step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Zetong; Lai, Zhenhua; Zhang, Xi; Yin, Jihao; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is regarded as the most enigmatic pigments/biopolymers found in most organisms. We have shown previously that melanin goes through a step-wise multi-photon absorption process after the fluorescence has been activated with high laser intensity. No melanin step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) can be obtained without the activation process. The step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence has been observed to require less laser power than what would be expected from a non-linear optical process. In this paper, we examined the power dependence of the activation process of melanin SMPAF at 830nm and 920nm wavelengths. We have conducted research using varying the laser power to activate the melanin in a point-scanning mode for multi-photon microscopy. We recorded the fluorescence signals and position. A sequence of experiments indicates the relationship of activation to power, energy and time so that we can optimize the power level. Also we explored regional analysis of melanin to study the spatial relationship in SMPAF and define three types of regions which exhibit differences in the activation process.

  7. Scopoletin from Cirsium setidens Increases Melanin Synthesis via CREB Phosphorylation in B16F10 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Mi-Ja; Hur, Sun-Jung; Kim, Eun-Hyun; Lee, Seung Hoon; Shin, Jun Seob; Kim, Myo-Kyoung; Uchizono, James A.; Whang, Wan-Kyunn

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we isolated scopoletin from Cirsium setidens Nakai (Compositae) and tested its effects on melanogenesis. Scopoletin was not toxic to cells at concentrations less than 50 µM and increased melanin synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. As melanin synthesis increased, scopoletin stimulated the total tyrosinase activity, the rate-limiting enzyme of melanogenesis. In a cell-free system, however, scopoletin did not increase tyrosinase activity, indicating that scopoletin is not a direct activator of tyrosinase. Furthermore, Western blot analysis showed that scopoletin stimulated the production of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase expression via cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. Based on these results, preclinical and clinical studies are needed to assess the use of scopoletin for the treatment of vitiligo. PMID:25177162

  8. Melanin Photosensitization and the Effect of Visible Light on Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chiarelli-Neto, Orlando; Ferreira, Alan Silva; Martins, Waleska Kerllen; Pavani, Christiane; Severino, Divinomar; Faião-Flores, Fernanda; Maria-Engler, Silvya Stuchi; Aliprandini, Eduardo; Martinez, Glaucia R.; Di Mascio, Paolo; Medeiros, Marisa H. G.; Baptista, Maurício S.

    2014-01-01

    Protecting human skin from sun exposure is a complex issue that involves unclear aspects of the interaction between light and tissue. A persistent misconception is that visible light is safe for the skin, although several lines of evidence suggest otherwise. Here, we show that visible light can damage melanocytes through melanin photosensitization and singlet oxygen (1O2) generation, thus decreasing cell viability, increasing membrane permeability, and causing both DNA photo-oxidation and necro-apoptotic cell death. UVA (355 nm) and visible (532 nm) light photosensitize 1O2 with similar yields, and pheomelanin is more efficient than eumelanin at generating 1O2 and resisting photobleaching. Although melanin can protect against the cellular damage induced by UVB, exposure to visible light leads to pre-mutagenic DNA lesions (i.e., Fpg- and Endo III-sensitive modifications); these DNA lesions may be mutagenic and may cause photoaging, as well as other health problems, such as skin cancer. PMID:25405352

  9. Remittance at a single wavelength of 390 nm to quantify epidermal melanin concentration.

    PubMed

    Verkruysse, Wim; Svaasand, Lars O; Franco, Walfre; Nelson, J Stuart

    2009-01-01

    Objective quantification of epidermal melanin concentration (EMC) should be useful in laser dermatology to determine the individual maximum safe radiant exposure (IMSRE). We propose a single-wavelength remittance measurement at 390 nm as an alternative optical method to determine EMC and IMSRE. Remittance spectra (360 to 740 nm), melanin index (MI) measurements and the transient radiometric temperature increase, DeltaT(t), upon skin irradiation with an Alexandrite laser (755 nm, 3-ms pulse duration, 6 Jcm(2)) were measured on 749 skin spots (arm and calf) on 23 volunteers (skin phototypes I to IV). Due to the shallow penetration depth and independence of blood oxygen saturation (isosbestic point), remittance at 390 nm appears to provide better estimates for EMC and IMSRE than MI. PMID:19256693

  10. Macular pigment, photopigments, and melanin: distributions in young subjects determined by four-wavelength reflectometry.

    PubMed

    Bone, Richard A; Brener, Betty; Gibert, Jorge C

    2007-12-01

    We have developed an objective procedure, using a modified retinal camera, to determine macular pigment (MP) optical density distributions in the human retina. Using two multi-band filters, reflectance maps of the retinas of young subjects (<25 years old) were obtained at 460, 528, 610 and 670 nm, without pupil dilation. The log-transformed maps were combined linearly to yield optical density maps of MP, cone and rod photopigments, and melanin. MP optical density and heterochromatic flicker photometry results for 22 subjects were in reasonable agreement. Cone photopigments, like MP, showed similar, well-defined peaks at the fovea, whereas rod photopigment showed a minimum. Melanin was more broadly distributed. PMID:17937965

  11. Effects of bavachin and its regulation of melanin synthesis in A375 cells

    PubMed Central

    WANG, JING-HUA; PEI, YUAN-YUAN; XU, HONG-DAN; LI, LI-JING; WANG, YE-QIU; LIU, GUO-LIANG; QU, YAN; ZHANG, NING

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of bavachin treatment on A375 cells and the regulation of melanin synthesis. The cultured A375 cells in vitro were treated with bavachin; and the effect of bavachin on cell activity, tyrosinase (TYR) activity and melanin synthesis were respectively tested by the MTT assay, L-dopa oxidation assay and the NaOH lysis assay. The expression levels of TYR and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) proteins were tested by western blot analysis. The expression levels of TYR, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1), TRP-2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1), ERK2 and JNK2 mRNA were tested by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. Simultaneously, the effect of estrogen receptor inhibitor (ICI182780) and ERK pathway inhibitor (U0126) was also tested on A375 cells following bavachin. The safe dose of bavachin significantly inhibited melanin synthesis and TYR activity. Bavachin (10 µmol/l) inhibited the expression of TYR and JNK proteins, and the expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2 mRNA in A375 cells. ICI182780 and U0126 could significantly reverse the bavachin treatment on the protein expression levels and the mRNA expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2. In conclusion, bavachin inhibited the synthesis of melanin on A375 cells by inhibiting the protein and mRNA expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2. PMID:27347410

  12. Two-photon excited fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging of melanin in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2012-03-01

    The ability to detect early melanoma non-invasively would improve clinical outcome and reduce mortality. Recent advances in two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) in vivo microscopy offer a powerful tool in early malignant melanoma diagnostics. The goal of this work was to develop a TPEF optical index for measuring relative concentrations of eumelanin and pheomelanin since ex vivo studies show that changes in this ratio have been associated with malignant transformation. We acquired TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin from several specimens, including human hair, malignant melanoma cell lines, and normal melanocytes and keratinocytes in different skin layers (epidermis, papillary dermis) in five healthy volunteers in vivo. We found that the pheomelanin emission peaks at around 620 nm and is blue-shifted from the eumelanin with broad maximum at 640-680nm. We defined "optical melanin index" (OMI) as a ratio of fluorescence signal intensities measured at 645 nm and 615nm. The measured OMI for a melanoma cell line MNT-1 was 1.6+/-0.2. The MNT-46 and MNT-62 lines (Mc1R gene knockdown) showed an anticipated change in melanins production ratio and had OMI of 0.55+/-0.05 and 0.17+/-0.02, respectively, which strongly correlated with HPLC data obtained for these lines. Average OMI measured for basal cells layers (melanocytes and keratinocytes) in normal human skin type I, II-III (not tanned and tanned) in vivo was 0.5, 1.05 and 1.16 respectively. We could not dependably detect the presence of pheomelanin in highly pigmented skin type V-VI. These data suggest that a non-invasive TPEF index could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo, including pigmented lesions.

  13. Endothelin-1 increases melanin synthesis in an established sheep skin melanocyte culture.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yamiao; Geng, Jianjun; Qin, Yilong; Wang, Haidong; Fan, Ruiwen; Zhang, Ying; Li, Hongquan; Jiang, Shan; Dong, Changsheng

    2016-08-01

    The aims of the study were to establish a culture system for sheep skin melanocytes and uncover the effects of endothelin-1 on melanin synthesis in cultured melanocytes in order to provide an optimal cell system and a theoretical basis for studying the regulatory mechanism of coat color in sheep. In this study, skin punch biopsies were harvested from the dorsal region of 1-3-yr-old sheep, and skin melanocytes were then obtained by the two-step digestion using dispase II and trypsin/ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). The primary cultures of the melanocytes were established and characterized by dopa-staining, immunocytochemical localization of melanocyte markers, and RT-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of coat color genes. To determine the effect of endothelin-1 on proliferation and melanin synthesis of melanocytes, the cultured cells were treated with different doses of endothelin-1 (10(-7), 10(-8), 10(-9), 10(-10), and 0 mol/L), and the growth rate of melanocytes, production of melanin, expression of related genes, and location of related protein in cultured cells were examined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), ultraviolet spectrophotometry, qRT-PCR, and immunocytochemical localization, respectively. The results showed that the established melanocyte culture functions properly. Endothelin-1 treatment increased markedly the number of melanocytes and melanin content. In responding to this treatment, expressions of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), tyrosinase (TYR), and endothelin receptor B (EDNRB) in the melanocytes were significantly up regulated (P < 0.05). Immunocytochemical localization revealed that TYR was mainly localized in the cytoplasm. Positive staining of TYR in the melanocytes was significant. The findings demonstrated that the culture system of sheep skin melanocytes was established successfully in vitro, and endothelin-1 promotes the

  14. Melanin protects Paracoccidioides brasiliensis from the effects of antimicrobial photodynamic inhibition and antifungal drugs.

    PubMed

    Baltazar, Ludmila Matos; Werneck, Silvia Maria Cordeiro; Soares, Betânia Maria; Ferreira, Marcus Vinicius L; Souza, Danielle G; Pinotti, Marcos; Santos, Daniel Assis; Cisalpino, Patrícia Silva

    2015-07-01

    Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a public health concern in Latin America and South America that when not correctly treated can lead to patient death. In this study, the influence of melanin produced by Paracoccidioides spp. on the effects of treatment with antimicrobial photodynamic inhibition (aPI) and antifungal drugs was evaluated. aPI was performed using toluidine blue (TBO) as a photosensitizer and a 630-nm light-emitting diode (LED) light. The antifungals tested were itraconazole and amphotericin B. We evaluated the effects of each approach, aPI or antifungals, against nonmelanized and melanized yeast cells by performing susceptibility tests and by quantifying oxidative and nitrosative bursts during the experiments. aPI reduced nonmelanized cells by 3.0 log units and melanized cells by 1.3 log units. The results showed that melanization protects the fungal cell, probably by acting as a scavenger of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species, but not of peroxynitrite. Melanin also increased the MICs of itraconazole and amphotericin B, and the drugs were fungicidal for nonmelanized and fungistatic for melanized yeast cells. Our study shows that melanin production by Paracoccidioides yeast cells serves a protective function during aPI and treatment with itraconazole and amphotericin B. The results suggest that melanin binds to the drugs, changing their antifungal activities, and also acts as a scavenger of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide, but not of peroxynitrite, indicating that peroxynitrite is the main radical that is responsible for fungal death after aPI. PMID:25896704

  15. Isolation and Characterization of Melanin-Producing (mel) Mutants of Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Ivins, Bruce E.; Holmes, Randall K.

    1980-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae strain Htx-3, a hypertoxinogenic mutant of V. cholerae 569B Inaba, produces a dark brown pigment under certain growth conditions, whereas strain 569B does not. We investigated the biochemical basis for this pigment production and the possible relationships between pigmentation and other phenotypic properties in V. cholerae. After mutagenesis of V. cholerae 569B with N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, 28 independently derived pigment-forming (mel) mutants were isolated and characterized. The mel mutants frequently differed from wild type in toxinogenicity or motility and occasionally differed in other phenotypic traits. Individual mel mutants differed from wild type both in the amount of toxin produced and in the growth conditions optimal for toxin production. It has not yet been established whether multiple phenotypic changes in individual mel mutants represent pleiotropic effects of single mutations or induction of multiple mutations by N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine or both. Production of pigment by mel mutants occurred at temperatures from 22 to 40°C, was inhibited by anaerobiosis, and was stimulated by supplementation of growth media with the amino acid precursors of melanin (l-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine, or l-tyrosine plus l-cysteine). The pigment possessed several other properties reported for microbial melanins. We conclude that a biochemical pathway for melanin production is present in V. cholerae, that this pathway cannot be fully expressed in wild-type strain 569B, and that mutations in the gene(s) which we have designated mel can permit hyperproduction of melanin under appropriate conditions. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:7380551

  16. Effect of saucerneol D on melanin production in cAMP-elevated melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Yun, Ji Young; Roh, Eunmiri; Son, Jong-Keun; Lee, Seung Ho; Seo, Chang-Seob; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Han, Sang-Bae; Kim, Youngsoo

    2011-08-01

    Intracellular cAMP stimulates microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) induction in melanocytes through cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), which plays a pivotal role in the gene expression of tyrosinase for melanin biosynthesis. In the present study, saucerneol D as a lignan constituent of Saururus chinensis (Saururaceae family) efficiently inhibited melanin production with IC(50) values of 188-297 nM in B16 melanoma cells stimulated with α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) or other cAMP elevators. Moreover, saucerneol D down-regulated α-MSH-induced gene expression of tyrosinase at the transcription level in B16 cells, but it did not directly inhibit the catalytic activity of cell-free tyrosinase. As to the molecular basis of hypopigmenting action, saucerneol D inhibited α-MSH-induced phosphorylation of CREB in the cells, and sequentially suppressed MITF induction. Taken together, this study provides saucerneol D down-regulated the gene expression of tyrosinase, resulting in the inhibition of cAMP-induced melanin biosynthesis, and suggests pharmacological potential of the lignan structure in skin hyperpigmentation. PMID:21910056

  17. Melanin bleaching with dilute hydrogen peroxide: a simple and rapid method.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chia-Hsing; Lin, Chih-Hung; Tsai, Min-Jan; Chen, Wan-Tzu; Chai, Chee-Yin; Huang, Ya-Chun; Tsai, Kun-Bow

    2013-05-01

    Melanins are naturally occurring pigments in both normal and pathologic tissues. Two common bleaching processes are potassium permanganate followed by oxalic acid treatment and dilute hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) process. The potassium permanganate/oxalic acid method is faster and more easily incorporated in conventional daily immunostaining protocols, whereas the dilute H2O2 method requires 24 hours. This study aimed to reduce melanin bleaching time by using a 10% H2O2 dilution. First, reaction time was reduced to 30 minutes by raising the temperature to 65°C. Second, containers with high thermal conductivity were used to improve bleaching effectiveness. Experimental comparisons of melanin treatments with H2O2 contained in an iron jar, a glass coplin jar, and a plastic steel jar obtained bleaching time of 20, 30, and 40 minutes, respectively. These modifications of the conventional bleaching method significantly improve the speed and efficiency of the procedure and are recommended when performing immunohistochemical studies. PMID:23060296

  18. The effect of melanin bleaching on immunohistochemical staining in heavily pigmented melanocytic neoplasms.

    PubMed

    Orchard, G E; Calonje, E

    1998-08-01

    The accumulation of excessive amounts of melanin in melanocytic lesions can obscure cellular morphology and can further hinder immunocytochemical procedures. We have used a modification of the potassium permanganate/oxalic acid melanin-bleaching technique, involving much reduced bleaching times, in order to remove melanin granules prior to incubation with primary antibody. We have assessed a panel of antibodies applicable to the evaluation of melanocytic lesions and in addition have also assessed antibodies that may be more useful in research. The study attempts to determine which antigens may be affected by bleaching and which are not. Antigens S100, HMB 45, NKIC3, CD34, and L26 are relatively unaffected by this procedure. Factor-VIII-related antigen and vimentin and CD68 antigens produced enhanced staining. In contrast, antigens CD3, CD31, and CD45RO were abolished. In addition, smooth muscle actin and desmin antigens demonstrated considerable nonspecific background staining and were not reliable in this study. This technique demonstrates that a fairly wide range of antigens are preserved after bleaching and that distinction between melanocytes and melanophages can reliably be performed using the conventional immunocytochemical chromogen 3,3-diaminobenzidine and without the need for elaborate counterstaining. PMID:9700373

  19. Ultrasonic shear spectrum in hydrated diethylamine melanins and its relation to stacking in a planar group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kono, Ryusuke; Yoshizaki, Haruyo; Miyake, Yasuhiro; Izumi, Yoshinobu; McGinness, John E.

    1981-11-01

    Shear mechanical relaxation and resonance data are reported for 20 wt % hydration of diethylamine melanins with different pH values ranging from 2 to 7. Shear impedance measurements in the temperature range from 60 to -80 °C, with frequencies from 1 to 362 MHz, indicate a Davidson-Cole spectrum in the primary relaxation and a single relaxation with a characteristic frequency of f = 4 MHz at 60 °C referred to the molecular motions of a group composed of an average molecular weight Mn?1.4×104. A resonance at 250 MHz is found in the specific melanin called No. 1, associated with stacking of indole monomer units, and a single relaxation at f = 270 MHz at 60 °C is found in the hydrate of melanin No. 2. The nature of the stacking is surveyed on account of Fitzgerald's theory. The limiting shear modulus in the primary relaxation related to the molecular motion of backbone chains obeys the modified Hirai-Eyring equation. All the hydrations have an amorphous phase composed of a three-dimensional network structure.

  20. Photoprotection by melanin--a comparison of black and Caucasian skin.

    PubMed

    Kaidbey, K H; Agin, P P; Sayre, R M; Kligman, A M

    1979-09-01

    The photoprotective role of melanin was evaluated by comparing the transmission of ultraviolet (UV) radiation through skin samples of blacks and Caucasians, using both biologic and spectroscopic techniques. UVA transmission was measured using fluoranthene, which causes a phototoxic response to UVA wavelength. UVB was measured by monitoring erythema produced by either a 150-watt xenon arc or FS-20 sunlamps. It was found that on the average, five times as much ultraviolet light (UVB and UVA) reaches the upper dermis of Caucasians as reaches that of blacks. Differences in transmission between the stratum corneum of blacks and of Caucasians were far less striking. The main site of UV filtration in Caucasians is the stratum corneum, whereas in blacks it is the malpighian layers. Melanin acts as a neutral density filter, reducing all wavelengths of light equally. The superior photoprotection of black epidermis is due not only to increased melanin content but also to other factors related to packaging and distribution of melanosomes. Not only are these data consistent with epidemiologic evidence, but they also may indicate why blacks are less disposed to phototoxic drug responses as well as less susceptible to acute and chronic actinic damage. PMID:512075

  1. Melanin granule model for laser-induced thermal damage in the retina

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, C.R.; Rogers, M.E.; Gerstman, B.S.; Jacques, S.L.

    1996-05-01

    An analytical model for thermal damage of retinal tissue due to absorption of laser energy by finite-sized melanin granules is developed. Since melanin is the primary absorber of visible and near-IR light in the skin and in the retina, bulk heating of tissue can be determined by superposition of individual melanin granule effects. Granules are modeled as absorbing spheres surrounded by an infinite medium of water. Analytical solutions to the heat equation result in computations that are quick and accurate. Moreover, the model does not rely on symmetric beam profiles, and so arbitrary images can be studied. The important contribution of this model is to provide a more accurate biological description of submillisecond pulse exposures than previous retinal models, while achieving agreement for longer pulses. This model can also be naturally extended into the sub-microsecond domain by including vaporization as a damage mechanism. It therefore represents the beginning of a model which can be applied across the entire pulse duration domain.

  2. KHG26792 Inhibits Melanin Synthesis in Mel-Ab Cells and a Skin Equivalent Model

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hailan; Kim, Jandi; Hahn, Hoh-Gyu; Yun, Jun; Jeong, Hyo-Soon; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Min, Young Sil; Park, Kyoung-Chan

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to characterize the effects of KHG26792 (3-(naphthalen-2-yl(propoxy) methyl)azetidine hydrochloride), a potential skin whitening agent, on melanin synthesis and identify the underlying mechanism of action. Our data showed that KHG26792 significantly reduced melanin synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, KHG26792 downregulated microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis, although tyrosinase was not inhibited directly. KHG26792 activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), whereas an ERK pathway inhibitor, PD98059, rescued KHG26792-induced hypopigmentation. These results suggest that KHG26792 decreases melanin production via ERK activation. Moreover, the hypopigmentary effects of KHG26792 were confirmed in a pigmented skin equivalent model using Cervi cornus Colla (deer antler glue), in which the color of the pigmented artificial skin became lighter after treatment with KHG26792. In summary, our findings suggest that KHG26792 is a novel skin whitening agent. PMID:24976765

  3. Multi-spectral mapping of in vivo skin hemoglobin and melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakovels, Dainis; Spigulis, Janis; Saknite, Inga

    2010-04-01

    The multi-spectral imaging technique has been used for distant mapping of in-vivo skin chromophores by analyzing spectral data at each reflected image pixel and constructing 2-D maps of the relative concentrations of oxy-/deoxyhemoglobin and melanin. Instead of using a broad visible-NIR spectral range, this study focuses on narrowed spectral band 500-700 nm, so speeding-up the signal processing procedure. Regression analysis confirmed that superposition of three Gaussians is optimal analytic approximation for the oxy-hemoglobin absorption tabular spectrum in this spectral band, while superposition of two Gaussians fits well for deoxy-hemoglobin absorption and exponential function - for melanin absorption. The proposed approach was clinically tested for three types of in-vivo skin provocations - ultraviolet irradiance, chemical reaction with vinegar essence and finger arterial occlusion. Spectral range 500-700 nm provided better sensitivity to oxy-hemoglobin changes and higher response stability to melanin than two reduced ranges 500-600 nm and 530-620 nm.

  4. Immunity to melanin and to tyrosinase in melanoma patients, and in people with vitiligo

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to determine the presence and the intensity of humoral immunity to melanoma-associated antigens: tyrosinase and melanin, in patients with melanoma, in persons with vitiligo and in control healthy people. Methods The study involved 63 patients with melanoma and 19 persons with vitiligo. Control group consisted up to 41 healthy volunteers. Mushroom tyrosinase and synthetic melanin were used as the antigens. Results ELISA test showed significantly (p < 0.0000004 and p < 0.04) lower levels of IgM anti-tyrosinase autoantibodies, in melanoma and vitiligo patients respectively, compared to controls. Although there was no significant difference between the levels of IgA anti-melanin autoantibodies in melanoma or vitiligo patients in comparison with controls, the enhanced concentrations of anti-melanin IgA autoantibodies were preferentially found in melanoma patients with metastatic disease. Significantly high percentage in the Fc alphaRI (CD89) positive cells was determined in melanoma patients (p < 0.002 and p < 0.008) in comparison to that found in healthy people or in patients with vitiligo, in the already mentioned order, pointing that IgA dependent cellular cytotoxicity is not important for the immune action against melanoma, even more that it is included in some immune suppression. Levels of IgG autoantibodies to mentioned antigens in melanoma patients although low were not significantly lower from controls. These findings analyzed together with the statistically significant low percentage of FcgammaRIII, (CD16) positive immunocompetent cells (p < 0.0007 and p < 0.003), which was found in patients with melanoma compared with healthy or vitiligo people respectively, and statistically significant low percentage of (CD16 + CD56+) natural killer (NK) cells (p < 0.005) found in melanoma patients in comparison to healthy controls pointed to the low probability for anti-melanoma IgG mediated, antibody

  5. Detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin pigments using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry system with multiple reaction monitoring mode.

    PubMed

    Dzierżęga-Lęcznar, Anna; Kurkiewicz, Slawomir; Stępień, Krystyna

    2012-02-01

    Here, we describe the reliable method for the detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin pigments. Synthetic melanins with various contents of pheomelanin-type structural units were thermally degraded, and the multiple reaction monitoring mode was applied to detect the pheomelanin markers in the pyrolysates by GC/MS/MS. The method allowed the specific detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin with the incorporation of pheomelanin-type units as low as 0.05%. Considering highly universal character of the pheomelanin markers, the method could be applied for structural studies of natural melanin pigments being mixtures of eumelanin and pheomelanin. PMID:22359335

  6. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Cheng; Chen, Sih-Min; Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei; Lin, Hoang-Yan; Chen, Szu-yuan

    2015-02-01

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H2O2 stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  7. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yi-Cheng; Chen, Sih-Min; Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei; Lin, Hoang-Yan; Chen, Szu-yuan

    2015-02-14

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H{sub 2}O{sub 2} stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  8. S-(−)-10,11-Dihydroxyfarnesoic Acid Methyl Ester Inhibits Melanin Synthesis in Murine Melanocyte Cells

    PubMed Central

    Baek, Seung-Hwa; Ahn, Jun-Won; Nam, Sung-Hee; Yoon, Cheol-Sik; Shin, Jae-Cheon; Lee, Sang-Han

    2014-01-01

    The development of antimelanogenic agents is important for the prevention of serious aesthetic problems such as melasmas, freckles, age spots, and chloasmas. In the course of screening for melanin synthesis inhibitors, we found that the culture broth from an insect morphopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana CS1029, exhibits potent antimelanogenic activity. We isolated and purified an active metabolite and identified it as S-(−)-10,11-dihydroxyfarnesoic acid methyl ester (dhFAME), an insect juvenile hormone. To address whether dhFAME inhibits melanin synthesis, we first measured the size of the melanin biosynthesis inhibition zone caused by dhFAME. dhFAME also showed inhibitory activity against mushroom tyrosinase in Melan-a cells. Intracellular, dose-dependent tyrosinase inhibition activity was also confirmed by zymography. In addition, we showed that dhFAME strongly inhibits melanin synthesis in Melan-a cells. Furthermore, we compared levels of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, MITF, and MC1R mRNA expression by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and showed that treatment of Melan-a cells with 35 μM dhFAME led to an 11-fold decrease in TYR expression, a 6-fold decrease in TRP-2 expression, and a 5-fold decrease in MITF expression. Together, these results indicate that dhFAME is a potent inhibitor of melanin synthesis that can potentially be used for cosmetic biomaterial(s). PMID:25046747

  9. The pbrB Gene Encodes a Laccase Required for DHN-Melanin Synthesis in Conidia of Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei

    PubMed Central

    Sapmak, Ariya; Boyce, Kylie J.; Andrianopoulos, Alex; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2015-01-01

    Talaromyces marneffei (Basionym: Penicillium marneffei) is a significant opportunistic fungal pathogen in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus in Southeast Asia. T. marneffei cells have been shown to become melanized in vivo. Melanins are pigment biopolymers which act as a non-specific protectant against various stressors and which play an important role during virulence in fungi. The synthesis of the two most commonly found melanins in fungi, the eumelanin DOPA-melanin and the allomelanin DHN-melanin, requires the action of laccase enzymes. The T. marneffei genome encodes a number of laccases and this study describes the characterization of one of these, pbrB, during growth and development. A strain carrying a PbrB-GFP fusion shows that pbrB is expressed at high levels during asexual development (conidiation) but not in cells growing vegetatively. The pbrB gene is required for the synthesis of DHN-melanin in conidia and when deleted results in brown pigmented conidia, in contrast to the green conidia of the wild type. PMID:25866870

  10. Ultrastructural changes produced in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells by ultraviolet-visible radiation in the presence of melanins

    SciTech Connect

    Lea, P.J.; Pawlowski, A.; Persad, S.D.; Menon, I.A.; Haberman, H.F.

    1988-01-01

    Irradiation of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells in the presence of pheomelanin, i.e., red hair melanin (RHM), has been reported to produce extensive cell lysis. Irradiation in the presence of eumelanin, i.e., black hair melanin (BHM), or irradiation in the absence of either type of melanin did not produce this effect. We observed that RHM particles penetrated the cell membrane without apparent structural damage to the cell or the cell membrane. Irradiation of the cells in the absence of melanin did not produce any changes in the ultrastructure of the cells. Incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM produced only minor structural, mainly cytoplasmic changes. Irradiation of the cells in the presence of RHM produced extensive ultrastructural changes prior to complete cell lysis; these changes were more severe than the effects of incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM. When the cells incubated in the dark or irradiated in the presence of latex particles or either one of the eumelanins particles, viz. BHM or synthetic dopa melanin, these particles did not penetrate into the cells or produce any ultrastructural changes. These particles were in fact not even ingested by the cells.

  11. Characterization of the BMR1 gene encoding a transcription factor for melanin biosynthesis genes in the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Junichi; Moriwaki, Akihiro; Tanaka, Nozomi; Tanaka, Chihiro; Ueno, Makoto; Arase, Sakae

    2008-04-01

    We isolated and characterized Bipolaris melanin regulation 1 gene (BMR1) encoding a transcription factor for melanin biosynthesis genes in the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae. Sequence analysis showed that the BMR1 gene encodes a putative protein of 1012 amino acids that has 99% sequence similarity to transcription factor Cmr1 of Cochliobolus heterostrophus. The predicted B. oryzae Bmr1 protein has two DNA-binding motifs, two Cys2His2 zinc finger domains, and a Zn(II)2Cys6 binuclear cluster domain at the N-terminal region of Bmr1. Targeted disruption of the BMR1 gene showed that BMR1 is essential for melanin biosynthesis in B. oryzae. The overexpression of the BMR1 gene led to more dark colonies than in the wild-type strain under dark conditions. Real-time PCR analysis showed that the BMR1 expression of the overexpression transformant was about 10-fold that of the wild type under dark conditions and of the expression of three melanin biosynthesis genes. These results indicated that BMR1 encodes the transcription factor of melanin biosynthesis genes in B. oryzae. PMID:18312572

  12. Inhibitory Effects of Adlay Extract on Melanin Production and Cellular Oxygen Stress in B16F10 Melanoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Huey-Chun; Hsieh, Wan-Yu; Niu, Yu-Lin; Chang, Tsong-Min

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of adlay extract on melanin production and the antioxidant characteristics of the extract. The seeds were extracted by the supercritical fluid CO2 extraction (SFE) method. The effect of adlay extract on melanin production was evaluated using mushroom tyrosinase activity assay, intracellular tyrosinase activity, antioxidant properties and melanin content. Those assays were performed spectrophotometrically. In addition, the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins was determined by western blotting. The results revealed that the adlay extract suppressed intracellular tyrosinase activity and decreased the amount of melanin in B16F10 cells. The adlay extract decreased the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosinase related protein-1 (TRP-1) and tyrosinase related protein-2 (TRP-2). The extract also exhibited antioxidant characteristics such as free radical scavenging capacity and reducing power. It effectively decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in B16F10 cells. We concluded that the adlay extract inhibits melanin production by down-regulation of MITF, tyrosinase, TRP-1 and TRP-2. The antioxidant properties of the extract may also contribute to the inhibition of melanogenesis. The adlay extract can therefore be applied as an inhibitor of melanogenesis and could also act as a natural antioxidant in skin care products. PMID:25244016

  13. pH-Induced aggregated melanin nanoparticles for photoacoustic signal amplification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ju, Kuk-Youn; Kang, Jeeun; Pyo, Jung; Lim, Joohyun; Chang, Jin Ho; Lee, Jin-Kyu

    2016-07-01

    We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one another under mildly acidic conditions after introducing hydrolysis-susceptible citraconic amide on the surface of bare MelNPs. We ascertained that the physical aggregation of the MelNPs resulted in an increased PA signal strength in the near-infrared window of biological tissue (i.e., 700 nm) without absorption tuning. This phenomenon is likely because of the overlapping thermal fields of the developed MelNPs. The PA signal produced from the developed MelNPs, after exposure to mildly acidic conditions (i.e., pH 6), is 8.1 times stronger than under neutral conditions. This unique characteristic found in this study can be utilized in a practical strategy for highly sensitive in vivo cancer target imaging in response to its acidic microenvironment. This approach to amplify the PA response of MelNPs in clusters could accelerate the use of MelNPs as an alternative to non-biological nanoprobes, so that MelNPs may be applicable in PA imaging and functional PA imaging such as stimuli sensitive, multimodal, and theranostic imaging.We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one

  14. Candidate Gene Analysis Suggests Untapped Genetic Complexity in Melanin-Based Pigmentation in Birds.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Yann X C; Bertrand, Joris A M; Delahaie, Boris; Cornuault, Josselin; Duval, Thomas; Milá, Borja; Thébaud, Christophe

    2016-07-01

    Studies on melanin-based color variation in a context of natural selection have provided a wealth of information on the link between phenotypic and genetic variation. Here, we evaluated associations between melanic plumage patterns and genetic polymorphism in the Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), a species in which mutations on MC1R do not seem to play any role in explaining melanic variation. This species exhibits 5 plumage color variants that can be grouped into 3 color forms which occupy discrete geographic regions in the lowlands of Réunion, and a fourth high-elevation form which comprises 2 color morphs (grey and brown) and represents a true color polymorphism. We conducted a comprehensive survey of sequence variation in 96 individuals at a series of 7 candidate genes other than MC1R that have been previously shown to influence melanin-based color patterns in vertebrates, including genes that have rarely been studied in a wild bird species before: POMC, Agouti, TYR, TYRP1, DCT, Corin, and SLC24A5 Of these 7 genes, 2 (Corin and TYRP1) displayed an interesting shift in allele frequencies between lowland and highland forms and a departure from mutation-drift equilibrium consistent with balancing selection in the polymorphic highland form only. Sequence variation at Agouti, a gene frequently involved in melanin-based pigmentation patterning, was not associated with color forms or morphs. Thus, we suggest that functionally important changes in loci other than those classically studied are involved in the color polymorphism exhibited by the Réunion grey white-eye and possibly many other nonmodel species. PMID:26995742

  15. pH-Induced aggregated melanin nanoparticles for photoacoustic signal amplification.

    PubMed

    Ju, Kuk-Youn; Kang, Jeeun; Pyo, Jung; Lim, Joohyun; Chang, Jin Ho; Lee, Jin-Kyu

    2016-08-14

    We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one another under mildly acidic conditions after introducing hydrolysis-susceptible citraconic amide on the surface of bare MelNPs. We ascertained that the physical aggregation of the MelNPs resulted in an increased PA signal strength in the near-infrared window of biological tissue (i.e., 700 nm) without absorption tuning. This phenomenon is likely because of the overlapping thermal fields of the developed MelNPs. The PA signal produced from the developed MelNPs, after exposure to mildly acidic conditions (i.e., pH 6), is 8.1 times stronger than under neutral conditions. This unique characteristic found in this study can be utilized in a practical strategy for highly sensitive in vivo cancer target imaging in response to its acidic microenvironment. This approach to amplify the PA response of MelNPs in clusters could accelerate the use of MelNPs as an alternative to non-biological nanoprobes, so that MelNPs may be applicable in PA imaging and functional PA imaging such as stimuli sensitive, multimodal, and theranostic imaging. PMID:27406260

  16. Monitoring the Metabolic State of Fungal Hyphae and the Presence of Melanin by Nonlinear Spectral Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Knaus, Helene; Blab, Gerhard A.; Agronskaia, Alexandra V.; van den Heuvel, Dave J.; Gerritsen, Hans C.

    2013-01-01

    Label-free nonlinear spectral imaging microscopy (NLSM) records two-photon-excited fluorescence emission spectra of endogenous fluorophores within the specimen. Here, NLSM is introduced as a novel, minimally invasive method to analyze the metabolic state of fungal hyphae by monitoring the autofluorescence of NAD(P)H and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Moreover, the presence of melanin was analyzed by NLSM. NAD(P)H, FAD, and melanin were used as biomarkers for freshness of mushrooms of Agaricus bisporus (white button mushroom) that had been stored at 4°C for 0 to 17 days. During this period, the mushrooms did not show changes in morphology or color detectable by eye. In contrast, FAD/NAD(P)H and melanin/NAD(P)H ratios increased over time. For instance, these ratios increased from 0.92 to 2.02 and from 0.76 to 1.53, respectively, at the surface of mushroom caps that had been harvested by cutting the stem. These ratios were lower under the skin than at the surface of fresh mushrooms (0.78 versus 0.92 and 0.41 versus 0.76, respectively), indicative of higher metabolism and lower pigment formation within the fruiting body. Signals were different not only between tissues of the mushroom but also between neighboring hyphae. These data show that NLSM can be used to determine the freshness of mushrooms and to monitor the postharvest browning process at an early stage. Moreover, these data demonstrate the potential of NLSM to address a broad range of fundamental and applied microbiological processes. PMID:23934488

  17. A multimodal assessment of melanin and melanocyte activity in abnormally pigmented hypertrophic scar.

    PubMed

    Travis, Taryn E; Ghassemi, Pejhman; Ramella-Roman, Jessica C; Prindeze, Nicholas J; Paul, Dereck W; Moffatt, Lauren T; Jordan, Marion H; Shupp, Jeffrey W

    2015-01-01

    Using a validated swine model of human scar formation, hyperpigmented and hypopigmented scar samples were examined for their histological and optical properties to help elucidate the mechanisms and characteristics of dyspigmentation. Full-thickness wounds were created on the flanks of red Duroc pigs and allowed to heal. Biopsies from areas of hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and uninjured tissue were fixed and embedded for histological examination using Azure B and primary antibodies to S100B, HMB45, and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). Spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI) was then used to examine the optical properties of scars. Hyperpigmentation was first noticeable in healing wounds around weeks 2 to 3, gradually becoming darker. There was no significant difference in S100B staining for the presence of melanocytes between hyperpigmented and hypopigmented scar samples. Azure B staining of melanin was significantly greater in histological sections from hyperpigmented areas than in sections from both uninjured skin and hypopigmented scar (P < .0001). There was significantly greater staining for α-MSH in hyperpigmented samples compared with hypopigmented samples (P = .0121), and HMB45 staining was positive for melanocytes in hyperpigmented scar. SFDI at a wavelength of 632 nm resulted in an absorption coefficient map correlating with visibly hyperpigmented areas of scars. In a red Duroc model of hypertrophic scar formation, melanocyte number is similar in hyperpigmented and hypopigmented tissues. Hyperpigmented tissues, however, show a greater amount of melanin and α-MSH, along with immunohistochemical evidence of stimulated melanocytes. These observations encourage further investigation of melanocyte stimulation and the inflammatory environment within a wound that may influence melanocyte activity. Additionally, SFDI can be used to identify areas of melanin content in mature, pigmented scars, which may lead to its usefulness in wounds at earlier

  18. Dopamine-melanin film deposition depends on the used oxidant and buffer solution.

    PubMed

    Bernsmann, Falk; Ball, Vincent; Addiego, Frédéric; Ponche, Arnaud; Michel, Marc; Gracio, José Joaquin de Almeida; Toniazzo, Valérie; Ruch, David

    2011-03-15

    The deposition of "polydopamine" films, from an aqueous solution containing dopamine or other catecholamines, constitutes a new and versatile way to functionalize solid-liquid interfaces. Indeed such films can be deposited on almost all kinds of materials. Their deposition kinetics does not depend markedly on the surface chemistry of the substrate, and the films can reach thickness of a few tens of nanometers in a single reaction step. Up to now, even if a lot is known about the oxidation mechanism of dopamine in solution, only little information is available to describe the deposition mechanism on surfaces either by oxidation in solution or by electrodeposition. The deposition kinetics of melanin was only investigated from dopamine solutions using oxygen or ammonium persulfate as an oxidant and from a tris(hydroxymethyl) aminomethane (Tris) containing buffer solutions at pH 8.5. Many other oxidants could be used, and the buffer agent containing a primary amine group may influence the deposition process. Herein we show that the deposition kinetics of melanin from dopamine containing buffers at pH 8.5 can be markedly modified using Cu(2+) instead of O2 as an oxidant: the deposition kinetics remains linear up to thicknesses of more than 70 nm, whereas the film growth stops at 45 ± 5 nm in the presence of 02. In addition, the films prepared from Cu(2+) containing solutions display an absorption spectrum with defined peaks at 320 and 370 nm, which are absent in the spectra of films prepared in oxygenated solutions. The replacement of Tris buffer by phosphate buffer also has a marked effect on the melanin deposition kinetics. PMID:21332218

  19. Transcription Factor Amr1 Induces Melanin Biosynthesis and Suppresses Virulence in Alternaria brassicicola

    SciTech Connect

    Cho, Yangrae; Srivastava, Akhil; Ohm, Robin A.; Lawrence, Christopher B.; Wang, Koon-Hui; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Marahatta, Sharadchandra P.

    2012-05-01

    Alternaria brassicicola is a successful saprophyte and necrotrophic plant pathogen. Several A. brassicicola genes have been characterized as affecting pathogenesis of Brassica species. To study regulatory mechanisms of pathogenesis, we mined 421 genes in silico encoding putative transcription factors in a machine-annotated, draft genome sequence of A. brassicicola. In this study, targeted gene disruption mutants for 117 of the transcription factor genes were produced and screened. Three of these genes were associated with pathogenesis. Disruption mutants of one gene (AbPacC) were nonpathogenic and another gene (AbVf8) caused lesions less than half the diameter of wild-type lesions. Unexpectedly, mutants of the third gene, Amr1, caused lesions with a two-fold larger diameter than the wild type and complementation mutants. Amr1 is a homolog of Cmr1, a transcription factor that regulates melanin biosynthesis in several fungi. We created gene deletion mutants of ?amr1 and characterized their phenotypes. The ?amr1 mutants used pectin as a carbon source more efficiently than the wild type, were melanin-deficient, and more sensitive to UV light and glucanase digestion. The AMR1 protein was localized in the nuclei of hyphae and in highly melanized conidia during the late stage of plant pathogenesis. RNA-seq analysis revealed that three genes in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, along with the deleted Amr1 gene, were expressed at low levels in the mutants. In contrast, many hydrolytic enzyme-coding genes were expressed at higher levels in the mutants than in the wild type during pathogenesis. The results of this study suggested that a gene important for survival in nature negatively affected virulence, probably by a less efficient use of plant cell-wall materials. We speculate that the functions of the Amr1 gene are important to the success of A. brassicicola as a competitive saprophyte and plant parasite.

  20. Medullary thyroid carcinoma with a paraganglioma-like pattern and melanin production: a case report with ultrastructural and immunohistochemical studies.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, T; Satoh, M; Azuma, K; Sawada, N; Mori, M

    1998-06-01

    We report a case of medullary thyroid carcinoma with a paraganglioma-like pattern and melanin production. Macroscopically, a rectangular black area within a gray-white background was seen on the cut surface of the tumor. Histologically, the tumor was found to have a trabecular or nestlike architecture with many pigmented dendritic cells, resembling the "sustentacular cells" of paraganglioma, scattered among nonpigmented polygonal tumor cells. Fontana-Masson staining and bleaching with potassium permanganate and oxalic acid revealed that this pigment was melanin, which was also confirmed by electron microscopy. Immunohistochemically, pigmented dendritic cells were positive for calcitonin, as were the surrounding typical medullary thyroid carcinoma cells. These cells were also positive for S100 protein but not for HMB-45, compatible with sustentacular cells. These findings suggest that this tumor could be considered to bridge the gap between two variants of medullary thyroid carcinoma, the melanin-producing (pigmented) type and the paraganglioma-like type. PMID:9625426

  1. Plumage coloration and nutritional condition in the great tit Parus major: the roles of carotenoids and melanins differ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Figuerola, Jordi; Domènech, Jordi

    2003-05-01

    The size and coloration of some body characters seem to influence mate choice in many species. Most animal colours are either structural or based on melanin or carotenoid pigments. It has recently been suggested that carotenoid-based or structural coloration may be a condition-dependent trait, whereas melanin-based coloration is not; a difference that may be highly relevant when studying the evolution of multiple mating preferences. We tested this hypothesis in the great tit ( Parus major). The size of the melanin breast band was not correlated to nutritional condition as estimated by the rate of tail growth (ptilochronology), controlling for locality, age, sex, year and season effects. However, the correlation was significant for the hue of yellow breast (carotenoid-based coloration), and the slopes of the regressions of the two pigments to growth bars differed significantly. These results suggest that the expression of the two traits may be regulated by different mechanisms.

  2. Inducing self-rotation of cells with natural and artificial melanin in a linearly polarized alternating current electric field

    PubMed Central

    Ouyang, Mengxing; Ki Cheung, Wing; Liang, Wenfeng; Mai, John D.; Keung Liu, Wing; Jung Li, Wen

    2013-01-01

    The phenomenon of self-rotation observed in naturally and artificially pigmented cells under an applied linearly polarized alternating current (non-rotating) electrical field has been investigated. The repeatable and controllable rotation speeds of the cells were quantified and their dependence on dielectrophoretic parameters such as frequency, voltage, and waveform was studied. Moreover, the rotation behavior of the pigmented cells with different melanin content was compared to quantify the correlation between self-rotation and the presence of melanin. Most importantly, macrophages, which did not originally rotate in the applied non-rotating electric field, began to exhibit self-rotation that was very similar to that of the pigmented cells, after ingesting foreign particles (e.g., synthetic melanin or latex beads). We envision the discovery presented in this paper will enable the development of a rapid, non-intrusive, and automated process to obtain the electrical conductivities and permittivities of cellular membrane and cytoplasm in the near future. PMID:24404075

  3. Invasive hyphal growth in Wangiella dermatitidis is induced by stab inoculation and shows dependence upon melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Brush, L; Money, N P

    1999-12-01

    Stab inoculation of agar medium with yeasts of the human pathogen Wangiella dermatitidis resulted in induction of invasive hyphae. Mechanical penetration of agar was indicated by the observation that an increase in medium gel strength slowed the rate of substrate invasion. A melanized wild-type strain (8656) exhibited much faster invasive growth through 2-8% agar than three melanin-deficient mutants. Inhibition of melanin synthesis in strain 8656 using tricyclazole resulted in a decrease in its rate of invasive growth, while scytalone restored melanin synthesis in the albino mel3 strain and boosted its rate of invasive growth. Earlier research established that cellular melanization is also associated with invasive hyphal growth in the mouse brain, and infections with strain 8656 are invariably lethal. Together, these in vitro and in vivo data indicate that biomechanical characteristics of fungi may be important determinants of virulence and disease progression in human and animal mycoses. PMID:10669584

  4. Correlation map analysis between appearances of Japanese facial images and amount of melanin and hemoglobin components in the skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsumura, Norimichi; Uetsuki, Keiji; Ojima, Nobutoshi; Miyake, Yoichi

    2001-06-01

    Skin color reproduction becomes increasingly important with the recent progress in various imaging systems. In this paper, based on subjective experiments, correlation maps are analyzed between appearance of Japanese facial images and amount of melanin and hemoglobin components in the facial skin. Facial color images were taken by digital still camera. The spatial distributions of melanin and hemoglobin components in the facial color image were separated by independent component analysis of skin colors. The separated components were synthesized to simulate the various facial color images by changing the quantities of the two separated pigments. The synthesized images were evaluated subjectively by comparing with the original facial images. From the analysis of correlation map, we could find the visual or psychological terms that are well related to melanin components influence the appearance of facial color image.

  5. Insertional mutagenesis and characterization of a polyketide synthase gene (PKS1) required for melanin biosynthesis in Bipolaris oryzae.

    PubMed

    Moriwaki, Akihiro; Kihara, Junichi; Kobayashi, Tsutomu; Tokunaga, Toshiko; Arase, Sakae; Honda, Yuichi

    2004-09-01

    A polyketide synthase gene named PKS1, involved in the melanin biosynthesis pathway of the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae, was isolated using restriction enzyme-mediated integration. Sequence analysis showed that the PKS1 encodes a putative protein that has 2155 amino acids and significant similarity to other fungal polyketide synthases. Targeted disruption of the PKS1 gene showed that it is necessary for melanin biosynthesis in B. oryzae. Northern blot analysis showed that PKS1 transcripts were specifically enhanced by near-ultraviolet radiation (300-400 nm) and that its temporal transcriptional patterns were similar to those of THR1 and SCD1 genes involved in the melanin biosynthesis pathway of B. oryzae. PMID:15336395

  6. EPR examination of free radical properties of DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beberok, Artur; Buszman, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2010-09-01

    Paramagnetic complexes of DOPA-melanin with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin were studied by EPR spectroscopy. The aim of this work was to determine free radical concentration and properties of these complexes. Free radical concentrations in the studied complexes were ˜10 19-10 20 spin/g. Relatively lower and similar (5.1-6.6 × 10 19 spin/g) free radical concentrations characterized DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, and lomefloxacin. Higher concentrations (0.8-1.2 × 10 20 spin/g) were obtained for complexes of norfloxacin and sparfloxacin. Effect of the drug concentration on free radicals in melanin was observed. Strong dipolar spin-spin interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in all of the samples.

  7. Dietary flavonoids enhance conspicuousness of a melanin-based trait in male blackcaps but not of the female homologous trait or of sexually monochromatic traits.

    PubMed

    Catoni, C; Peters, A; Schaefer, H M

    2009-08-01

    Signalling theory predicts that signals should fulfil three fundamental requirements: high detectability, discriminability and, most importantly, reliability. Melanins are the most common pigments in animals. Correlations between genotypic and phenotypic qualities of the sender and size and morph of melanin-based traits are known, but it is contentious whether melanin-based colouration may signal any quality. We examined the effect of supplementing blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) with flavonoids, potent plant antioxidants, on plumage colouration. We demonstrate that melanin-based colour can fulfil all requirements of signals of phenotypic condition. As predicted by sexual selection theory, flavonoid supplementation influenced only the sexually dichromatic black cap of males, whereas the female homologous trait and the sexually monochromatic back colouration remained unaffected. Using avian vision models we show that birds can estimate male flavonoid intake from colouration of males' black cap. Because flavonoid ingestion can increase immune responsiveness in blackcaps, melanin head colouration may signal environmentally determined immune condition. PMID:19555443

  8. Simultaneous in vivo imaging of melanin and lipofuscin in the retina with photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy and autofluorescence imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiangyang; Zhang, Hao F.; Puliafito, Carmen A.; Jiao, Shuliang

    2011-08-01

    We combined photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) with autofluorescence imaging for simultaneous in vivo imaging of dual molecular contrasts in the retina using a single light source. The dual molecular contrasts come from melanin and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Melanin and lipofuscin are two types of pigments and are believed to play opposite roles (protective versus exacerbate) in the RPE in the aging process. We have successfully imaged the retina of pigmented and albino rats at different ages. The experimental results showed that multimodal PAOM system can be a potentially powerful tool in the study of age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

  9. Singlet molecular oxygen generation by light-activated DHN-melanin of the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis in black Sigatoka disease of bananas.

    PubMed

    Beltrán-García, Miguel J; Prado, Fernanda M; Oliveira, Marilene S; Ortiz-Mendoza, David; Scalfo, Alexsandra C; Pessoa, Adalberto; Medeiros, Marisa H G; White, James F; Di Mascio, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    In pathogenic fungi, melanin contributes to virulence, allowing tissue invasion and inactivation of the plant defence system, but has never been implicated as a factor for host cell death, or as a light-activated phytotoxin. Our research shows that melanin synthesized by the fungal banana pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis acts as a virulence factor through the photogeneration of singlet molecular oxygen O2 (1Δg). Using analytical tools, including elemental analysis, ultraviolet/infrared absorption spectrophometry and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis, we characterized both pigment content in mycelia and secreted to the culture media as 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin type compound. This is sole melanin-type in M. fijiensis. Isolated melanins irradiated with a Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm produced monomol light emission at 1270 nm, confirming generation of O2 (1Δg), a highly reactive oxygen specie (ROS) that causes cellular death by reacting with all cellular macromolecules. Intermediary polyketides accumulated in culture media by using tricyclazole and pyroquilon (two inhibitors of DHN-melanin synthesis) were identified by ESI-HPLC-MS/MS. Additionally, irradiation at 532 nm of that mixture of compounds and whole melanized mycelium also generated O2 (1Δg). A pigmented-strain generated more O2 (1Δg) than a strain with low melanin content. Banana leaves of cultivar Cavendish, naturally infected with different stages of black Sigatoka disease, were collected from field. Direct staining of the naturally infected leaf tissues showed the presence of melanin that was positively correlated to the disease stage. We also found hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) but we cannot distinguish the source. Our results suggest that O2 (1Δg) photogenerated by DHN-melanin may be involved in the destructive effects of Mycosphaerella fijiensis on banana leaf tissues. Further studies are needed to fully evaluate contributions of melanin-mediated ROS to microbial pathogenesis. PMID:24646830

  10. Singlet Molecular Oxygen Generation by Light-Activated DHN-Melanin of the Fungal Pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis in Black Sigatoka Disease of Bananas

    PubMed Central

    Beltrán-García, Miguel J.; Prado, Fernanda M.; Oliveira, Marilene S.; Ortiz-Mendoza, David; Scalfo, Alexsandra C.; Pessoa, Adalberto; Medeiros, Marisa H. G.; White, James F.; Di Mascio, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    In pathogenic fungi, melanin contributes to virulence, allowing tissue invasion and inactivation of the plant defence system, but has never been implicated as a factor for host cell death, or as a light-activated phytotoxin. Our research shows that melanin synthesized by the fungal banana pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis acts as a virulence factor through the photogeneration of singlet molecular oxygen O2 (1Δg). Using analytical tools, including elemental analysis, ultraviolet/infrared absorption spectrophometry and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis, we characterized both pigment content in mycelia and secreted to the culture media as 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin type compound. This is sole melanin-type in M. fijiensis. Isolated melanins irradiated with a Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm produced monomol light emission at 1270 nm, confirming generation of O2 (1Δg), a highly reactive oxygen specie (ROS) that causes cellular death by reacting with all cellular macromolecules. Intermediary polyketides accumulated in culture media by using tricyclazole and pyroquilon (two inhibitors of DHN-melanin synthesis) were identified by ESI-HPLC-MS/MS. Additionally, irradiation at 532 nm of that mixture of compounds and whole melanized mycelium also generated O2 (1Δg). A pigmented-strain generated more O2 (1Δg) than a strain with low melanin content. Banana leaves of cultivar Cavendish, naturally infected with different stages of black Sigatoka disease, were collected from field. Direct staining of the naturally infected leaf tissues showed the presence of melanin that was positively correlated to the disease stage. We also found hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) but we cannot distinguish the source. Our results suggest that O2 (1Δg) photogenerated by DHN-melanin may be involved in the destructive effects of Mycosphaerella fijiensis on banana leaf tissues. Further studies are needed to fully evaluate contributions of melanin-mediated ROS to microbial pathogenesis. PMID:24646830

  11. Effects of melanin-induced free radicals on the isolated rat peritoneal mast cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ranadive, N.S.; Shirwadkar, S.; Persad, S.; Menon, I.A.

    1986-03-01

    Pheomelanin from human red hair (RHM) produces considerably more cellular damage in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells when subjected to radiations of wavelength 320-700 nm than eumelanin from black hair (BHM). Irradiation of RHM generated large amounts of superoxide while BHM did not produce detectable amounts of superoxide. The present investigations describe the effects of irradiation of mast cells in the presence of various natural and synthetic melanins. Irradiation of mast cells in the presence of RHM and red hair melanoprotein released large amounts of histamine while BHM and synthetic melanins prepared from dopa, cysteinyldopa, or a mixture of dopa and cysteinyldopa did not release histamine. The release of histamine at lower concentrations of RHM was not accompanied by the release of /sup 51/Cr from chromium-loaded cells, suggesting that this release was of noncytotoxic nature. On the other hand, the release of histamine at higher concentrations of RHM was due to cell lysis since both histamine and cytoplasmic marker /sup 51/Cr were released to the same extent. The release evoked by large concentration RHM was not inhibited by superoxide dismutase or catalase. This suggests that the cell lysis under these conditions was not due to H/sub 2/O/sub 2/ or O-2. The finding that mast cells release histamine when irradiated in the presence of RHM suggests that the immediate and late-phase reactions seen in sunburn may in part be due to the release of mediators from these cells.

  12. The role of fibres and the hypodermis in Compositae melanin secretion.

    PubMed

    De-Paula, Orlando Cavalari; Marzinek, Juliana; Oliveira, Denise Maria Trombert; Machado, Silvia Rodrigues

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are dark, insoluble pigments that are resistant to concentrated acids and bleaching by oxidising agents. Phytomelanin (or phytomelan) is present in the seed coat of some Asparagales and in the fruits of some Compositae. In Compositae fruits, melanin is deposited in the schizogenous spaces between the hypodermis and underlying fibrous layer. Phytomelanin in Compositae is poorly understood, and there are only speculations regarding the cells that produce the pigment and the cellular processes involved in the secretion and polymerisation of phytomelanin. This report describes the cellular processes involved in the secretion of phytomelanin in the pericarp of Praxelis diffusa, a species with a structure typical of the family. The ovaries and fruits at different stages were fixed and processed according to the standard methods of studies of light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Hypodermal cells have abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, and the nuclei have chromatin that is less dense than other cells. These characteristics are typical of cells that synthesise protein/amino acids and suggest no carbohydrate secretion. The fibres, however, have a dense cytoplasm rich in the Golgi bodies that are associated with vesicles and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, common characteristics of carbohydrate secretory cells. Our results indicate that the hypodermal cells are not responsible for the secretion of phytomelanin, as previously described in the literature; in contrast, this function is assigned to the adjacent fibres, which have an organisation typical of cells that secrete carbohydrates. PMID:22940570

  13. Analysis of l-DOPA-derived melanin and a novel degradation product formed under alkaline conditions.

    PubMed

    Omotani, Hidetoshi; Yasuda, Makoto; Ishii, Ritsuko; Ikarashi, Tsukasa; Fukuuchi, Tomoko; Yamaoka, Noriko; Mawatari, Ken-Ichi; Kaneko, Kiyoko; Nakagomi, Kazuya

    2016-06-01

    When the therapeutic drug l-DOPA, which is used to treat Parkinson's disease, is combined with magnesium oxide (MgO), a formulation change produces a dark substance. Infrared spectroscopy reveals that this substance is melanin. After allowing the l-DOPA and MgO mixture to stand, the l-DOPA content decreases significantly, and a new degradation product (the final degradation product of l-DOPA, FDP-D) is generated. Formation of this product requires a solution with a pH of >10, and the presence of MgO is not necessary. FDP-D is not produced by tyrosinase decomposition of l-DOPA and is therefore not a melanin-related compound. Pure FDP-D is isolated by adjusting the l-DOPA solution to pH 10 with ammonium hydroxide, allowing it to stand for 3 days at room temperature, adding trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), filtering the precipitate, and separating the supernatant with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Mass spectrometry indicates that the isolated FDP-D has a molecular formula of C9H9NO7. On the basis of NMR analysis ((1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, DEPT, H-H COSY, HMQC, and HMBC), FDP-D appears to be a substance with the novel structure 7a-hydroxy-5-oxo-1,2,3,5,7,7a-hexahydropyrano [3,4-b]pyrrole-2,7-dicarboxylic acid. PMID:26999318

  14. Evidence for excitation of fluorescence in RPE melanin by multiphoton absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glickman, Randolph D.; Rockwell, Benjamin A.; Noojin, Gary D.; Stolarski, David J.; Denton, Michael L.

    2002-06-01

    Previously, we reported that ultrashort, near infrared (NIR) laser pulses caused more DNA breakage in cultured retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells than did CW, NIR laser radiation delivering a similar radiant exposure. We hypothesized that this difference was due to multiphoton absorption in an intracellular chromophore such as the RPE melanin. We investigated two-photon excitation of fluorescence in a suspension of isolated bovine RPE melanosomes exposed to a 1-KHz train of approximately 50- fsec laser pulses at 810 nm from a Ti:Sapphire laser, and compared this to the fluorescence excited by CW exposures at 406 nm from a Krypton ion laser. Fluorescence was measured with a PC-based spectrometer. The CW sources excited fluorescence with a peak at 525 nm. The fluorescence intensity depended on the irradiance of the sample, as well as the melanosome concentration. Peak fluorescence was obtained with a suspension of ~2 x 107 melanin granules/ml. The 810-nm, ultrashort pulses also excited fluorescence, but with a broader, lower-amplitude peak. The weaker fluorescence signal excited by the 810-nm ultrashort pulse laser for a given melanosome concentration, compared to 406-nm CW excitation, is possibly due to the smaller two- photon absorption cross-section. These results indicate the involvement of multiphoton absorption in DNA damage.

  15. Melanin Transfer in Human 3D Skin Equivalents Generated Exclusively from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gledhill, Karl; Guo, Zongyou; Umegaki-Arao, Noriko; Higgins, Claire A.; Itoh, Munenari; Christiano, Angela M.

    2015-01-01

    The current utility of 3D skin equivalents is limited by the fact that existing models fail to recapitulate the cellular complexity of human skin. They often contain few cell types and no appendages, in part because many cells found in the skin are difficult to isolate from intact tissue and cannot be expanded in culture. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) present an avenue by which we can overcome this issue due to their ability to be differentiated into multiple cell types in the body and their unlimited growth potential. We previously reported generation of the first human 3D skin equivalents from iPSC-derived fibroblasts and iPSC-derived keratinocytes, demonstrating that iPSCs can provide a foundation for modeling a complex human organ such as skin. Here, we have increased the complexity of this model by including additional iPSC-derived melanocytes. Epidermal melanocytes, which are largely responsible for skin pigmentation, represent the second most numerous cell type found in normal human epidermis and as such represent a logical next addition. We report efficient melanin production from iPSC-derived melanocytes and transfer within an entirely iPSC-derived epidermal-melanin unit and generation of the first functional human 3D skin equivalents made from iPSC-derived fibroblasts, keratinocytes and melanocytes. PMID:26308443

  16. The adaptive function of melanin-based plumage coloration to trace metals

    PubMed Central

    Chatelain, M.; Gasparini, J.; Jacquin, L.; Frantz, A.

    2014-01-01

    Trace metals produced by anthropogenic activities are of major importance in urban areas and might constitute a new evolutionary force selecting for the ability to cope with their deleterious effects. Interestingly, melanin pigments are known to bind metal ions, thereby potentially sequestering them in inert body parts such as coat and feathers, and facilitating body detoxification. Thus, a more melanic plumage or coat coloration could bring a selective advantage for animals living in polluted areas. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the link between melanin-based coloration and zinc and lead concentrations in feathers of urban feral pigeons, both at capture time and after one year of captivity in standardized conditions. Results show that differently coloured pigeons had similar metal concentrations at capture time. Metal concentrations strongly decreased after one year in standardized conditions, and more melanic pigeons had higher concentrations of zinc (but not lead) in their feathers. This suggests that more melanic pigeons have a higher ability to store some metals in their feathers compared with their paler counterparts, which could explain their higher success in urbanized areas. Overall, this work suggests that trace metal pollution may exert new selective forces favouring more melanic phenotypes in polluted environments. PMID:24671830

  17. The DNA methylation inhibitor 5-azacytidine decreases melanin synthesis by inhibiting CREB phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jun Seob; Jeong, Hyo-Soon; Kim, Myo-Kyoung; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Kim, Dong-Seok

    2015-10-01

    Here we examined the effects of a DNA methylation inhibitor, 5-azacytidine, on melanogenesis in Mel-Ab cells. We found that 5-azacytidine decreased the melanin content and tyrosinase activity in these cells in a dose-dependent manner; importantly, 5-azacytidine was not cytotoxic at the concentrations used in these experiments. On the other hand, 5-azacytidine did not affect tyrosinase activity in a cell-free system, indicating that 5-azacytidine is not a direct tyrosinase inhibitor. Instead, 5-azacytidine decreased the protein levels of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase. Thus, we investigated the effects of 5-azacytidine on signal transduction pathways related to melanogenesis. However, 5-azacytidine did not have any effect on either Akt or glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) phosphorylation. The phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is well known to regulate MITF expression, thereby also regulating tyrosinase expression. We found that 5-azacytidine decreased the phosphorylation of CREB. Therefore, we propose that 5-azacytidine may decrease melanin synthesis by downregulating MITF and tyrosinase via CREB inactivation. PMID:26601420

  18. Photoprotective role of epidermal melanin granules against ultraviolet damage and DNA repair in guinea pig skin

    SciTech Connect

    Ishikawa, T.; Kodama, K.; Matsumoto, J.; Takayama, S.

    1984-11-01

    We previously developed a quantitative autoradiographic technique with special forceps for measuring unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) in mouse skin after treatment with ultraviolet light in vivo. By this method, we investigated the relationship between the protective role of melanin and UV-induced DNA repair in black-and-white guinea pigs. Flat areas containing a sharp border between pigmented and unpigmented skin were selected. The skin of the selected areas was shaved and irradiated with short-wave UV (254 nm) or UV-AB (270 to 440 nm, emission peak at 312 nm) at various doses. Immediately after irradiation, the skin was clamped off with forceps, and an isotonic aqueous solution of (methyl-/sup 3/H)thymidine was injected s.c. into the clamped off portion. UDS was clearly demonstrated as silver grains in this portion of the skin after irradiation with 254 nm UV or UV-AB. Errors due to individual differences were avoided by comparing the intensities of UDS in basal cells from pigmented skin and unpigmented skin of the same animals. Unexpectedly, in groups of animals treated with 254 nm UV or UV-AB, no difference in UDS in pigmented and unpigmented skin was seen at any UV dose. These results suggested that epidermal melanin granules do not significantly protect DNA of basal cells against 254 nm UV or UV-AB irradiation. Results of a study on the effect of the wavelength of irradiation on the UDS response of albino guinea pigs are also reported.

  19. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Gabriel; Almudéver, Patricia; Serrano, Juan M; Cortijo, Julio; Faus, Carmen; Reyes, Magda; Expósito, Inmaculada; Torrens, Ana; Millán, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin–fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller). The product was applied by hand massage (A) or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B). An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C). Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin–fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin–fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47%) of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. PMID:26170707

  20. Photochemistry. Chemiexcitation of melanin derivatives induces DNA photoproducts long after UV exposure.

    PubMed

    Premi, Sanjay; Wallisch, Silvia; Mano, Camila M; Weiner, Adam B; Bacchiocchi, Antonella; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Bechara, Etelvino J H; Halaban, Ruth; Douki, Thierry; Brash, Douglas E

    2015-02-20

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), DNA photoproducts that are typically created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. We found that in melanocytes, CPDs are generated for >3 hours after exposure to UVA, a major component of the radiation in sunlight and in tanning beds. These "dark CPDs" constitute the majority of CPDs and include the cytosine-containing CPDs that initiate UV-signature C→T mutations. Dark CPDs arise when UV-induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species combine to excite an electron in fragments of the pigment melanin. This creates a quantum triplet state that has the energy of a UV photon but induces CPDs by energy transfer to DNA in a radiation-independent manner. Melanin may thus be carcinogenic as well as protective against cancer. These findings also validate the long-standing suggestion that chemically generated excited electronic states are relevant to mammalian biology. PMID:25700512

  1. Chemiexcitation of Melanin Derivatives Induces DNA Photoproducts Long after UV Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Premi, Sanjay; Wallisch, Silvia; Mano, Camila M.; Weiner, Adam B.; Bacchiocchi, Antonella; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Bechara, Etelvino J. H.; Halaban, Ruth; Douki, Thierry; Brash, Douglas E.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD), DNA photoproducts that are typically created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. Here we show that in melanocytes, CPD are generated for >3 hours after exposure to UVA, a major component of the radiation in sunlight and in tanning beds. These “dark CPD” constitute the majority of CPD and include the cytosine-containing CPD that initiate UV-signature C→T mutations. Dark CPD arise when UV-induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species combine to excite an electron in fragments of the pigment melanin. This creates a quantum triplet state that has the energy of a UV photon but that induces CPD by energy transfer to DNA in a radiation-independent manner. Melanin may thus be carcinogenic as well as protective against cancer. These findings also validate the long-standing suggestion that chemically-generated excited electronic states are relevant to mammalian biology. PMID:25700512

  2. Topical microemulsion containing Punica granatum extract: its control over skin erythema and melanin in healthy Asian subjects

    PubMed Central

    Parveen, Rashida; Akhtar, Naveed

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Punica granatum is apotent source of polyphenolic compounds with strong free radicals scavenging activity. The skin lightening effects of Punica granatum are assumed due to ellagic acid which acts by chelating copper at the active site of tyrosinase. Aim To explore a topical microemulsion (O/W) of pomegranate (Punica granatum) extract for its control on skin erythema and melanin. Material and methods Microemulsions were formulated using a polysorbate surfactant (Tween 80®) along with cosurfactant (propylene glycol) and were characterized regarding their stability. The placebo microemulsion (without extract) and the active microemulsion (containing Punica extract) were applied in a split face fashion by the volunteers (n = 11) for a period of 12 weeks. Skin erythema and melanin were measured at baseline and after every 15 days to determine any effect produced by these formulations. Results Active formulation showed a significant impact on skin erythema and melanin (p < 0.05). Conclusions This study reveals that a suitable topical formulation like microemulsion could employ the Punica granatum extract for conditions where elevated skin melanin and erythema have significantly prone skin physiology. PMID:25610348

  3. Inhibitory effect of a novel combination of Salvia hispanica (chia) seed and Punica granatum (pomegranate) fruit extracts on melanin production.

    PubMed

    Diwakar, Ganesh; Rana, Jatinder; Saito, Lisa; Vredeveld, Doug; Zemaitis, Dorothy; Scholten, Jeffrey

    2014-09-01

    In recent years, dietary fatty acids have been extensively evaluated for nutritional as well as cosmetic benefits. Among the dietary fats, the omega-3 (ω3) and omega-6 (ω6) forms of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been found to exhibit many biological functions in the skin such as prevention of transepidermal water loss, maintenance of the stratum corneum epidermal barrier, and disruption of melanogenesis in epidermal melanocytes. In this study, we examined the effect of chia seed extract, high in ω3 (linolenic acid) and ω6 (linoleic acid) PUFAs, for its capacity to affect melanogenesis. Chia seed extract was shown to inhibit melanin biosynthesis in Melan-a cells; however, linoleic and α-linolenic acids alone did not effectively reduce melanin content. Further investigation demonstrated that chia seed extract in combination with pomegranate fruit extract had a synergistic effect on the inhibition of melanin biosynthesis with no corresponding effect on tyrosinase activity. Investigation of the possible mechanism of action revealed that chia seed extract downregulated expression of melanogenesis-related genes (Tyr, Tyrp1, and Mc1r), alone and in combination with pomegranate fruit extract, suggesting that the inhibition of melanin biosynthesis by a novel combination of chia seed and pomegranate fruit extracts is possibly due to the downregulation of gene expression of key melanogenic enzymes. PMID:24909999

  4. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitory activity of a compound isolated from young green barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in B16 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Meng, Tian Xiao; Irino, Nobuto; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2015-07-01

    In the course to find compounds that inhibit melanin biosynthesis (i.e., whitening agents), we evaluated the effects of the methanol-soluble fraction (i.e., the water-soluble portion of methanol extracts-CHP20P-MeOH eluted fraction) from young green barley leaves on melanin production in B16 melanoma cells. Activity-guided fractionation led to an isolate called tricin (compound 1) as an inhibitory compound of melanin production in B16 melanoma cells. Furthermore, tricin analogs such as tricetin, tricetin trimethyl ether, luteolin, and apigenin were used for analyzing the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of 5,7-dihydroxyflavones studies. Tricin demonstrated stronger inhibitory activity compared to three other compounds. The results suggest that a hydroxyl group at the C-4' position and methoxy groups at the C-3',5' positions of the tricin skeleton may have important roles in this inhibitory activity in B16 melanoma cells. Our results suggest that tricin inhibits melanin biosynthesis with higher efficacy than arbutin, and it could be used as a whitening agent. PMID:25827948

  5. Using tyrosinase as a monophenol monooxygenase: A combined strategy for effective inhibition of melanin formation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Hyuk; Baek, Kiheon; Lee, Ju-Eun; Kim, Byung-Gee

    2016-04-01

    Tyrosinase is a binuclear copper-containing metalloprotein that leads the fast and regio-selective o-hydroxylation of monophenols to o-diphenols. However, the subsequent second oxidation to produce o-quinones, i.e., melanin precursors, from the o-diphenols has restricted its use to the production of functional o-diphenol derivatives. Herein, we present a combined strategy for the effective inhibition of melanin formation in tyrosinase reaction, which allows the use of tyrosinase as a monophenol monooxygenase. The o-diphenolic products were protected from being oxidized in the tyrosinase reaction by borate ions and L-ascorbic acid (LAA). Borate-o-diphenol complexes were favorable formed at high pH and consequentially protected the o-diphenolic products from the catecholase activity of tyrosinase. LAA not only directly reduced the byproduct, o-quinones, into o-diphenols but also assisted the completion of the tyrosinase reaction cycle by removing a hydroxyl group attached to the copper metal cluster at the active site of the met-form tyrosinase. The regio-selective o-hydroxylation of 7,4'-dihydroxyisoflavone (daidzein) to produce 7,3',4'-trihydroxyisoflavone (3'-ODI) was successfully carried out by whole E. coli cell biotransformation with heterologously expressed tyrosinase from Bacillus megaterium. The yield of this o-hydroxylation of 5 mM daidzein in one-pot 400 mL reaction was ca. 100% in 90 min and the productivity was 16.3 mg 3'-ODI · L(-1)  ·  h(-1)  ·  DCW mg(-1) , which is considerably higher than that of other monooxygenases. The method effectively abolished melanin synthesis, so that the o-diphenolic product remained stable without enzyme inactivation. Other monophenolic phytochemicals such as resveratrol and genistein could be subjected to the same strategy. After 1 h, 1 mM of genistein and resveratrol were both converted to orobol and piceatannol, respectively, with ca. 95% conversion yield. These results support the strong

  6. Melanin Index in Assessing the Treatment Efficacy of 1064 nm Q Switched Nd-Yag Laser in Nevus of Ota

    PubMed Central

    Sethuraman, Gomathy; Sharma, Vinod K; Sreenivas, Vishnubhatla

    2013-01-01

    Background: Q-switched neodymium-yttrium aluminium-garnet (Q switched Nd-Yag) laser has been used in the treatment of nevus of Ota in all skin types with variable success rate. Data with an objective assessment parameter to this laser treatment is lacking. Objective: To evaluate the utility of melanin index in assessing the treatment response and also determine the efficacy and safety of the Q-switched Nd-Yag laser (1064-nm) in the treatment of nevus of Ota in Fitzpatrick skin types IV and V. Materials and Methods: A total of 35 patients treated with Nd-Yag laser were studied. The objective improvement (pigment clearance) was determined by melanin index from two fixed points: A1, 2 cm below the pupil at the mid pupillary line (when the gaze is fixed); A2, the most prominent part of zygoma. The melanin index in these two areas was recorded as M1 and M2, respectively. The subjective clinical improvement was determined by the physician and the patient global assessment score. Results: The mean baseline melanin indices M1 and M2 were 59.54 ± 9.72 and 59.02 ± 9.16, respectively. At the last visit the mean M1 and M2 decreased to 53.8 ± 8.55 (P < 0.001) and 54.13 ± 6.01 (P < 0.001), respectively. Patient and the physician global assessment score showed that 26 (74.3%) and 20 (57.14%) patients, respectively, had >50% pigment clearance. Conclusion: The melanin index, a simple non-invasive parameter is useful in assessing the treatment response more objectively. The 1064-nm Q-switched Nd-Yag laser offers good improvement in patients with nevus of Ota in darker skin types IV/V. PMID:24470713

  7. Interpretation of Ocular Melanin Drug Binding Assays. Alternatives to the Model of Multiple Classes of Independent Sites.

    PubMed

    Manzanares, José A; Rimpelä, Anna-Kaisa; Urtti, Arto

    2016-04-01

    Melanin has a high binding affinity for a wide range of drugs. The determination of the melanin binding capacity and its binding affinity are important, e.g., in the determination of the ocular drug distribution, the prediction of drug effects in the eye, and the trans-scleral drug delivery. The binding parameters estimated from a given data set vary significantly when using different isotherms or different nonlinear fitting methods. In this work, the commonly used bi-Langmuir isotherm, which assumes two classes of independent sites, is confronted with the Sips isotherm. Direct, log-log, and Scatchard plots are used, and the interpretation of the binding curves in the latter is critically analyzed. In addition to the goodness of fit, the emphasis is placed on the physical meaning of the binding parameters. The bi-Langmuir model imposes a bimodal distribution of binding energies for the sites on the melanin granules, but the actual distribution is most likely continuous and unimodal, as assumed by the Sips isotherm. Hence, the latter describes more accurately the distribution of binding energies and also the experimental results of melanin binding to drugs and metal ions. Simulations are used to show that the existence of two classes of sites cannot be confirmed on the sole basis of the shape of the binding curve in the Scatchard plot, and that serious doubts may appear on the meaning of the binding parameters of the bi-Langmuir model. Experimental results of melanin binding to chloroquine and metoprolol are used to illustrate the importance of the choice of the binding isotherm and of the method used to evaluate the binding parameters. PMID:26820602

  8. Melanin Biosynthesis Inhibition Effects of Ginsenoside Rb2 Isolated from Panax ginseng Berry.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dae Young; Jeong, Yong Tae; Jeong, Sang Chul; Lee, Mi Kyoung; Min, Jin Woo; Lee, Jae Won; Kim, Geum Soog; Lee, Seung Eun; Ahn, Young Sup; Kang, Hee Cheol; Kim, Jin Hee

    2015-12-28

    Ginsenoside Rb2 (Gin-Rb2) was purified from the fruit extract of Panax ginseng. Its chemical structure was measured by spectroscopic analysis, including HR-FAB-MS, (1)H-NMR, and IR spectroscopy. Gin-Rb2 decreased potent melanogenesis in melan-a cells, with 23.4% at 80 μM without cytotoxicity. Gin-Rb2 also decreased tyrosinase and MITF protein expression in melan-a cells. Furthermore, Gin-Rb2 presented inhibition of the body pigmentation in the zebrafish in vivo system and reduced melanin contents and tyrosinase activity. These results show that Gin-Rb2 isolated from P. ginseng may be an effective skin-whitening agent via the in vitro and in vivo systems. PMID:26437949

  9. Chemical constituents derived from Artocarpus xanthocarpus as inhibitors of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yu-Jing; Lin, Cha-Chi; Lu, Tzy-Ming; Li, Jih-Heng; Chen, Ih-Sheng; Kuo, Yueh-Hsiung; Ko, Horng-Huey

    2015-09-01

    Twenty-four compounds, including the previously unknown artoxanthocarpuone A, artoxanthocarpuone B, hydroxylakoochin A, methoxylakoochin A, epoxylakoochin A, and artoxanthol, were isolated and characterized spectroscopically. Among them, artoxanthol is stilbene oligomer presumably constructed in a 5,11,12-triphenyl hexahydrochrysene scaffold by a Diels-Alder type of reaction, for which a biosynthetic pathway is proposed. Artoxanthol, alboctalol, steppogenin, norartocarpetin, resveratrol, oxyresveratrol, and chlorophorin potently inhibited mushroom tyrosinase activity with IC50 values from 0.9 to 5.7 μM that were all far stronger than the positive controls. Artoxanthocarpuone A, artoxanthocarpuone B, methoxylakoochin A, lakoochin A, cudraflavone C, artonin A, resveratrol, and chlorophorin reduced tyrosinase activity and inhibited α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-induced melanin production in B16F10 melanoma cells without affecting cell proliferation. Collectively, the results suggest that the constituents of Artocarpus xanthocarpus have potential to be used as depigmentation agents. PMID:26188915

  10. Inhibitory effect of brazilein on tyrosinase and melanin synthesis: Kinetics and in silico approach.

    PubMed

    Hridya, Hemachandran; Amrita, Anantharaman; Sankari, Mohan; George Priya Doss, C; Gopalakrishnan, Mohan; Gopalakrishnan, Chandrasekaran; Siva, Ramamoorthy

    2015-11-01

    In our present study, the inhibitory effect of brazilein from Caesalpinia sappan on tyrosinase activity was investigated through multi-spectroscopic and molecular docking techniques. The result has shown that brazilein reversibly inhibited tyrosinase in a mixed type manner. The interaction of brazilein with the amino acid residues of tyrosinase has been validated through fluorescence quenching studies. Copper interaction studies suggested that brazilein could bind with copper ions of the enzyme. Circular dichroism analysis confirmed that brazilein induced secondary structural changes in tyrosinase. Docking studies further authenticate that brazilein forms hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding with the active site residues of tyrosinase. Moreover, in vitro studies confirmed that the inhibitory mechanism of cellular tyrosinase and melanin synthesis by brazilein in B16F0 melanoma cells. These results suggested that brazilein act as a potential tyrosinase inhibitor and it would contribute as a of novel tyrosinase inhibitor in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. PMID:26254246

  11. Fourier domain Pump-Probe Optical Coherence Tomography imaging of melanin.

    PubMed

    Jacob, Desmond; Shelton, Ryan L; Applegate, Brian E

    2010-06-01

    We report the development of a two-color Fourier domain Pump-Probe Optical Coherence Tomography (PPOCT) system. Tissue phantom experiments to characterize the system performance demonstrated imaging depths in excess of 725 microm, nearly comparable to the base Optical Coherence Tomography system. PPOCT A-line rates were also demonstrated in excess of 1 kHz. The physical origin of the PPOCT signal was investigated with a series of experiments which revealed that the signal is a mixture of short and long lifetime component signals. The short lifetime component was attributed to transient absorption while the long lifetime component may be due to a mixture of transient absorption and thermal effects. Ex vivo images of porcine iris demonstrated the potential for imaging melanin in the eye, where cancer of the melanocytes is the most common form of eye cancer in adults. PMID:20588366

  12. Pharmacokinetics of Ro 03-8799 in mice bearing melanosarcoma: comparison with tumors without melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Laurent, F.; Canal, P.; Soula, G.

    1989-04-01

    The pharmacokinetics of Ro 03-8799 has been studied in melanic and non-melanic tumor bearing mice after iv administration of 150 mg/kg. The peak concentration in B16 melanosarcoma tumor reached 152 micrograms/g, that is 7.6-fold higher than the plasma concentration at the same time. This concentration is 3-times greater than that obtained in the tumor of mice bearing non-melanic sarcoma (DB16) or Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL). The exposure of B16 tumor (AUC) is respectively 15-times and 11-times higher than the 3LL and the DB16 ones. These experimental data confirm that this 2-nitro-imidazol compound has an important affinity for melanin and suggest that it might be used as a radiosensitizer for the treatment of malignant melanoma.

  13. Detection of melanomas. Approach with radiolabeled false precursors of melanin synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, N.; Queen, L.; Chalom, A.

    1983-04-01

    Thiouracil is a thiol-containing pyrimidine that is selectively incorporated into cells that synthesize melanin. In an effort to delineate further the specificity and dynamics of uptake, we injected thiouracil labeled with radioactive carbon into S91 melanoma-bearing mice; biopsy specimens were taken of the tumors and organs at various time intervals thereafter. The data showed a substantial uptake of thiouracil by the melanomas, with peak uptake occurring at 24 hours. All other organs examined showed only minor amounts of radioactivity, which probably reflected the presence of thiouracil in the blood perfusing these tissues. Because of its incorporation into melanomas, the use of radioactive thiouracil has potential as a marker for tumor growth, as a diagnostic tracer compound, and as a carrier for chemotherapeutic agents.

  14. Human hypocretin and melanin concentrating hormone levels are linked to emotion and social interaction

    PubMed Central

    Blouin, Ashley M.; Fried, Itzhak; Wilson, Charles L.; Staba, Richard J.; Behnke, Eric J.; Lam, Hoa A.; Maidment, Nigel T.; Karlsson, Karl Æ.; Lapierre, Jennifer L.; Siegel, Jerome M.

    2013-01-01

    The neurochemical changes underlying human emotions and social behavior are largely unknown. Here we report on the changes in the levels of two hypothalamic neuropeptides, hypocretin-1 (Hcrt-1) and melanin concentrating hormone (MCH), measured in the human amygdala. We show that Hcrt-1 levels are maximal during positive emotion, social interaction, and anger, behaviors that induce cataplexy in human narcoleptics. In contrast, MCH levels are minimal during social interaction, but are increased after eating. Both peptides are at minimal levels during periods of postoperative pain despite high levels of arousal. MCH levels increase at sleep onset, consistent with a role in sleep induction, whereas Hcrt-1 levels increase at wake onset, consistent with a role in wake induction. Levels of these two peptides in humans are not simply linked to arousal, but rather to specific emotions and state transitions. Other arousal systems may be similarly emotionally specialized. PMID:23462990

  15. Ionizing Radiation: how fungi cope, adapt, and exploit with the help of melanin

    PubMed Central

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY OF RECENT ADVANCES Life on Earth has always existed in the flux of ionizing radiation. However, fungi seem to interact with the ionizing radiation differently from other Earth’s inhabitants. Recent data show that melanized fungal species like those from Chernobyl’s reactor respond to ionizing radiation with enhanced growth. Fungi colonize space stations and adapt morphologically to extreme conditions. Radiation exposure causes upregulation of many key genes, and an inducible microhomology-mediated recombination pathway could be a potential mechanism of adaptive evolution in eukaryotes. The discovery of melanized organisms in high radiation environments, the space stations, Antarctic mountains, and in the reactor cooling water combined with phenomenon of ‘radiotropism’ raises the tantalizing possibility that melanins have functions analogous to other energy harvesting pigments such as chlorophylls. PMID:18848901

  16. Organelle-specific injury to melanin-containing cells in human skin by pulsed laser irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, G.F.; Shepard, R.S.; Paul, B.S.; Menkes, A.; Anderson, R.R.; Parrish, J.A.

    1983-12-01

    Physical models predict that ultraviolet laser radiation of appropriately brief pulses can selectively alter melanin-containing cellular targets in human skin. Skin of normal human volunteers was exposed to brief (20 nanosecond) 351-nm wave length pulses from a XeF excimer laser, predicting that those cells containing the greatest quantities of melanized melanosomes (lower half of the epidermis) would be selectively damaged. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the earliest cellular alteration to be immediate disruption of melanosomes, both within melanocytes and basal keratinocytes. This disruption was dose dependent and culminated in striking degenerative changes in these cells. Superficial keratinocytes and Langerhans cells were not affected. It was concluded that the XeF excimer laser is capable of organelle-specific injury to melanosomes. These findings may have important clinical implications in the treatment of both benign and malignant pigmented lesions by laser radiations of defined wave lengths and pulse durations.

  17. Dipeptides Inhibit Melanin Synthesis in Mel-Ab Cells through Down-Regulation of Tyrosinase

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyun-e; Kim, Eun-Hyun; Choi, Hye-Ryung; Sohn, Uy Dong; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Park, Kyoung-Chan

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of proline-serine (PS) and valine-serine (VS) dipeptides on melanogenesis in Mel-Ab cells. Proline-serine and VS significantly inhibited melanin synthesis in a concentration-dependent manner, though neither dipeptide directly inhibited tyrosinase activity in a cell-free system. Both PS and VS down-regulated the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase. In a follow-up study also described here, the effects of these dipeptides on melanogenesis-related signal transduction were quantified. Specifically, PS and VS induced ERK phosphorylation, though they had no effect on phosphorylation of the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB). These data suggest that PS and VS inhibit melanogenesis through ERK phosphorylation and subsequent down-regulation of MITF and tyrosinase. Properties of these dipeptides are compatible with application as skin-whitening agents. PMID:22915995

  18. Effect of the MC1R gene on sexual dimorphism in melanin-based colorations.

    PubMed

    San-Jose, Luis M; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Ducret, Valérie; Béziers, Paul; Simon, Céline; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Roulin, Alexandre

    2015-06-01

    Variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene result in abrupt, naturally selected colour morphs. These genetic variants may differentially affect sexual dimorphism if one morph is naturally selected in the two sexes but another morph is naturally or sexually selected only in one of the two sexes (e.g. to confer camouflage in reproductive females or confer mating advantage in males). Therefore, the balance between natural and sexual selections can differ between MC1R variants, as suggest studies showing interspecific correlations between sexual dimorphism and the rate of nonsynonymous vs. synonymous amino acid substitutions at the MC1R. Surprisingly, how MC1R is related to within-species sexual dimorphism, and thereby to sex-specific selection, has not yet been investigated. We tackled this issue in the barn owl (Tyto alba), a species showing pronounced variation in the degree of reddish pheomelanin-based coloration and in the number and size of black feather spots. We found that a valine (V)-to-isoleucine (I) substitution at position 126 explains up to 30% of the variation in the three melanin-based colour traits and in feather melanin content. Interestingly, MC1R genotypes also differed in the degree of sexual colour dimorphism, with individuals homozygous for the II MC1R variant being 2 times redder and 2.5 times less sexually dimorphic than homozygous individuals for the VV MC1R variant. These findings support that MC1R interacts with the expression of sexual dimorphism and suggest that a gene with major phenotypic effects and weakly influenced by variation in body condition can participate in sex-specific selection processes. PMID:25857339

  19. Melanin and the cellular effects of ultrashort-pulse, near-infrared laser radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glickman, Randolph D.; Kumar, Neeru; Rockwell, Benjamin A.; Noojin, Gary D.; Denton, Michael L.; Stolarski, David J.

    2003-07-01

    Our research into laser bioeffects has increasingly focused on cytotoxic mechanisms affecting genomic expression and programmed cellular stress responses. In the context of DNA damage, we previously reported that more DNA strand breaks were produced in cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to ultrashort pulse, than to CW, near-infrared (NIR) laser radiation. To test the hypothesis that RPE melanin was the cellular chromophore responsible for mediating this damage, the experiments were repeated with a line of human-derived RPE cells that could be grown in culture expressing varying levels of pigmentation. Lightly-pigmented cells were either unexposed, or exposed to the output of a Ti:Sapphire laser producing 810 nm light in mode-locked pulses (48-fsec at 80 MHz), or as CW radiation. Cells were irradiated at 160 W/cm2 or 80 W/cm2 (the estimated ED50 or half-ED50 for a retinal lesion). Immediately following the laser exposure, cells were processed for the comet assay. Longer "comet" tails and larger "comet" areas indicated more DNA strand breaks. In lightly-pigmented RPE cells, the overall comet assay differences among the laser-exposed groups were smaller than those observed in our earlier experiments which utilized highly pigmented primary cells. The comet tail lengths of cells exposed to the mode-locked pulses at the ED50, however, were significantly longer than those of the controls or the CW-exposed cells. The other comet assay parameters examined (tail moment, comet area) did not show consistent differences among the groups. While these results support the involvement of melanin in the ultrashort pulse laser-induced damage to DNA, they do not exclude the involvement of other cellular chromophores. Some preliminary experiments describing other measures of cellular stress responses to laser-induced oxidative stress are described.

  20. A Zn(II)-glycine complex suppresses UVB-induced melanin production by stimulating metallothionein expression.

    PubMed

    Ochiai, Y; Kaburagi, S; Okano, Y; Masaki, H; Ichihashi, M; Funasaka, Y; Sakurai, H

    2008-04-01

    Oxidative stress caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the skin, induces the secretion of melanocyte growth and activating factors from keratinocytes, which results in the formation of cutaneous hyper-pigmentation. Thus, increasing the anti-oxidative ability of skin cells is expected to be a good strategy for skin-lightening cosmetics. Metallothionein (MT) is one of the stress-induced proteins and is known to exhibit a strong anti-oxidative property. We previously reported that a zinc(II) complex with glycine (Zn(II)(Gly)(2)) effectively induces MT expression in cultured human keratinocytes. To determine its potential as a new skin lightening active, we examined whether Zn(II)(Gly)(2) regulates the release of melanocyte-activating factors from UVB-irradiated keratinocytes and affects melanin production in a reconstructed human epidermal equivalent. Conditioned medium from UVB-irradiated keratinocytes accelerated melanocyte proliferation to 110%, and that increase could be prevented by pre-treatment with Zn(II)(Gly)(2). In addition, Zn(II)(Gly)(2) significantly reduced both the production of prostaglandin E(2) and proopiomelanocortin expression in UVB-irradiated keratinocytes. Zn(II)(Gly)(2) also decreased melanin production in a reconstructed human epidermal equivalent. These results indicate that MT-induction in the epidermis effectively up-regulates tolerance against oxidative stress and inhibits the secretion of melanocyte growth and activating factors from keratinocytes. Thus, Zn(II)(Gly)(2) is a good candidate as a new skin-lightening active. PMID:18377619

  1. Melanin pattern morphs do not differ in metabolic rate: implications for the evolutionary maintenance of a melanophore polymorphism in the green swordtail, Xiphophorus helleri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Christiane I.; Kaufman, Robert; Cech, Joseph J.

    2006-10-01

    Variation in melanin patterns among individuals, populations, and species is common in fishes of the genus Xiphophorus. In the variable platyfish, Xiphophorus variatus, variation in metabolic rate is associated with melanin coloration and the color morphs appear to be physiological specialists adapted to particular environmental conditions. This study investigates whether a melanin polymorphism in the green swordtail, Xiphophorus helleri, is likewise associated with variation in metabolic rate. We measured metabolic rate as oxygen consumption rate of both adult male and juvenile X. helleri in static respirometers. The oxygen consumption rate does not differ significantly between the spotted and nonspotted morphs in either group, suggesting that-unlike in X. variatus-selection on metabolic rate is not involved in maintaining the polymorphism in X. helleri. We suggest that explanations need to be sought for the evolution of melanophore diversity in Xiphophorus that are pertinent to each melanin pattern polymorphism or groups of similar polymorphisms.

  2. Melanin pattern morphs do not differ in metabolic rate: implications for the evolutionary maintenance of a melanophore polymorphism in the green swordtail, Xiphophorus helleri.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Christiane I; Kaufman, Robert; Cech, Joseph J

    2006-10-01

    Variation in melanin patterns among individuals, populations, and species is common in fishes of the genus Xiphophorus. In the variable platyfish, Xiphophorus variatus, variation in metabolic rate is associated with melanin coloration and the color morphs appear to be physiological specialists adapted to particular environmental conditions. This study investigates whether a melanin polymorphism in the green swordtail, Xiphophorus helleri, is likewise associated with variation in metabolic rate. We measured metabolic rate as oxygen consumption rate of both adult male and juvenile X. helleri in static respirometers. The oxygen consumption rate does not differ significantly between the spotted and nonspotted morphs in either group, suggesting that-unlike in X. variatus-selection on metabolic rate is not involved in maintaining the polymorphism in X. helleri. We suggest that explanations need to be sought for the evolution of melanophore diversity in Xiphophorus that are pertinent to each melanin pattern polymorphism or groups of similar polymorphisms. PMID:16830165

  3. Near-Infrared Excited State Dynamics of Melanins: The Effects of Iron Content, Photo-Damage, Chemical Oxidation, and Aggregate Size

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Ultrafast pump–probe measurements can discriminate the two forms of melanin found in biological tissue (eumelanin and pheomelanin), which may be useful for diagnosing and grading melanoma. However, recent work has shown that bound iron content changes eumelanin’s pump–probe response, making it more similar to that of pheomelanin. Here we record the pump–probe response of these melanins at a wider range of wavelengths than previous work and show that with shorter pump wavelengths the response crosses over from being dominated by ground-state bleaching to being dominated by excited-state absorption. The crossover wavelength is different for each type of melanin. In our analysis, we found that the mechanism by which iron modifies eumelanin’s pump–probe response cannot be attributed to Raman resonances or differences in melanin aggregation and is more likely caused by iron acting to broaden the unit spectra of individual chromophores in the heterogeneous melanin aggregate. We analyze the dependence on optical intensity, finding that iron-loaded eumelanin undergoes irreversible changes to the pump–probe response after intense laser exposure. Simultaneously acquired fluorescence data suggest that the previously reported “activation” of eumelanin fluorescence may be caused in part by the dissociation of metal ions or the selective degradation of iron-containing melanin. PMID:24446774

  4. Photobiological implications of melanin photoprotection after UVB-induced tanning of human skin but not UVA-induced tanning

    PubMed Central

    Coelho, Sergio G.; Yin, Lanlan; Smuda, Christoph; Mahns, Andre; Kolbe, Ludger; Hearing, Vincent J.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Repetitive suberythemal UVA and/or UVB exposures were used to generate comparable UV-induced tans in human skin over the course of 2 weeks. In order to evaluate the potential photoprotective values of those UVA- and/or UVB- induced tans and to avoid the confounding issue of residual UV-induced DNA damage, we waited 1 week before challenging those areas with a 1.5 MED dose of UVA+UVB after which we measure DNA damage. The results show that the type of UV used to induce skin pigmentation affects the redistribution of melanin in the skin and/or de novo melanin synthesis. The UVA-induced tans failed to even provide a minimal SPF of 1.5, which suggests that producing a tan with UVA-rich sunlamps prior to a holiday or vacation is completely counterproductive. PMID:25417821

  5. Tomographic reconstruction of melanin structures of optical coherence tomography via the finite-difference time-domain simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shi-Hao; Wang, Shiang-Jiu; Tseng, Snow H.

    2015-03-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides high resolution, cross-sectional image of internal microstructure of biological tissue. We use the Finite-Difference Time-Domain method (FDTD) to analyze the data acquired by OCT, which can help us reconstruct the refractive index of the biological tissue. We calculate the refractive index tomography and try to match the simulation with the data acquired by OCT. Specifically, we try to reconstruct the structure of melanin, which has complex refractive indices and is the key component of human pigment system. The results indicate that better reconstruction can be achieved for homogenous sample, whereas the reconstruction is degraded for samples with fine structure or with complex interface. Simulation reconstruction shows structures of the Melanin that may be useful for biomedical optics applications.

  6. Modulation of melanin synthesis by rengyolone isolated from the root of Eurya emarginata in melan-a cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin Hee; Jeong, Sang Chul; Hwang, Jae Sung; Lee, Eun Sook; Lee, Sang Myung

    2014-06-01

    In the course of screening for the melanogenesis inhibitors, rengyolone was isolated from Eurya emarginata (Thumb) Makino. Its chemical structure was determined on the basis of spectroscopic analysis including mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. Rengyolone inhibited potent melanogenesis in melan-a cells with an IC50 value of 65 μM without cytotoxicity. Also, rengyolone showed a melanin biosynthesis inhibition zone in a culture plate of Streptomyces bikiniensis, which is commonly used as an indicator organism. Moreover, rengyolone dramatically reduced protein expression of melanogenic enzyme, tyrosinase. Furthermore, rengyolone presented inhibition on the body pigmentation in zebrafish model system and decreased melanin contents and tyrosinase activity. These results suggest that rengyolone isolated from E. emarginata may be an effective skin-whitening agent that regulates the expression of melanogenic enzymes. PMID:24255002

  7. Sarsasapogenin Increases Melanin Synthesis via Induction of Tyrosinase and Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor Expression in Melan-a Cells

    PubMed Central

    Moon, Eunjung; Kim, Ae-Jung; Kim, Sun Yeou

    2012-01-01

    Sarsasapogenin (SAR) is a steroidal sapogenin that is used as starting material for the industrial synthesis of steroids. It has various pharmacological benefits, such as antitumor and antidepressant activities. Since its effect on melanin biosynthesis has not been reported, we used murine melanocyte melan-a cells to investigate whether SAR influences melanogenesis. In this study, SAR significantly increased the melanin content of the melan-a cells from 1 to 10 μM. Based on an enzymatic activity assay using melan-a cell lysate, SAR had no effect on tyrosinase and DOPAchrome tautomerase activities. It also did not affect the protein expression of tyrosinase-related protein 1 and DOPAchrome tautomerase. However, protein levels of tyrosinase and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor were strongly stimulated by treatment with SAR. Therefore, our reports suggest that SAR treatment may induce melanogenesis through the stimulation of tyrosinase and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor expression in melan-a cells. PMID:24130933

  8. A novel bioactive chalcone of Morus australis inhibits tyrosinase activity and melanin biosynthesis in B16 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Makoto; Takara, Kensaku; Toyozato, Tomonao; Wada, Koji

    2012-01-01

    The methanol extract of Morus australis (shimaguwa) acts as a whitening agent due to the inhibition of tyrosinase activity. In order to explore the mechanism(s) of the whitening action, constituents of the 95% methanol extract from the dried stems of shimaguwa were isolated and their skin-whitening capacity was examined. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the methanol soluble extract of shimaguwa led to the isolation of 2, 4, 2', 4'-hydroxycalcone (chalcone 1) and three analogues of chalcone 1 with 3'-substituted resorcinol moieties (chalcones 2-4). Chalcone derivative 4 proved to be a novel compound and was fully characterized. Chalcones 1-4 were evaluated for inhibition activity on mushroom tyrosinase using L-tyrosine as the substrate. The parent chalcone 1 was a highly effective inhibitor of tyrosinase activity (IC₅₀ = 0.21 μM) compared to arbutin (IC₅₀ = 164 μM). Compared to chalcone 1, chalcones 2 and 3, which possess 3'-substituted isoprenyl or bulky 2-benzoylbiphenyl, showed significantly decreased tyrosinase activity, while chalcone 4, possessing 3'-substituted 2-hydroxy-1-pentene group, showed slightly increased activity.The effects of chalcones 1-4 on melanin synthesis, without affecting cell growth, were assayed in melanin-producing B16 murine melanoma cells. Chalcone 3 significantly reduced cell viability before reaching the IC₅₀ value for melanin synthesis. In contrast, the inhibitory effects of chalcones 1, 2 and 4 were more than 100-fold greater than that of arbutin, with little or no cytotoxicity. More significantly, chalcone 2, which exhibited less tyrosinase inhibitory activity compared to the parent chalcone 1, showed the highest inhibition of melanin synthesis in B16 cells among the chalcones tested. Accordingly, chalcones 1 and 2, and the novel chalcone 4 might be the active components responsible for the whitening ability of shimaguwa. Moreover, whitening ability was not exclusively due to tyrosinase inhibition. PMID:23018855

  9. Sex-linked inheritance, genetic correlations and sexual dimorphism in three melanin-based colour traits in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Jensen, H

    2015-03-01

    Theory states that genes on the sex chromosomes have stronger effects on sexual dimorphism than genes on the autosomes. Although empirical data are not necessarily consistent with this theory, this situation may prevail because the relative role of sex-linked and autosomally inherited genes on sexual dimorphism has rarely been evaluated. We estimated the quantitative genetics of three sexually dimorphic melanin-based traits in the barn owl (Tyto alba), in which females are on average darker reddish pheomelanic and display more and larger black eumelanic feather spots than males. The plumage traits with higher sex-linked inheritance showed lower heritability and genetic correlations, but contrary to prediction, these traits showed less pronounced sexual dimorphism. Strong offspring sexual dimorphism primarily resulted from daughters not expressing malelike melanin-based traits and from sons expressing femalelike traits to similar degrees as their sisters. We conclude that in the barn owl, polymorphism at autosomal genes rather than at sex-linked genes generate variation in sexual dimorphism in melanin-based traits. PMID:25656218

  10. Determination of the optical properties of melanin-pigmented human skin equivalents using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipscomb, Dawn; Echchgadda, Ibtissam; Peralta, Xomalin G.; Wilmink, Gerald J.

    2013-02-01

    Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) methods have been utilized in previous studies in order to characterize the optical properties of skin and its primary constituents (i.e., water, collagen, and keratin). However, similar experiments have not yet been performed to investigate whether melanocytes and the melanin pigment that they synthesize contribute to skin's optical properties. In this study, we used THz-TDS methods operating in transmission geometry to measure the optical properties of in vitro human skin equivalents with or without normal human melanocytes. Skin equivalents were cultured for three weeks to promote gradual melanogenesis, and THz time domain data were collected at various time intervals. Frequency-domain analysis techniques were performed to determine the index of refraction (n) and absorption coefficient (μa) for each skin sample over the frequency range of 0.1-2.0 THz. We found that for all samples as frequency increased, n decreased exponentially and the μa increased linearly. Additionally, we observed that skin samples with higher levels of melanin exhibited greater n and μa values than the non-pigmented samples. Our results indicate that melanocytes and the degree of melanin pigmentation contribute in an appreciable manner to the skin's optical properties. Future studies will be performed to examine whether these contributions are observed in human skin in vivo.

  11. Relationship of the eye uptake of N-isopropyl-p-(/sup 123/I)iodoamphetamine to melanin production

    SciTech Connect

    Holman, B.L.; Wick, M.M.; Kaplan, M.L.; Hill, T.C.; Lee, R.G.L.; Wu, J.; Lin, T.H.

    1984-03-01

    Eye uptake has been a potential concern with N-isopropyl-p-(/sup 123/I)iodoamphetamine (I-123 IMP) because it has been observed in certain animal species. The authors have investigated the cause of the eye uptake and its relationship to melanin synthesis. In a 1-yr-old cynomolgus monkey, high concentration of the tracer was seen in the eyes regardless of the type of anesthesia (pentobarbital or ketamine) or the oral administration of Lugol's solution. The eye uptake at 24 hr after injection of I-123 IMP was equally high in an 8-yr-old rhesus monkey. The ratio of radioactivity in the eye of black compared with white albino mice was 10:1 at 30 min, 18:1 at 2 hr and 36:1 at 24 hr after injection if I-123 IMP. No eye uptake above soft-tissue background was seen in five patients at 2, 24, and 48 hr after injection. I-123 IMP is avidly incorporated into melanocytes actively producing melanin, but substantially less in melanocytes where production of melanin has ceased as in the human eye.

  12. Targeted Disruption of Melanin Biosynthesis Genes in the Human Pathogenic Fungus Lomentospora prolificans and Its Consequences for Pathogen Survival

    PubMed Central

    Al-Laaeiby, Ayat; Kershaw, Michael J.; Penn, Tina J.; Thornton, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    The dematiaceous (melanised) fungus Lomentospora (Scedosporium) prolificans is a life-threatening opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised humans, resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Melanin has been shown to protect human pathogenic fungi against antifungal drugs, oxidative killing and environmental stresses. To determine the protective role of melanin in L. prolificans to oxidative killing (H2O2), UV radiation and the polyene anti-fungal drug amphotericin B, targeted gene disruption was used to generate mutants of the pathogen lacking the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthetic enzymes polyketide synthase (PKS1), tetrahydroxynapthalene reductase (4HNR) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1). Infectious propagules (spores) of the wild-type strain 3.1 were black/brown, whereas spores of the PKS-deficient mutant ΔLppks1::hph were white. Complementation of the albino mutant ΔLppks1::hph restored the black-brown spore pigmentation, while the 4HNR-deficient mutant ΔLp4hnr::hph and SCD-deficient mutant ΔLpscd1::hph both produced orange-yellow spores. The mutants ΔLppks1::hph and ΔLp4hnr::hph showed significant reductions in spore survival following H2O2 treatment, while spores of ΔLpscd1::hph and the ΔLppks1::hph complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to strain 3.1. Spores of the mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLpscd1::hph and complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to 3.1 following exposure to UV radiation, but survival of ΔLppks1::hph spores was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type strain. Strain 3.1 and mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLppks1::hph:PKS were resistant to amphotericin B while, paradoxically, the PKS1- and SCD1-deficient mutants showed significant increases in growth in the presence of the antifungal drug. Taken together, these results show that while melanin plays a protective role in the survival of the pathogen to oxidative killing and UV radiation, melanin does not contribute to

  13. Targeted Disruption of Melanin Biosynthesis Genes in the Human Pathogenic Fungus Lomentospora prolificans and Its Consequences for Pathogen Survival.

    PubMed

    Al-Laaeiby, Ayat; Kershaw, Michael J; Penn, Tina J; Thornton, Christopher R

    2016-01-01

    The dematiaceous (melanised) fungus Lomentospora (Scedosporium) prolificans is a life-threatening opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised humans, resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Melanin has been shown to protect human pathogenic fungi against antifungal drugs, oxidative killing and environmental stresses. To determine the protective role of melanin in L. prolificans to oxidative killing (H₂O₂), UV radiation and the polyene anti-fungal drug amphotericin B, targeted gene disruption was used to generate mutants of the pathogen lacking the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthetic enzymes polyketide synthase (PKS1), tetrahydroxynapthalene reductase (4HNR) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1). Infectious propagules (spores) of the wild-type strain 3.1 were black/brown, whereas spores of the PKS-deficient mutant ΔLppks1::hph were white. Complementation of the albino mutant ΔLppks1::hph restored the black-brown spore pigmentation, while the 4HNR-deficient mutant ΔLp4hnr::hph and SCD-deficient mutant ΔLpscd1::hph both produced orange-yellow spores. The mutants ΔLppks1::hph and ΔLp4hnr::hph showed significant reductions in spore survival following H₂O₂ treatment, while spores of ΔLpscd1::hph and the ΔLppks1::hph complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to strain 3.1. Spores of the mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLpscd1::hph and complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to 3.1 following exposure to UV radiation, but survival of ΔLppks1::hph spores was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type strain. Strain 3.1 and mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLppks1::hph:PKS were resistant to amphotericin B while, paradoxically, the PKS1- and SCD1-deficient mutants showed significant increases in growth in the presence of the antifungal drug. Taken together, these results show that while melanin plays a protective role in the survival of the pathogen to oxidative killing and UV radiation, melanin does not

  14. Within-male melanin-based plumage and bill elaboration in male house sparrows.

    PubMed

    Václav, Radovan

    2006-12-01

    If there is a cost to producing a dark color patch, the size of a patch may not correspond with its pigment concentration. The plumage of male house sparrows represents a case of dark, melanin-based ornamentation, but also a case of neglecting the composite nature of dark signals in birds. Here, I investigated what kind of associations exist between the brightness, chroma, and hue of dark integumentary patches and the size of a secondary sexual trait, the bib, in male house sparrows. I found that males with a larger bib also had a darker bib and bill, and a more saturated bib, bill, epaulets, head crown, and breast than small-bibbed males. Male bib coloration in terms of brightness and chroma was more strongly related to bib size than the coloration of other integumentary patches. However, with respect to hue, only the hue of the bill and cheeks was related to bib size. My results indicate that size, brightness, and chroma of the bib, but also chroma of other deeply colored patches, convey redundant information about the signaler's quality in male house sparrows. PMID:17261920

  15. Neurons containing orexin or melanin concentrating hormone reciprocally regulate wake and sleep

    PubMed Central

    Konadhode, Roda Rani; Pelluru, Dheeraj; Shiromani, Priyattam J.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons containing orexin (hypocretin), or melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) are intermingled with each other in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamus. Each is a separate and distinct neuronal population, but they project to similar target areas in the brain. Orexin has been implicated in regulating arousal since loss of orexin neurons is associated with the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Microinjections of orexin into the brain or optogenetic stimulation of orexin neurons increase waking. Orexin neurons are active in waking and quiescent in sleep, which is consistent with their role in promoting waking. On the other hand, the MCH neurons are quiet in waking but active in sleep, suggesting that they could initiate sleep. Recently, for the first time the MCH neurons were stimulated optogenetically and it increased sleep. Indeed, optogenetic activation of MCH neurons induced sleep in both mice and rats at a circadian time when they should be awake, indicating the powerful effect that MCH neurons have in suppressing the wake-promoting effect of not only orexin but also of all of the other arousal neurotransmitters. Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is coexpressed with MCH in the MCH neurons, although MCH is also inhibitory. The inhibitory tone of the MCH neurons is opposite to the excitatory tone of the orexin neurons. We hypothesize that strength in activity of each determines wake vs. sleep. PMID:25620917

  16. HIV-Associated Oral Mucosal Melanin Hyperpigmentation: A Clinical Study in a South African Population Sample

    PubMed Central

    Chandran, R.; Feller, L.; Lemmer, J.; Khammissa, R. A. G.

    2016-01-01

    Objective. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HIV-associated oral mucosal melanin hyperpigmentation (HIV-OMH) in a specific population of HIV-seropositive South Africans and to analyse the associations between HIV-OMH clinical features and the demographic and immunological characteristics of the study cohort. Material and Methods. This cross-sectional study included 200 HIV-seropositive Black subjects. The collected data comprised age, gender, CD4+ T cell count, viral load, systemic disease, medications, oral site affected by HIV-OMH, extent (localized or generalized), intensity of the pigmentation (dark or light), and smoking and snuff use. Results. Overall, 18.5% of the study cohort had HIV-OMH. Twenty-two and a half percent had OMH that could not with confidence be attributed to HIV infection, and 59% did not have any OMH. There was a significant but weak association between smoking and the presence of HIV-OMH. Conclusions. The prevalence of HIV-OMH in the study population was 18.5%, the gingiva being the most commonly affected site. It appears that the CD4+ T cell count does not play any role in the biopathology of HIV-OMH. PMID:27006825

  17. Deletion of Melanin Concentrating Hormone Receptor-1 disrupts overeating in the presence of food cues.

    PubMed

    Sherwood, Andrew; Holland, Peter C; Adamantidis, Antoine; Johnson, Alexander W

    2015-12-01

    Exposure to environmental cues associated with food can evoke eating behavior in the absence of hunger. This capacity for reward cues to promote feeding behaviors under sated conditions can be examined in the laboratory using cue-potentiated feeding (CPF). The orexigenic neuropeptide Melanin Concentrating Hormone (MCH) is expressed throughout brain circuitry critical for CPF. We examined whether deletion of the MCH receptor, MCH-1R, would in KO mice disrupt overeating in the presence of a Pavlovian CS+ associated with sucrose delivery. While both wild-type controls and KO mice showed comparable food magazine approach responses during the CPF test, MCH-1R deletion significantly impaired the ability of the CS+ to evoke overeating of sucrose under satiety. Through the use of a refined analysis of meal intake, it was revealed that this disruption to overeating behavior in KO mice reflected a reduction in the capacity for the CS+ to initiate and maintain bursts of licking behavior. These findings suggest that overeating during CPF requires intact MCH-1R signaling and may be due to an influence of the CS+ on the palatability of food and on regulatory mechanisms of peripheral control. Thus, disruptions to MCH-1R signaling may be a useful pharmacological tool to inhibit this form of overeating behavior. PMID:26048303

  18. Histamine inhibits the melanin-concentrating hormone system: implications for sleep and arousal

    PubMed Central

    Parks, Gregory S; Olivas, Nicholas D; Ikrar, Taruna; Sanathara, Nayna M; Wang, Lien; Wang, Zhiwei; Civelli, Olivier; Xu, Xiangmin

    2014-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-producing neurons are known to regulate a wide variety of physiological functions such as feeding, metabolism, anxiety and depression, and reward. Recent studies have revealed that MCH neurons receive projections from several wake-promoting brain regions and are integral to the regulation of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Here, we provide evidence in both rats and mice that MCH neurons express histamine-3 receptors (H3R), but not histamine-1 (H1R) or histamine-2 (H2R) receptors. Electrophysiological recordings in brain slices from a novel line of transgenic mice that specifically express the reporter ZsGreen in MCH neurons show that histamine strongly inhibits MCH neurons, an effect which is TTX insensitive, and blocked by the intracellular presence of GDP-β-S. A specific H3R agonist, α-methylhistamine, mimicks the inhibitory effects of histamine, and a specific neutral H3R antagonist, VUF 5681, blocks this effect. Tertiapin Q (TPQ), a G protein-dependent inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channel inhibitor, abolishes histaminergic inhibition of MCH neurons. These results indicate that histamine directly inhibits MCH neurons through H3R by activating GIRK channels and suggest that that inhibition of the MCH system by wake-active histaminergic neurons may be responsible for silencing MCH neurons during wakefulness and thus may be directly involved in the regulation of sleep and arousal. PMID:24639485

  19. Histamine inhibits the melanin-concentrating hormone system: implications for sleep and arousal.

    PubMed

    Parks, Gregory S; Olivas, Nicholas D; Ikrar, Taruna; Sanathara, Nayna M; Wang, Lien; Wang, Zhiwei; Civelli, Olivier; Xu, Xiangmin

    2014-05-15

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-producing neurons are known to regulate a wide variety of physiological functions such as feeding, metabolism, anxiety and depression, and reward. Recent studies have revealed that MCH neurons receive projections from several wake-promoting brain regions and are integral to the regulation of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Here, we provide evidence in both rats and mice that MCH neurons express histamine-3 receptors (H3R), but not histamine-1 (H1R) or histamine-2 (H2R) receptors. Electrophysiological recordings in brain slices from a novel line of transgenic mice that specifically express the reporter ZsGreen in MCH neurons show that histamine strongly inhibits MCH neurons, an effect which is TTX insensitive, and blocked by the intracellular presence of GDP-β-S. A specific H3R agonist, α-methylhistamine, mimicks the inhibitory effects of histamine, and a specific neutral H3R antagonist, VUF 5681, blocks this effect. Tertiapin Q (TPQ), a G protein-dependent inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channel inhibitor, abolishes histaminergic inhibition of MCH neurons. These results indicate that histamine directly inhibits MCH neurons through H3R by activating GIRK channels and suggest that that inhibition of the MCH system by wake-active histaminergic neurons may be responsible for silencing MCH neurons during wakefulness and thus may be directly involved in the regulation of sleep and arousal. PMID:24639485

  20. Mechanisms Relevant to the Enhanced Virulence of a Dihydroxynaphthalene-Melanin Metabolically Engineered Entomopathogen

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Min-Nan; Chung, Chia-Ling; Tzean, Shean-Shong

    2014-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae MA05-169 is a transformant strain that has been metabolically engineered to express dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin biosynthesis genes. In contrast to the wild type strain, the transformant displays a greater resistance to environmental stress and a higher virulence toward target insect host. However, the underlying mechanisms for these characteristics remain unclear; hence experiments were initiated to explore the possible mechanism(s) through physiological and molecular approaches. Although both transformant and wild type strains could infect and share the same insect host range, the former germinated faster and produced more appressoria than the latter, both in vivo and in vitro. The transformant showed a significantly shorter median lethal time (LT50) when infecting the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and the striped flea beetle (Phyllotreta striolata), than the wild type. Additionally, the transformant was more tolerant to reactive oxygen species (ROS), produced 40-fold more orthosporin and notably overexpressed the transcripts of the pathogenicity-relevant hydrolytic enzymes (chitinase, protease, and phospholipase) genes in vivo. In contrast, appressorium turgor pressure and destruxin A content were slightly decreased compared to the wild type. The transformant's high anti-stress tolerance, its high virulence against five important insect pests (cowpea aphid Aphis craccivora, diamondback moth Pl. xylostella, striped flea beetle Ph. striolata, and silverleaf whitefly Bemisia argentifolii) and its capacity to colonize the root system are key properties for its potential bio-control field application. PMID:24662974

  1. HIV-Associated Oral Mucosal Melanin Hyperpigmentation: A Clinical Study in a South African Population Sample.

    PubMed

    Chandran, R; Feller, L; Lemmer, J; Khammissa, R A G

    2016-01-01

    Objective. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HIV-associated oral mucosal melanin hyperpigmentation (HIV-OMH) in a specific population of HIV-seropositive South Africans and to analyse the associations between HIV-OMH clinical features and the demographic and immunological characteristics of the study cohort. Material and Methods. This cross-sectional study included 200 HIV-seropositive Black subjects. The collected data comprised age, gender, CD4+ T cell count, viral load, systemic disease, medications, oral site affected by HIV-OMH, extent (localized or generalized), intensity of the pigmentation (dark or light), and smoking and snuff use. Results. Overall, 18.5% of the study cohort had HIV-OMH. Twenty-two and a half percent had OMH that could not with confidence be attributed to HIV infection, and 59% did not have any OMH. There was a significant but weak association between smoking and the presence of HIV-OMH. Conclusions. The prevalence of HIV-OMH in the study population was 18.5%, the gingiva being the most commonly affected site. It appears that the CD4+ T cell count does not play any role in the biopathology of HIV-OMH. PMID:27006825

  2. Development of a sensitive solid-phase radioimmunoassay for melanin-concentrating hormone

    SciTech Connect

    Eberle, A.N.; Baumann, J.B.; Girard, J. ); Baker, B.I.; Kishida, M. )

    1989-01-01

    A two-step solid-phase radioimmunoassay for melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) was developed for direct determination of the hormone in plasma samples. To this end, synthetic MCH was coupled to bovine thyreoglobulin and the complex was injected into rabbits. Specific antisera of high titer were obtained which did not crossreact with other hormones. The IgGs were chemically linked to immunobeads, an acrylamide/acrylic acid polymer matrix. In the first step, plasma MCH was immunoextracted by incubation of diluted plasma samples with anti-MCH immunobeads. In the second step, the washed polymer was incubated with radioiodinated MCH tracer for titration of non-occupied sites. This procedure made it possible to determine as little as 4 pg MCH per ml of plasma. Application of the radioimmunoassay to plasma levels of black or white background-adapted trout showed a marked difference in circulating MCH: while trout on a black background contained a mean value of 29 {plus minus} 5.6 pg/ml, animals on a white background had 106 {plus minus} 19 pg/ml.

  3. Melanin-concentrating hormone: unique peptide neuronal systems in the rat brain and pituitary gland

    SciTech Connect

    Zamir, N.; Skofitsch, G.; Bannon, M.J.; Jacobowitz, D.M.

    1986-03-01

    A unique neuronal system was detected in the rat central nervous system by immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay with antibodies to salmon melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH). MCH-like immunoreactive (MCH-LI) cell bodies were confined to the hypothalamus. MCH-LI fibers were found throughout the brain but were most prevalent in hypothalamus, mesencephalon, and pons-medulla regions. High concentrations of MCH-LI were measured in the hypothalamic medial forebrain bundle (MFB), posterior hypothalamic nucleus, and nucleus of the diagonal band. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography of MFB extracts from rat brain indicate that MCH-like peptide from the rat has a different retention time than that of the salmon MCH. An osmotic stimuls (2% NaCl as drinking water for 120 hr) caused a marked increase in MCH-LI concentrations in the lateral hypothalamus and neurointermediate lobe. The present studies establish the presence of MCH-like peptide in the rat brain. The MCH-LI neuronal system is well situated to coordinate complex functions such as regulation of water intake.

  4. Melanin-concentrating hormone is necessary for olanzapine-inhibited locomotor activity in male mice.

    PubMed

    Chee, Melissa J S; Douris, Nicholas; Forrow, Avery B; Monnard, Arnaud; Lu, Shuangyu; Flaherty, Stephen E; Adams, Andrew C; Maratos-Flier, Eleftheria

    2015-10-01

    Olanzapine (OLZ), an atypical antipsychotic, can be effective in treating patients with restricting type anorexia nervosa who exercise excessively. Clinical improvements include weight gain and reduced pathological hyperactivity. However the neuronal populations and mechanisms underlying OLZ actions are not known. We studied the effects of OLZ on hyperactivity using male mice lacking the hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCHKO) that are lean and hyperactive. We compared the in vivo effects of systemic or intra-accumbens nucleus (Acb) OLZ administration on locomotor activity in WT and MCHKO littermates. Acute systemic OLZ treatment in WT mice significantly reduced locomotor activity, an effect that is substantially attenuated in MCHKO mice. Furthermore, OLZ infusion directly into the Acb of WT mice reduced locomotor activity, but not in MCHKO mice. To identify contributing neuronal mechanisms, we assessed the effect of OLZ treatment on Acb synaptic transmission ex vivo and in vitro. Intraperitoneal OLZ treatment reduced Acb GABAergic activity in WT but not MCHKO neurons. This effect was also seen in vitro by applying OLZ to acute brain slices. OLZ reduced the frequency and amplitude of GABAergic activity that was more robust in WT than MCHKO Acb. These findings indicate that OLZ reduced Acb GABAergic transmission and that MCH is necessary for the hypolocomotor effects of OLZ. PMID:26092201

  5. Internal dosimetry through GATE simulations of preclinical radiotherapy using a melanin-targeting ligand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrot, Y.; Degoul, F.; Auzeloux, P.; Bonnet, M.; Cachin, F.; Chezal, J. M.; Donnarieix, D.; Labarre, P.; Moins, N.; Papon, J.; Rbah-Vidal, L.; Vidal, A.; Miot-Noirault, E.; Maigne, L.

    2014-05-01

    The GATE Monte Carlo simulation platform based on the Geant4 toolkit is under constant improvement for dosimetric calculations. In this study, we explore its use for the dosimetry of the preclinical targeted radiotherapy of melanoma using a new specific melanin-targeting radiotracer labeled with iodine 131. Calculated absorbed fractions and S values for spheres and murine models (digital and CT-scan-based mouse phantoms) are compared between GATE and EGSnrc Monte Carlo codes considering monoenergetic electrons and the detailed energy spectrum of iodine 131. The behavior of Geant4 standard and low energy models is also tested. Following the different authors’ guidelines concerning the parameterization of electron physics models, this study demonstrates an agreement of 1.2% and 1.5% with EGSnrc, respectively, for the calculation of S values for small spheres and mouse phantoms. S values calculated with GATE are then used to compute the dose distribution in organs of interest using the activity distribution in mouse phantoms. This study gives the dosimetric data required for the translation of the new treatment to the clinic.

  6. Anti-melanin-concentrating hormone treatment attenuates chronic experimental colitis and fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Ziogas, Dimitrios C; Gras-Miralles, Beatriz; Mustafa, Sarah; Geiger, Brenda M; Najarian, Robert M; Nagel, Jutta M; Flier, Sarah N; Popov, Yury; Tseng, Yu-Hua; Kokkotou, Efi

    2013-05-15

    Fibrosis represents a major complication of several chronic diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Treatment of IBD remains a clinical challenge despite several recent therapeutic advances. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide shown to regulate appetite and energy balance. However, accumulating evidence suggests that MCH has additional biological effects, including modulation of inflammation. In the present study, we examined the efficacy of an MCH-blocking antibody in treating established, dextran sodium sulfate-induced experimental colitis. Histological and molecular analysis of mouse tissues revealed that mice receiving anti-MCH had accelerated mucosal restitution and lower colonic expression of several proinflammatory cytokines, as well as fibrogenic genes, including COL1A1. In parallel, they spared collagen deposits seen in the untreated mice, suggesting attenuated fibrosis. These findings raised the possibility of perhaps direct effects of MCH on myofibroblasts. Indeed, in biopsies from patients with IBD, we demonstrate expression of the MCH receptor MCHR1 in α-smooth muscle actin(+) subepithelial cells. CCD-18Co cells, a primary human colonic myofibroblast cell line, were also positive for MCHR1. In these cells, MCH acted as a profibrotic modulator by potentiating the effects of IGF-1 and TGF-β on proliferation and collagen production. Thus, by virtue of combined anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects, blocking MCH might represent a compelling approach for treating IBD. PMID:23538494

  7. Melanin-concentrating hormone induces insulin resistance through a mechanism independent of body weight gain.

    PubMed

    Pereira-da-Silva, Márcio; De Souza, Cláudio T; Gasparetti, Alessandra L; Saad, Mário J A; Velloso, Lício A

    2005-07-01

    Transgenic hyperexpression of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) produces a phenotype of obesity and glucose intolerance. However, it is not known whether under this specific condition, glucose intolerance develops as a direct consequence of hyperexpressed MCH or is secondary to increased adiposity. Here, rats were treated i.c.v. with MCH or with an antisense oligonucleotide to MCH (MCH-ASO). MCH promoted an increase in blood glucose and a decrease in blood insulin levels during a glucose tolerance test. MCH also caused a decrease in the constant of glucose disappearance during an insulin tolerance test. All these effects of MCH were independent of body weight variation and were accompanied by reduced insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1 engagement of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3-kinase) in white and brown adipose tissues, skeletal muscle and liver and by reduced Akt activation in skeletal muscle. MCH also led to a significant reduction in ERK activation in white adipose tissue. Finally, inhibition of hypothalamic MCH expression promoted a significant increase in ERK activation in brown adipose tissue. We conclude that hypothalamic MCH controls glucose homeostasis through mechanisms that are, at least in part, independent of adiposity. PMID:16002548

  8. Melanin-Like Nanoquencher on Graphitic Carbon Nitride Nanosheets for Tyrosinase Activity and Inhibitor Assay.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin-Wen; Wang, Yu-Min; Xu, Liu; Duan, Lu-Ying; Tang, Hao; Yu, Ru-Qin; Jiang, Jian-Hui

    2016-09-01

    Graphitic C3N4 (g-C3N4) nanosheets are a type of emerging graphene-like carbon-based nanomaterials with high fluorescence and large specific surface areas that hold great potential for biosensor applications. However, current g-C3N4 based biosensors have prevailingly been limited to coordination with metal ions, and it is of great significance to develop new designs for g-C3N4 nanosheets based biosensors toward biomarkers of general interest. We report the development of a novel g-C3N4 nanosheet-based nanosensor strategy for highly sensitive, single-step and label-free detection of tyrosinase (TYR) activity and its inhibitor. This strategy relies on the catalytic oxidation of tyrosine by TYR into melanin-like polymers, which form a nanoassembly on the g-C3N4 nanosheets and quench their fluorescence. This strategy was demonstrated to provide excellent selectivity and superior sensitivity and to enable rapid screening for TYR inhibitors. Therefore, the developed approach might create a useful platform for diagnostics and drugs screening for TYR-based diseases including melanoma cancer. PMID:27417635

  9. Modulation effects of sweroside isolated from the Lonicera japonica on melanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Yong Tae; Jeong, Sang Chul; Hwang, Jae Sung; Kim, Jin Hee

    2015-08-01

    In the course of screening for the melanogenesis inhibitors, sweroside was isolated from Lonicera japonica. Its chemical structure was determined on the basis of spectroscopic analysis, including mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. Sweroside inhibited potent melanogenesis in melan-a cells at 300μM without cytotoxicity. Also, sweroside decreased tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1) and TRP-2 protein production in melan a cells. To identify the signaling pathway of sweroside, the ability of sweroside to influence Akt and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) activation was investigated. Sweroside induced Akt and ERK in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the specific inhibition of the Akt and ERK signaling pathways were studied by specific inhibitor LY294002 and U0126, respectively and it was causing the increased melanin synthesis. Furthermore, sweroside presented inhibition of the body pigmentation and tyrosinase activity in zebrafish in vivo model. These results suggest that sweroside isolated from L. japonica may be an effective skin-whitening agent through the regulates the expression of MAP kinase and melanogenic enzymes. PMID:26051519

  10. Internal dosimetry through GATE simulations of preclinical radiotherapy using a melanin-targeting ligand.

    PubMed

    Perrot, Y; Degoul, F; Auzeloux, P; Bonnet, M; Cachin, F; Chezal, J M; Donnarieix, D; Labarre, P; Moins, N; Papon, J; Rbah-Vidal, L; Vidal, A; Miot-Noirault, E; Maigne, L

    2014-05-01

    The GATE Monte Carlo simulation platform based on the Geant4 toolkit is under constant improvement for dosimetric calculations. In this study, we explore its use for the dosimetry of the preclinical targeted radiotherapy of melanoma using a new specific melanin-targeting radiotracer labeled with iodine 131. Calculated absorbed fractions and S values for spheres and murine models (digital and CT-scan-based mouse phantoms) are compared between GATE and EGSnrc Monte Carlo codes considering monoenergetic electrons and the detailed energy spectrum of iodine 131. The behavior of Geant4 standard and low energy models is also tested. Following the different authors' guidelines concerning the parameterization of electron physics models, this study demonstrates an agreement of 1.2% and 1.5% with EGSnrc, respectively, for the calculation of S values for small spheres and mouse phantoms. S values calculated with GATE are then used to compute the dose distribution in organs of interest using the activity distribution in mouse phantoms. This study gives the dosimetric data required for the translation of the new treatment to the clinic. PMID:24710744

  11. Accumulation of 14C-5,6-dihydroxytryptamine-melanin in intrathecal and subependymal phagocytes of the rat CNS and possible routes of their elimination from brain

    SciTech Connect

    Baumgarten, H.G.; Moritz, F.; Schlossberger, H.G.

    1981-01-01

    14C-5,6-DHT-Melanin, a labelled synthetic polymer resembling the naturally occurring melanin formed in brain by autoxidation of dopamine, was injected into the left lateral ventricle of adult rats, and its fate followed by autoradiography and by transmission electron microscopy of structures identified as labelled in preceding light micrographs, and by EM-autoradiography. Shortly after injection, melanin particles (easily identified in the em because of their size, structure and electron opacity) were seen ingested by supraependymal and epiplexus cells, by cells residing in the piaarachnoid, i.e. free subarachnoidal cells and perivascular cells, and by subependymally located microglia-like cells with intraventricular processes. Up to day four, an increase in the number of labelled phagocytes in the CSF was noted which transformed into typical reactive macrophages. Beyond this time, many intraventricular melanin-loaded phagocytes formed rounded clusters; cells of such clusters were subsequently found to invade the brain parenchyma by penetrating the ependymal lining and to accumulate in the perivascular space of brain vessels. 14C-Melanin-storing macrophages were found in the marginal sinus of the deep jugular lymph nodes suggesting emigration of CNS-derived phagocytes via lymphatics or prelymphatics that contact the subarachnoidal space compartment. This does not exclude the possibility that some of the macrophages leave the brain via the systemic circulation by penetrating the vascular endothelium; these may be disposed of in peripheral organs other than the lymph nodes.

  12. Identification and function of a polyketide synthase gene responsible for 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin pigment biosynthesis in Ascochyta rabiei.

    PubMed

    Akamatsu, Hajime O; Chilvers, Martin I; Stewart, Jane E; Peever, Tobin L

    2010-08-01

    Ascochyta rabiei produces and accumulates one of the well-known fungal polyketides, 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin pigment (DHN-melanin), in asexual and sexual fruiting bodies. Degenerate PCR primers were used to isolate an ArPKS1 of A. rabiei encoding a polypeptide with high similarity to polyketide synthase (PKS) involved in biosynthesis of DHN-melanin in other ascomycetous fungi. Site-directed mutagenesis of ArPKS1 in A. rabiei generated melanin-deficient pycnidial mutants but caused no significant reduction of pathogenicity to chickpea. Pycnidiospores in ArPKS1-mutant pycnidia showed higher sensitivity to UV light exposure compared to pycnidiospores in melanized pycnidia of the wild-type progenitor isolate. Integration of an orthologous PKS1 gene from Bipolaris oryzae into the genome of the mutants complemented the dysfunctional ArPKS1 gene. This study demonstrated that A. rabiei uses a DHN-melanin pathway for pigmentation of pycnidia and this molecule may protect pycnidiospores from UV irradiation. PMID:20473673

  13. Melanin-Concentrating Hormone (MCH): Role in REM Sleep and Depression

    PubMed Central

    Torterolo, Pablo; Scorza, Cecilia; Lagos, Patricia; Urbanavicius, Jessika; Benedetto, Luciana; Pascovich, Claudia; López-Hill, Ximena; Chase, Michael H.; Monti, Jaime M.

    2015-01-01

    The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a peptidergic neuromodulator synthesized by neurons of the lateral sector of the posterior hypothalamus and zona incerta. MCHergic neurons project throughout the central nervous system, including areas such as the dorsal (DR) and median (MR) raphe nuclei, which are involved in the control of sleep and mood. Major Depression (MD) is a prevalent psychiatric disease diagnosed on the basis of symptomatic criteria such as sadness or melancholia, guilt, irritability, and anhedonia. A short REM sleep latency (i.e., the interval between sleep onset and the first REM sleep period), as well as an increase in the duration of REM sleep and the density of rapid-eye movements during this state, are considered important biological markers of depression. The fact that the greatest firing rate of MCHergic neurons occurs during REM sleep and that optogenetic stimulation of these neurons induces sleep, tends to indicate that MCH plays a critical role in the generation and maintenance of sleep, especially REM sleep. In addition, the acute microinjection of MCH into the DR promotes REM sleep, while immunoneutralization of this peptide within the DR decreases the time spent in this state. Moreover, microinjections of MCH into either the DR or MR promote a depressive-like behavior. In the DR, this effect is prevented by the systemic administration of antidepressant drugs (either fluoxetine or nortriptyline) and blocked by the intra-DR microinjection of a specific MCH receptor antagonist. Using electrophysiological and microdialysis techniques we demonstrated also that MCH decreases the activity of serotonergic DR neurons. Therefore, there are substantive experimental data suggesting that the MCHergic system plays a role in the control of REM sleep and, in addition, in the pathophysiology of depression. Consequently, in the present report, we summarize and evaluate the current data and hypotheses related to the role of MCH in REM sleep and MD

  14. The Melanin-Concentrating Hormone (MCH) System in an Animal Model of Depression-Like Behavior

    PubMed Central

    García-Fuster, M.J.; Parks, G.S.; Clinton, S.M.; Watson, S.J.; Akil, H.; Civelli, O.

    2011-01-01

    Selective breeding for divergence in locomotion in a novel environment (bHR, bred High-Responder; bLR, bred Low-Responder) correlates with stress-reactivity, spontaneous anxiety-like behaviors and predicts vulnerability in a rodent model of depression. Identifying genetic factors that may account for such vulnerability are key determinants not only for the illness outcome but also for the development of better-tailored treatment options. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide that exhibits some of the hallmarks of a regulator of affective states. The aim of this study was to ascertain the role of the MCH system in depression-like behaviors in bHR vs. bLR rats. bLR rats showed a 44% increase in hypothalamic pMCH mRNA and a 14% decrease in hippocampal CA1 MCH1R mRNA when compared to bHR rats. Interestingly, the amount of time that rats spent immobile in the FST (depressive-like behavior) correlated positively with the amount of hypothalamic pMCH mRNA and negatively with that of hippocampal CA1 MCH1R. The results indicate that the bLR-bHR is a useful rat model to investigate individual basal genetic differences that participate in the monitoring of emotional responsiveness (i.e., depression- and anxiety-like behaviors). They also point to the MCH system (i.e., chronically higher pMCH expression and consequently receptor down-regulation) as a candidate biomarker for the severity of depressive-like behavior. The data indicate that MCH1R participates in the modulation of depression-like behavior through a process that involves the CA1 region of the hippocampus, supporting the possible use of MCH1R antagonists in the treatment of depression. PMID:22209364

  15. Chronic Loss of Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Affects Motivational Aspects of Feeding in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Mul, Joram D.; la Fleur, Susanne E.; Toonen, Pim W.; Afrasiab-Middelman, Anthonieke; Binnekade, Rob; Schetters, Dustin; Verheij, Michel M. M.; Sears, Robert M.; Homberg, Judith R.; Schoffelmeer, Anton N. M.; Adan, Roger A. H.; DiLeone, Ralph J.; De Vries, Taco J.; Cuppen, Edwin

    2011-01-01

    Current epidemic obesity levels apply great medical and financial pressure to the strenuous economy of obesity-prone cultures, and neuropeptides involved in body weight regulation are regarded as attractive targets for a possible treatment of obesity in humans. The lateral hypothalamus and the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) form a hypothalamic-limbic neuropeptide feeding circuit mediated by Melanin-Concentrating Hormone (MCH). MCH promotes feeding behavior via MCH receptor-1 (MCH1R) in the AcbSh, although this relationship has not been fully characterized. Given the AcbSh mediates reinforcing properties of food, we hypothesized that MCH modulates motivational aspects of feeding. Here we show that chronic loss of the rat MCH-precursor Pmch decreased food intake predominantly via a reduction in meal size during rat development and reduced high-fat food-reinforced operant responding in adult rats. Moreover, acute AcbSh administration of Neuropeptide-GE and Neuropeptide-EI (NEI), both additional neuropeptides derived from Pmch, or chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of NEI, did not affect feeding behavior in adult pmch+/+ or pmch−/− rats. However, acute administration of MCH to the AcbSh of adult pmch−/− rats elevated feeding behavior towards wild type levels. Finally, adult pmch−/− rats showed increased ex vivo electrically evoked dopamine release and increased limbic dopamine transporter levels, indicating that chronic loss of Pmch in the rat affects the limbic dopamine system. Our findings support the MCH-MCH1R system as an amplifier of consummatory behavior, confirming this system as a possible target for the treatment of obesity. We propose that MCH-mediated signaling in the AcbSh positively mediates motivational aspects of feeding behavior. Thereby it provides a crucial signal by which hypothalamic neural circuits control energy balance and guide limbic brain areas to enhance motivational or incentive-related aspects of food consumption. PMID

  16. Identification of Neuropeptide Receptors Expressed by Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Parks, Gregory S.; Wang, Lien; Wang, Zhiwei; Civelli, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating Hormone (MCH) is a 19 amino acid cyclic neuropeptide that acts in rodents via the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) to regulate a wide variety of physiological functions. MCH is produced by a distinct population of neurons located in the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and zona incerta (ZI) but MCHR1 mRNA is widely expressed throughout the brain. The physiological responses and behaviors regulated by the MCH system have been investigated, but less is known about how MCH neurons are regulated. The effects of most classical neurotransmitters on MCH neurons have been studied, but those of neuropeptides are poorly understood. In order to gain insight into how neuropeptides regulate the MCH system, we investigated which neuropeptide receptors are expressed by MCH neurons using double in situ hybridization. In all, twenty receptors, selected based upon either a suspected interaction with the MCH system or demonstrated high expression levels in the LH and ZI, were tested to determine whether they are expressed by MCH neurons. Overall, eleven neuropeptide receptors were found to exhibit significant colocalization with MCH neurons: Nociceptin / Orphanin FQ Opioid receptor (NOP), MCHR1, both Orexin receptors (ORX), Somatostatin receptor 1 and 2 (SSTR1, SSTR2), the Kisspeptin receotor (KissR1), Neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1), Neuropeptide S receptor (NPSR), Cholecystokinin receptor A (CCKAR) and the κ-opioid receptor (KOR). Of these receptors, six have never before been linked to the MCH system. Surprisingly, several receptors thought to regulate MCH neurons displayed minimal colocalization with MCH, suggesting that they may not directly regulate the MCH system. PMID:24978951

  17. Mate choice for more melanin as a mechanism to maintain a functional oncogene

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, André A.; Morris, Molly R.

    2008-01-01

    The mechanisms by which cancer evolves and persists in natural systems have been difficult to ascertain. In the Xiphophorus melanoma model, a functional oncogene (Xiphophorus melanoma receptor kinase Xmrk) has been maintained for several million years despite being deleterious and in an extremely unstable genomic region. Melanomas in Xiphophorus spp. fishes (platyfishes and swordtails) have been investigated since the 1920s, and, yet, positive selection that could explain the maintenance of Xmrk has not been found. Here, we show that Xiphophorus cortezi females from two populations prefer males with the spotted caudal (Sc) melanin pattern, which is associated with the presence of the Xmrk oncogene and serves as the site of melanoma formation within this species. Moreover, X. cortezi females prefer males with an enhanced Sc to males with a reduced Sc pattern. RT-PCR analysis confirms tissue-specific Xmrk expression within the Sc pattern in X. cortezi. Because of the association of Xmrk with the Sc pigment pattern and the fact that melanoma formation augments this visual signal, sexual selection appears to be maintaining this oncogene because of a mating preference for Sc, as well as the exaggeration of this male trait. At the individual level, decreases in viability and fecundity because of Xmrk and subsequent melanoma formation may be mitigated via increases in mate acquisition. At the population level, maintenance of this oncogene appears to be under frequency dependent selection, as we detected female preference for males without Sc in a third population that had higher frequencies of Sc in females. PMID:18757731

  18. Dynamic thermal effects of epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles during photoacoustic breast imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghassemi, Pejhman; Wang, Quanzeng; Pfefer, T. Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Photoacoustic Tomography (PAT) employs high-power near-infrared (near-IR) laser pulses to generate structural and functional information on tissue chromophores up to several centimeters below the surface. Such insights may facilitate detection of breast cancer - the most common cancer in women. PAT mammography has been the subject of extensive research, including techniques based on exogenous agents for PAT contrast enhancement and molecular specificity. However, photothermal safety risks of PAT due to strong chromophores such as epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles have not been rigorously studied. We have used computational and experimental approaches to elucidate highly dynamic optical-thermal processes during PAT. A Monte Carlo model was used to simulate light propagation at 800 and 1064 nm in a multi-layer breast tissue geometry with different epidermal pigmentation levels and a tumorsimulating inclusion incorporating nanoparticles. Energy deposition results were then used in a bioheat transfer model to simulate temperature transients. Experimental measurements involved multi-layer hydrogel phantoms with inclusions incorporating gold nanoparticles. Phantom optical properties were measured using the inverse adding-doubling technique. Thermal imaging was performed as phantoms were irradiated with 5 ns near-IR pulses. Scenarios using 10 Hz laser irradiation of breast tissue containing various nanoparticle concentrations were implemented experimentally and computationally. Laser exposure levels were based on ANSI/IEC limits. Surface temperature measurements were compared to corresponding simulation data. In general, the effect of highly pigmented skin on temperature rise was significant, whereas unexpectedly small levels of temperature rise during nanoparticle irradiation were attributed to rapid photodegradation. Results provide key initial insights into light-tissue interactions impacting the safety and effectiveness of PAT.

  19. Expression of tilapia prepro-melanin-concentrating hormone mRNA in hypothalamic and neurohypophysial cells.

    PubMed

    Gröneveld, D; Eckhardt, E R; Coenen, A J; Martens, G J; Balm, P H; Wendelaar Bonga, S E

    1995-04-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide involved in background adaptation in teleost fish, and in multiple regulatory functions in mammals and fish. To study the expression of the MCH preprohormone (ppMCH) in teleosts, we first cloned a hypothalamic cDNA encoding the complete ppMCH of tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus), and a cRNA probe derived from a 270 bp ppMCH cDNA fragment was used for the expression studies. The level of ppMCH mRNA expression in tilapia hypothalamus, measured by dot blot analysis, was significantly higher in fish adapted to a white background than in black-adapted animals, which is in accordance with the reported MCH plasma and tissue concentrations in fish. Northern blot analysis not only revealed a strong ppMCH mRNA signal in the hypothalamus, but also the presence of ppMCH mRNA in the neurointermediate lobe (NIL) of the pituitary. In situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry showed that ppMCH mRNA as well as MCH immunoreactivity are located in perikarya of two hypothalamic regions, namely in the nucleus lateralis tuberis (NLT) and the nucleus recessus lateralis (NRL). Quantitative analysis by dot blot hybridization revealed about eight times more ppMCH mRNA in the NLT than in the NRL and NIL of mature tilapias. ppMCH mRNA in the NIL could be localized to cell bodies of the neurohypophysis, which were also MCH immunoreactive. PMID:7619209

  20. Ultrastructure: effects of melanin pigment on target specificity using a pulsed dye laser (577 nm)

    SciTech Connect

    Tong, A.K.; Tan, O.T.; Boll, J.; Parrish, J.A.; Murphy, G.F.

    1987-06-01

    It has been shown recently that brief pulses of 577 nm radiation from the tunable dye laser are absorbed selectively by oxyhemoglobin. This absorption is associated with highly specific damage to superficial vascular plexus blood vessels in those with lightly pigmented (type I-II) skin. To determine whether pigmentary differences in the overlying epidermis influence this target specificity, we exposed both type I (fair) and type V (dark) normal human skin to varying radiant exposure doses over 1.5-microsecond pulse durations from the tunable dye laser at a wavelength of 577 nm. Using ultrastructural techniques, we found in type I skin that even clinical subthreshold laser exposures caused reproducible alterations of erythrocytes and adjacent dermal vascular endothelium without comparable damage to the overlying epidermis. In contrast, degenerated epidermal basal cells represented the predominant form of cellular damage after laser exposure of type V skin at comparable doses. We conclude that epidermal melanin and vascular hemoglobin are competing sites for 577 nm laser absorption and damage, and that the target specificity of the 577 nm tunable dye laser is therefore influenced by variations in epidermal pigmentation. This finding is relevant to the clinical application of the tunable dye laser in the ablative treatment of vascular lesions. We also found on ultrastructure that the presence of electron-lucent circular structures of approximately 800 A in diameter were observed only at and above clinical threshold doses in those with type I skin and at the highest dose of 2.75 J/cm2 in type V skin. It has been proposed that these structures might be heat-fixed molds of water vapor. Both this and ultrastructural changes of epidermal basal cells demonstrate mechanisms responsible for alteration of tissue after exposure to 577 nm, which are discussed.

  1. Sleep architecture and homeostasis in mice with partial ablation of melanin-concentrating hormone neurons.

    PubMed

    Varin, Christophe; Arthaud, Sébastien; Salvert, Denise; Gay, Nadine; Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Léger, Lucienne; Fort, Patrice

    2016-02-01

    Recent reports support a key role of tuberal hypothalamic neurons secreting melanin concentrating-hormone (MCH) in the promotion of Paradoxical Sleep (PS). Controversies remain concerning their concomitant involvement in Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS). We studied the effects of their selective loss achieved by an Ataxin 3-mediated ablation strategy to decipher the contribution of MCH neurons to SWS and/or PS. Polysomnographic recordings were performed on male adult transgenic mice expressing Ataxin-3 transgene within MCH neurons (MCH(Atax)) and their wild-type littermates (MCH(WT)) bred on two genetic backgrounds (FVB/N and C57BL/6). Compared to MCH(WT) mice, MCH(Atax) mice were characterized by a significant drop in MCH mRNAs (-70%), a partial loss of MCH-immunoreactive neurons (-30%) and a marked reduction in brain density of MCH-immunoreactive fibers. Under basal condition, such MCH(Atax) mice exhibited higher PS amounts during the light period and a pronounced SWS fragmentation without any modification of SWS quantities. Moreover, SWS and PS rebounds following 4-h total sleep deprivation were quantitatively similar in MCH(Atax)vs. MCH(WT) mice. Additionally, MCH(Atax) mice were unable to consolidate SWS and increase slow-wave activity (SWA) in response to this homeostatic challenge as observed in MCH(WT) littermates. Here, we show that the partial loss of MCH neurons is sufficient to disturb the fine-tuning of sleep. Our data provided new insights into their contribution to subtle process managing SWS quality and its efficiency rather than SWS quantities, as evidenced by the deleterious impact on two powerful markers of sleep depth, i.e., SWS consolidation/fragmentation and SWA intensity under basal condition and under high sleep pressure. PMID:26529469

  2. The effect of preparation procedures on the morphology of melanin from the ink sac of Sepia officinalis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yan; Simon, John D

    2003-02-01

    The structure of melanin extracted from the ink sac of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis was examined for different methods of isolation and purification of the pigment. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of Sepia eumelanin prepared by different procedures establish that multi-microm-sized aggregates reported by previous workers are generated by their sample preparation, and that the dominant constituents of Sepia melanin are approximately 150 nm spherical granules. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) measurements reveal that Sepia eumelanin from Sigma (prepared by spray drying the pigment) has a surface area of 14.3 m2/g. Pigment extracted directly from the fresh ink sac and then freeze-dried has a surface area of 21.5 m2/g, while CO2-supercritically dried has a surface area of 37.5 m2/g. This is consistent with SEM images showing that the process of freeze-drying produces aggregates, but to a lesser extent than spray drying. Supercritical drying of the sample produces suspensions of the individual approximately 150 nm granule, which is more reflective of the natural pigment. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area analysis and Barrett-Joyner-Halenda (BJH) pore volume analysis indicate that the surface of the granules is not smooth and the interior of the granules is not porous, but rather the aggregates of granules are porous. Ultra-high resolution SEM and atomic force microscopy (AFM) images show the granules are easily deformed and are comprised of smaller constituents. De-aggregation of the granules by sonication and ultra-filtration reveal a range of structures depending on the pore size of the membrane used. The implications of these results on quantifying photochemical properties and kinetic reaction rate constants of melanin are discussed. PMID:12519128

  3. Microinjection of the melanin-concentrating hormone into the sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus inhibits REM sleep in the rat.

    PubMed

    Monti, Jaime M; Torterolo, Pablo; Jantos, Héctor; Lagos, Patricia

    2016-09-01

    A study was performed on the effects of local microinjection of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) into the right sublaterodorsal tegmental nucleus (SLD) on sleep and wakefulness in rats prepared for chronic sleep recordings. MCH 200ng significantly decreased rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) time during the first and second 2-h of the recording period which was related to the reduction of the number of REMS periods and the increase of REMS latency. It is proposed that REMS inhibition was related to the direct deactivation of SLD glutamatergic neurons by the peptide. PMID:27461793

  4. Effects of ultraviolet-visible irradiation in the presence of melanin isolated from human black or red hair upon Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Menon, I.A.; Persad, S.; Ranadive, N.S.; Haberman, H.F.

    1983-07-01

    The present study is an attempt to investigate the possibility that ultraviolet irradiation in the presence of pheomelanin may be more harmful to cells than the irradiation in the presence of eumelanin. The effects of UV-visible irradiation upon Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells in the presence of the melanin isolated from human black hair (eumelanin) or from red hair (pheomelanin) were investigated. Irradiation of these cells was found to produce cell lysis, as observed by leakage of 51Cr from labeled cells and intracellular lactic dehydrogenase from the cells and decrease in cell viability demonstrated by the trypan blue exclusion test. The three parameters were quantitatively parallel to one another under various experimental conditions, namely different periods of irradiation and irradiation in the presence of different concentrations of melanin. The above effects were more pronounced when the irradiation was carried out in the presence of melanin from red hair than in the presence of black-hair melanin. In the absence of either melanin, the irradiation did not produce any significant effect in cell viability or cell lysis. Irradiation of the cells in the presence of red-hair melanin also decreased the transplantability of these cells. These observations clearly show that irradiation of cells in the presence of pheomelanin could produce cytotoxic effects. The present experimental design may have application in the development of in vitro models for the study of UV radiation-induced cutaneous carcinogenesis. The reactions of pheomelanin may be related to the susceptibility of ''Celtic'' skin to UV radiation-induced skin damage and carcinogenesis.

  5. Effects of ultraviolet-visible irradiation in the presence of melanin isolated from human black or red hair upon Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Menon, I A; Persad, S; Ranadive, N S; Haberman, H F

    1983-07-01

    The present study is an attempt to investigate the possibility that ultraviolet irradiation in the presence of pheomelanin may be more harmful to cells than the irradiation in the presence of eumelanin. The effects of UV-visible irradiation upon Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells in the presence of the melanin isolated from human black hair (eumelanin) or from red hair (pheomelanin) were investigated. Irradiation of these cells was found to produce cell lysis, as observed by leakage of 51Cr from labeled cells and intracellular lactic dehydrogenase from the cells and decrease in cell viability demonstrated by the trypan blue exclusion test. The three parameters were quantitatively parallel to one another under various experimental conditions, namely different periods of irradiation and irradiation in the presence of different concentrations of melanin. The above effects were more pronounced when the irradiation was carried out in the presence of melanin from red hair than in the presence of black-hair melanin. In the absence of either melanin, the irradiation did not produce any significant effect in cell viability or cell lysis. Irradiation of the cells in the presence of red-hair melanin also decreased the transplantability of these cells. These observations clearly show that irradiation of cells in the presence of pheomelanin could produce cytotoxic effects. The present experimental design may have application in the development of in vitro models for the study of UV radiation-induced cutaneous carcinogenesis. The reactions of pheomelanin may be related to the susceptibility of "Celtic" skin to UV radiation-induced skin damage and carcinogenesis. PMID:6850626

  6. Transscleral visible/near-infrared spectroscopy for quantitative assessment of melanin in a uveal melanoma phantom of ex vivo porcine eyes.

    PubMed

    Krohn, Jørgen; Xu, Can T; Svenmarker, Pontus; Khoptyar, Dmitry; Andersson-Engels, Stefan

    2010-02-01

    Optical spectroscopy has been used as a supplement to conventional techniques for analyzing and diagnosing cancer in many human organs. Because ocular tumors may be characterized by their different melanin content, we investigated the feasibility of using transscleral visible/near-infrared spectroscopy (Vis/NIRS) to estimate the quantity of melanin in a novel uveal melanoma phantom of ex vivo porcine eyes. The phantoms were made by injecting a freshly prepared suspension of 15% (wt/vol) gelatin, 10 mg/ml titanium dioxide (TiO(2)), and natural melanin, isolated from the ink sac of cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), into the suprachoroidal space of 30 enucleated porcine eyes. The melanin concentrations used were 1 mg/ml, 2 mg/ml, and 3 mg/ml, with 10 eyes in each group. After gelation, the size and location of the phantoms were documented by B-scan ultrasonography and transillumination. Vis/NIRS recordings, covering the wavelength region from 550 to 1000 nm, were performed with two optical fibers separated by 6 mm to deliver and collect the light through the sclera. During all measurements, the exact pressure exerted by the fiber probe on the scleral surface was monitored by placing the eye on an electronic scale. Transscleral Vis/NIRS was performed across the phantom inclusion, as well as on the opposite (normal) side of each eye. A total of three consecutive measurements were carried out alternately on each side of the globe. The spectral data were analyzed using partial least squares regression. In the melanin concentration groups of 1 mg/ml (n = 10), 2 mg/ml (n = 10), and 3 mg/ml (n = 10), the largest basal phantom diameters (mean +/- SD) were 14.9 +/- 1.6 mm, 14.6 +/- 1.5 mm, and 14.3 +/- 1.0 mm, respectively (p > 0.05). The largest phantom thicknesses (mean +/- SD) were 4.0 +/- 0.5 mm, 4.4 +/- 0.7 mm, and 4.5 +/- 0.5 mm, respectively (p > 0.05). Statistical regression modeling of the Vis/NIRS data revealed that it was possible to correctly classify the phantoms

  7. Estimate of the melanin content in human hairs by the inverse Monte-Carlo method using a system for digital image analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Bashkatov, A N; Genina, Elina A; Kochubei, V I; Tuchin, Valerii V

    2006-12-31

    Based on the digital image analysis and inverse Monte-Carlo method, the proximate analysis method is deve-loped and the optical properties of hairs of different types are estimated in three spectral ranges corresponding to three colour components. The scattering and absorption properties of hairs are separated for the first time by using the inverse Monte-Carlo method. The content of different types of melanin in hairs is estimated from the absorption coefficient. It is shown that the dominating type of melanin in dark hairs is eumelanin, whereas in light hairs pheomelanin dominates. (special issue devoted to multiple radiation scattering in random media)

  8. Cloning, functional analysis and expression of a scytalone dehydratase gene ( SCD1) involved in melanin biosynthesis of the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Junichi; Moriwaki, Akihiro; Ueno, Makoto; Tokunaga, Toshiko; Arase, Sakae; Honda, Yuichi

    2004-04-01

    Scytalone dehydratase is involved in the production of fungal dihydroxynaphthalene melanin. We isolated and characterized SCD1, a gene encoding scytalone dehydratase, from the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae. Sequence analysis showed that SCD1 encodes a putative protein that has 185 amino acids, a molecular weight of 21 kDa and 51-75% sequence identity to other fungal scytalone dehydratases. Targeted disruption of SCD1 showed that this gene is necessary for melanin biosynthesis in B. oryzae. Northern blot analysis showed that SCD1 transcripts are specifically enhanced by near-ultraviolet (300-400 nm) radiation. PMID:14716498

  9. Modulation of primary cilia length by melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1.

    PubMed

    Hamamoto, Akie; Yamato, Shogo; Katoh, Yohei; Nakayama, Kazuhisa; Yoshimura, Kentaro; Takeda, Sen; Kobayashi, Yuki; Saito, Yumiko

    2016-06-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) receptor 1 (MCHR1) is a class A G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). The MCH-MCHR1 system has been implicated in the regulation of feeding, emotional processing, and sleep in rodents. Recent work revealed that MCHR1 is selectively expressed in neuronal primary cilia of the central nervous system. Cilia have various chemosensory functions in many types of cell, and ciliary dysfunction is associated with ciliopathies such as polycystic kidney disease and obesity. Although dynamic modulation of neuronal cilia length is observed in obese mice, the functional interaction of neuronal ciliary GPCR and its endogenous ligand has not yet been elucidated. We report here that MCH treatment significantly reduced cilia length in hTERT-RPE1 cells (hRPE1 cells) transfected with MCHR1. Quantitative analyses indicated that MCH-induced cilia shortening progressed in a dose-dependent manner with an EC50 lower than 1nM when cells were treated for 6h. Although the assembly and disassembly of primary cilia are tightly coupled to the cell cycle, cell cycle reentry was not a determinant of MCH-induced cilia shortening. We confirmed that MCH elicited receptor internalization, Ca(2+) mobilization, ERK and Akt phosphorylation, and inhibition of cyclic AMP accumulation in MCHR1-expressing hRPE1 cells. Among these diverse pathways, we revealed that Gi/o-dependent Akt phosphorylation was an important component in the initial stage of MCH-induced cilia length shortening. Furthermore, induction of fewer cilia by Kif3A siRNA treatment significantly decreased the MCH-mediated phosphorylation of Akt, indicating the functional importance of the MCHR1-Akt pathway in primary cilia. Taken together, the present data suggest that the MCH-MCHR1 axis may modulate the sensitivity of cells to external environments by controlling the cilia length. Therefore, further characterization of MCHR1 as a ciliary GPCR will provide a potential molecular mechanism to link cilia length

  10. The melanin-concentrating hormone receptors: neuronal and non-neuronal functions

    PubMed Central

    Presse, F; Conductier, G; Rovere, C; Nahon, J-L

    2014-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a cyclic peptide highly conserved in vertebrates and was originally identified as a skin-paling factor in Teleosts. In fishes, MCH also participates in the regulation of the stress-response and feeding behaviour. Mammalian MCH is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that displays multiple functions, mostly controlling feeding behaviour and energy homeostasis. Transgenic mouse models and pharmacological studies have shown the importance of the MCH system as a potential target in the treatment of appetite disorders and obesity as well as anxiety and psychiatric diseases. Two G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) binding MCH have been characterized so far. The first, named MCH-R1 and also called SLC1, was identified through reverse pharmacology strategies by several groups as a cognate receptor of MCH. This receptor is expressed at high levels in many brain areas of rodents and primates and is also expressed in peripheral organs, albeit at a lower rate. A second receptor, designated MCH-R2, exhibited 38% identity to MCH-R1 and was identified by sequence analysis of the human genome. Interestingly, although MCH-R2 orthologues were also found in fishes, dogs, ferrets and non-human primates, this MCH receptor gene appeared either lacking or non-functional in rodents and lagomorphs. Both receptors are class I GPCRs, whose main roles are to mediate the actions of peptides and neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. However, examples of action of MCH on neuronal and non-neuronal cells are emerging that illustrate novel MCH functions. In particular, the functionality of endogenously expressed MCH-R1 has been explored in human neuroblastoma cells, SK-N-SH and SH-SY5Y cells, and in non-neuronal cell types such as the ependymocytes. Indeed, we have identified mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent or calcium-dependent signalling cascades that ultimately contributed to neurite outgrowth in neuroblastoma cells or to modulation of

  11. Alterations of orexinergic and melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in experimental sleeping sickness.

    PubMed

    Palomba, M; Seke-Etet, P F; Laperchia, C; Tiberio, L; Xu, Y-Z; Colavito, V; Grassi-Zucconi, G; Bentivoglio, M

    2015-04-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a severe, neglected tropical disease caused by the extracellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei. The disease, which leads to chronic neuroinflammation, is characterized by sleep and wake disturbances, documented also in rodent models. In rats and mice infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei, we here tested the hypothesis that the disease could target neurons of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) containing orexin (OX)-A or melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), implicated in sleep/wake regulation. In the cerebrospinal fluid of infected rats, the OX-A level was significantly decreased early after parasite neuroinvasion, and returned to the control level at an advanced disease stage. The number of immunohistochemically characterized OX-A and MCH neurons decreased significantly in infected rats during disease progression and in infected mice at an advanced disease stage. A marked reduction of the complexity of dendritic arborizations of OX-A neurons was documented in infected mice. The evaluation of NeuN-immunoreactive neurons did not reveal significant neuronal loss in the LH of infected mice, thus suggesting a potential selective vulnerability of OX-A and MCH neurons. Immunophenotyping and quantitative analysis showed in infected mice marked activation of microglial cells surrounding OX-A neurons. Day/night oscillation of c-Fos baseline expression was used as marker of OX-A neuron activity in mice. In control animals Fos was expressed in a higher proportion of OX-A neurons in the night (activity) phase than in the day (rest) phase. Interestingly, in infected mice the diurnal spontaneous Fos oscillation was reversed, with a proportion of OX-A/Fos neurons significantly higher at daytime than at nighttime. Altogether the findings reveal a progressive decrease of OX-A and MCH neurons and dysregulation of OX-A neuron diurnal activity in rodent models of sleeping sickness. The data point to the involvement of these peptidergic

  12. Inhibitory and Acceleratory Effects of Inonotus obliquus on Tyrosinase Activity and Melanin Formation in B16 Melanoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Zheng-Fei; Yang, Yang; Mao, Xin-Xin

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to preliminarily investigate the antimelanogenesis effect of Inonotus obliquus extracts by cell-free mushroom tyrosinase assay. It was found that petroleum ether and n-butanol extracts might contain unknown potential tyrosinase inhibitors, while its ethyl acetate extract might contain some unknown accelerators. Six compounds were isolated and their structures were identified by interpretation of NMR data and nicotinic acid was first discovered in Inonotus obliquus. In cells testing, betulin and trametenolic acid decreased tyrosinase activity and melanin content, while inotodiol and lanosterol significantly increased tyrosinase activity and melanin content, showing an AC⁡50 of 9.74 and 8.43 μM, respectively. Nicotinie acid, 3β,22,25-trihydroxy-lanosta-8-ene, had a little or no effect on tyrosinase. Betulin exhibited a mode of noncompetitive inhibition with a KI = KIS of 0.4 μM on tyrosinase activity showing an IC50 of 5.13 μM and being more effective than kojic acid (6.43 μM), and trametenolic acid exhibited a mode of mixed inhibition with a KI of 0.9 μM, KIS of 0.5 μM, and an IC50 of 7.25 μM. We proposed betulin and trametenolic acid as a new candidate of potent tyrosinase inhibitors and inotodiol and lanosterol as accelerators that could be used as therapeutic agent. PMID:25197307

  13. Conserved function of medaka pink-eyed dilution in melanin synthesis and its divergent transcriptional regulation in gonads among vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Fukamachi, Shoji; Asakawa, Shuichi; Wakamatsu, Yuko; Shimizu, Nobuyoshi; Mitani, Hiroshi; Shima, Akihiro

    2004-11-01

    Medaka is emerging as a model organism for the study of vertebrate development and genetics, and its effectiveness in forward genetics should prove equal to that of zebrafish. Here, we identify by positional cloning a gene responsible for the medaka i-3 albino mutant. i-3 larvae have weakly tyrosinase-positive cells but lack strongly positive and dendritic cells, suggesting loss of fully differentiated melanophores. The region surrounding the i-3 locus is syntenic to human 19p13, but a BAC clone covering the i-3 locus contained orthologs located at 15q11-13, including OCA2 (P). Medaka P consists of 842 amino acids and shares approximately 65% identity with mammalian P proteins. The i-3 mutation is a four-base deletion in exon 13, which causes a frameshift and truncation of the protein. We detected medaka P transcripts in melanin-producing eyeballs and (putative) skin melanophores on embryos and an alternatively spliced form in the non-melanin-producing ovary or oocytes. The mouse p is similarly expressed in gonads, but not alternatively spliced. This is the first isolation of nonmammalian P, the functional mechanism of action of which has not yet been elucidated, even in mammals. Further investigation of the functions of P proteins and the regulation of their expression will provide new insight into body color determination and gene evolution. PMID:15579703

  14. Characterization of a deep-sea sediment metagenomic clone that produces water-soluble melanin in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yali; Lai, Xintian; He, Xiaocui; Cao, Lixiang; Zeng, Zhirui; Zhang, Jiong; Zhou, Shining

    2009-01-01

    To access to the microbial genetic resources of deep-sea sediment by a culture-independent approach, the sediment DNA was extracted and cloned into fosmid vector (pCC1FOS) generating a library of 39,600 clones with inserts of 24-45 kb. The clone fss6 producing red-brown pigment was isolated and characterized. The pigment was identified as melanin according to its physico-chemical characteristics. Subcloning and sequences analyses of fss6 demonstrated that one open reading frame (ORF2) was responsible for the pigment production. The deduced protein from ORF2 revealed significant amino acid similarity to the 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) from deep-sea bacteria Idiomarina loihiensis. Further study demonstrated that the production of melanin was correlated with homogentistic acid (HGA). The p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate produced by the Escherichia coli host was converted to HGA through the oxidation reaction of introduced HPPD. The results demonstrate that expression of DNA extracted directly from the environment might generate applicable microbial gene products. The construction and analysis of the metagenomic library from deep-sea sediment contributed to our understanding for the reservoir of unexploited deep-sea microorganisms. PMID:18648877

  15. Effects of Danshensu and Salvianolic Acid B from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Lamiaceae) on cell proliferation and collagen and melanin production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Shyan; Lee, Shu-Mei; Lin, Ying-Ju; Chiang, Shu-Hua; Lin, Chih-Chien

    2014-01-01

    Danshensu (DSU) and salvianolic acid B (SAB) are the primary water-soluble compounds of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Lamiaceae). In this study, we analyzed the effects of DSU, SAB and a S. miltiorrhiza extract (SME) on cell proliferation. Additionally, the effects of DSU and SAB on collagen synthesis in Detroit 551 human normal fibroblast cells and on melanin production in B16 melanoma cells were verified. The results demonstrated that SME can enhance the proliferation of Detroit 551 cells and that this boost may be caused by DSU and SAB. This research showed that SME, DSU and SAB all have the ability to increase the production of collagen in Detroit 551 cells. The results also confirmed that DSU and SAB can attenuate the α-MSH-stimulated melanin production of B16 cells by inhibiting tyrosinase activity. Therefore, SME, DSU and SAB each have the potential to be utilized as active ingredients in wound healing or cosmetic treatments. In the future, DSU and SAB could also be used as functional components for treating hyperpigmentation. PMID:24531218

  16. Melanin-based coloration covaries with ovary size in an age-specific manner in the barn owl

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2009-10-01

    While the adaptive function of black eumelanin-based coloration is relatively well known, the function of reddish-brown pheomelanin-based coloration is still unclear. Only a few studies have shown or suggested that the degree of reddish-brownness is associated with predator-prey relationships, reproductive parameters, growth rate and immunity. To gain insight into the physiological correlates of melanin-based coloration, I collected barn owl ( Tyto alba) cadavers and examined the covariation between this colour trait and ovary size, an organ that increases in size before reproduction. A relationship is expected because melanin-based coloration often covaries with sexual activity. The results showed that reddish-brown juveniles had larger ovaries than whiter juveniles particularly in individuals in poor condition and outside the breeding season, while in birds older than 2 years lightly coloured females had larger ovaries than reddish-brown conspecifics. As barn owls become less reddish-brown between the first and second year of age, the present study suggests that reddish-brown pheomelanic and whitish colorations are associated with juvenile- and adult-specific adaptations, respectively.

  17. 4-(Phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-One Suppresses Melanin Synthesis and Melanosome Maturation In Vitro and In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shing-Yi Sean; Wang, Hui-Min David; Wen, Yi-Shan; Liu, Wangta; Li, Pin-Hui; Chiu, Chien-Chih; Chen, Pei-Chin; Huang, Chiung-Yao; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Wen, Zhi-Hong

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we screened compounds with skin whitening properties and favorable safety profiles from a series of marine related natural products, which were isolated from Formosan soft coral Cladiella australis. Our results indicated that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one could successfully inhibit pigment generation processes in mushroom tyrosinase platform assay, probably through the suppression of tyrosinase activity to be a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase. In cell-based viability examinations, it demonstrated low cytotoxicity on melanoma cells and other normal human cells. It exhibited stronger inhibitions of melanin production and tyrosinase activity than arbutin or 1-phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU). Also, we discovered that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one reduces the protein expressions of melanin synthesis-related proteins, including the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase-related protein-1 (Trp-1), dopachrome tautomerase (DCT, Trp-2), and glycoprotein 100 (GP100). In an in vivo zebrafish model, it presented a remarkable suppression in melanogenesis after 48 h. In summary, our in vitro and in vivo biological assays showed that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one possesses anti-melanogenic properties that are significant in medical cosmetology.

  18. Identification and Molecular Characterization of the Homogentisate Pathway Responsible for Pyomelanin Production, the Major Melanin Constituents in Aeromonas media WS

    PubMed Central

    Wang, He; Qiao, Yunqian; Chai, Baozhong; Qiu, Chenxi; Chen, Xiangdong

    2015-01-01

    The pigmentation of many Aeromonas species has been thought to be due to the production of a L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) based melanin. However, in this study we found that although L-DOPA synthesis occurs in the high-melanin-yielding Aeromonas media strain WS, it plays a minor, if any, role in pigmentation. Instead, the pigmentation of A. media strain WS is due to the production of pyomelanin through HGA (homogentisate). Gene products of phhA (encodes phenylalanine hydroxylase), tyrB and aspC (both encode aromatic amino acid aminotransferase), and hppD (encodes 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase) constitute a linear pathway of converting phenylalanine to HGA and disruption of any one of these genes impairs or blocks pigmentation of A. media strain WS. This HGA biosynthesis pathway is widely distributed in Aeromonas, but HGA is only detectable in the cultures of pigmented Aeromonas species. Heterologous expression of HppD from both pigmented and non-pigmented Aeromonas species in E. coli leads to the production of pyomelanin and thus pigmentation, suggesting that most Aeromonas species have the critical enzymes to produce pyomelanin through HGA. Taken together, we have identified a widely conserved biosynthesis pathway of HGA based pyomelanin in Aeromonas that may be responsible for pigmentation of many Aeromonas species. PMID:25793756

  19. Supercritical fluid extract of Lycium chinense Miller root inhibition of melanin production and its potential mechanisms of action

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The mode of action of Lycium chinense Miller root extract in skin care has never been explored. In the present study, Lycium chinense Miller root was extracted by the supercritical fluid CO2 extraction method. Methods In the present study, the components of the root extract were analyzed by HPLC. The effects of the extract on tyrosinase activity and melanin content were determined spectrophotometrically; the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins was determined by Western blotting; the possible signaling pathways involved in the root extract-mediated depigmentation were also investigated using specific inhibitors. Results The results revealed that the SFE of Lycium chinense Miller root (2.37-7.11 mg/mL) effectively suppressed intracellular tyrosinase activity and decreased the melanin content in B16F10 cells. The root extract also effectively decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Furthermore, the root extract decreased the expression of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1) and then inhibited melanogenesis in B16F10 cells. The root extract also showed antioxidant capacities and depleted cellular ROS. Conclusions Our results indicate that the SFE of Lycium chinense Miller root inhibited melanogenesis in B16F10 cells by down-regulation of both mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathways or through its antioxidant properties. PMID:24972978

  20. 4-(Phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-One Suppresses Melanin Synthesis and Melanosome Maturation In Vitro and In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shing-Yi Sean; Wang, Hui-Min David; Wen, Yi-Shan; Liu, Wangta; Li, Pin-Hui; Chiu, Chien-Chih; Chen, Pei-Chin; Huang, Chiung-Yao; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Wen, Zhi-Hong

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we screened compounds with skin whitening properties and favorable safety profiles from a series of marine related natural products, which were isolated from Formosan soft coral Cladiella australis. Our results indicated that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one could successfully inhibit pigment generation processes in mushroom tyrosinase platform assay, probably through the suppression of tyrosinase activity to be a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase. In cell-based viability examinations, it demonstrated low cytotoxicity on melanoma cells and other normal human cells. It exhibited stronger inhibitions of melanin production and tyrosinase activity than arbutin or 1-phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU). Also, we discovered that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one reduces the protein expressions of melanin synthesis-related proteins, including the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase-related protein-1 (Trp-1), dopachrome tautomerase (DCT, Trp-2), and glycoprotein 100 (GP100). In an in vivo zebrafish model, it presented a remarkable suppression in melanogenesis after 48 h. In summary, our in vitro and in vivo biological assays showed that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one possesses anti-melanogenic properties that are significant in medical cosmetology. PMID:26404245

  1. 4-(Phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-One Suppresses Melanin Synthesis and Melanosome Maturation In Vitro and In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shing-Yi Sean; Wang, Hui-Min David; Wen, Yi-Shan; Liu, Wangta; Li, Pin-Hui; Chiu, Chien-Chih; Chen, Pei-Chin; Huang, Chiung-Yao; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Wen, Zhi-Hong

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we screened compounds with skin whitening properties and favorable safety profiles from a series of marine related natural products, which were isolated from Formosan soft coral Cladiella australis. Our results indicated that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one could successfully inhibit pigment generation processes in mushroom tyrosinase platform assay, probably through the suppression of tyrosinase activity to be a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase. In cell-based viability examinations, it demonstrated low cytotoxicity on melanoma cells and other normal human cells. It exhibited stronger inhibitions of melanin production and tyrosinase activity than arbutin or 1-phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU). Also, we discovered that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one reduces the protein expressions of melanin synthesis-related proteins, including the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase-related protein-1 (Trp-1), dopachrome tautomerase (DCT, Trp-2), and glycoprotein 100 (GP100). In an in vivo zebrafish model, it presented a remarkable suppression in melanogenesis after 48 h. In summary, our in vitro and in vivo biological assays showed that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one possesses anti-melanogenic properties that are significant in medical cosmetology. PMID:26343635

  2. Changes in pools of depsidones and melanins, and their function, during growth and acclimation under contrasting natural light in the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria.

    PubMed

    McEvoy, Maria; Gauslaa, Yngvar; Solhaug, Knut Asbjørn

    2007-01-01

    This study analysed relationships between secondary chemistry, lichen growth rates and external habitat factors for two groups of UV-B-absorbing secondary compounds in the lichen Lobaria pulmonaria in order to test some hypotheses on their formation and function. Medullary depsidones and cortical melanins were quantified in thalli transplanted to three successional forest stands (shaded young forest, open old forest, sun-exposed clear-cut area) and subjected to different watering regimes (spraying with water, water + nitrogen, no spraying). Growth rates were already known. The total concentration of all seven depsidones was constant across the entire range of growth rates and sun exposures, showing that these depsidones serve functions other than photoprotection. Thalli from the well-lit transplantation sites had the highest synthesis of melanins. Within each forest type there was a trade-off between growth and melanin synthesis. Melanins and photosynthetic acclimation enhanced survival on a subsequent exposure to high light intensity, despite excessive temperatures resulting from higher absorption of solar energy in melanic thalli relative to pale thalli. In conclusion, the highly responsive melanic pigments play a photoprotective role in light acclimation, whereas the constant amount of depsidones across a wide spectrum of growth ranges and irradiances is consistent with herbivore defence functions. PMID:17587375

  3. New Biosynthetic Step in the Melanin Pathway of Wangiella (Exophiala) dermatitidis: Evidence for 2-Acetyl-1,3,6,8-Tetrahydroxynaphthalene as a Novel Precursor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The predominant cell wall melanin of Wangiella dermatitidis, a black fungal pathogen of humans, is synthesized from 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (D2HN). An early precursor, 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene (T4HN), in the pathway leading to D2HN is reportedly produced as a pentaketide directly by an iter...

  4. Sesamol decreases melanin biosynthesis in melanocyte cells and zebrafish: Possible involvement of MITF via the intracellular cAMP and p38/JNK signalling pathways.

    PubMed

    Baek, Seung-hwa; Lee, Sang-Han

    2015-10-01

    The development of antimelanogenic agents is important for the prevention of serious aesthetic problems such as melasma, freckles, age spots and chloasma. The aim of this study was to investigate the antimelanogenic effect of sesamol, an active lignan isolated from Sesamum indicum, in melan-a cells. Sesamol strongly inhibited melanin biosynthesis and the activity of intracellular tyrosinase by decreasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) accumulation. Sesamol significantly decreased the expression of melanogenesis-related genes, such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1,2 (TRP-1,2), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R). In addition, sesamol also induces phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Moreover, sesamol dose-dependently decreased zebrafish pigment formation, tyrosinase activity and expression of melanogenesis-related genes. These findings indicate that sesamol inhibited melanin biosynthesis by down-regulating tyrosinase activity and melanin production via regulation of gene expression of melanogenesis-related proteins through modulation of MITF activity, which promoted phosphorylation of p38 and JNK in melan-a cells. Together, these results suggest that sesamol strongly inhibits melanin biosynthesis, and therefore, sesamol represents a new skin-whitening agent for use in cosmetics. PMID:26010596

  5. Significance of a basal melanin layer to production of non-iridescent structural plumage color: evidence from an amelanotic Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri).

    PubMed

    Shawkey, Matthew D; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2006-04-01

    Non-iridescent structural plumage color is typically produced by coherent scattering of light within a matrix of keratin and air (a ;spongy layer') in feather barbs. It remains unclear what role, if any, the basal melanin layer underlying this spongy layer plays in the production of coloration. Amelanism in birds with structural color is a ;natural experiment' in which melanin pigmentation is lost, allowing us to identify the effects of the loss of melanin on structural color production. Here we use full-spectrum spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy and Fourier analysis to compare the color and nanostructure of an amelanotic Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri Gmelin) feather with a normal blue Steller's jay feather. As a control, we also examined a white domestic chicken (Gallus gallus Linnaeus) feather. The pale amelanotic jay feather had a broad reflectance curve with a blue/green peak, while the typical blue feather had a typical distinct bell-shaped blue curve with a UV/violet peak. The white chicken feather had a typical white reflectance curve with no discrete peaks. Electron microscopy revealed that both the amelanotic and blue feather barbs contained well-formed spongy layers that were of the correct size and arrangement to produce their measured peak reflectance values, whereas the chicken feather had no spongy layer. The washed-out color of the amelanotic jay feather was thus most probably caused by the loss of the basal melanin layer, suggesting that melanin functions to absorb incoherently scattered white light from the feather barb thereby increasing the purity of the color produced by the spongy layer. PMID:16547296

  6. Living in an Extremely Polluted Environment: Clues from the Genome of Melanin-Producing Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34melT

    PubMed Central

    Pavan, María Elisa; Pavan, Esteban E.; López, Nancy I.; Levin, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34melT can be considered an extremophile due to the characteristics of the heavily polluted river from which it was isolated. While four subspecies of A. salmonicida are known fish pathogens, 34melT belongs to the only subspecies isolated solely from the environment. Genome analysis revealed a high metabolic versatility, the capability to cope with diverse stress agents, and the lack of several virulence factors found in pathogenic Aeromonas. The most relevant phenotypic characteristics of 34melT are pectin degradation, a distinctive trait of A. salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica, and melanin production. Genes coding for three pectate lyases were detected in a cluster, unique to this microorganism, that contains all genes needed for pectin degradation. Melanin synthesis in 34melT is hypothesized to occur through the homogentisate pathway, as no tyrosinases or laccases were detected and the homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase gene is inactivated by a transposon insertion, leading to the accumulation of the melanin precursor homogentisate. Comparative genome analysis of other melanogenic Aeromonas strains revealed that this gene was inactivated by transposon insertions or point mutations, indicating that melanin biosynthesis in Aeromonas occurs through the homogentisate pathway. Horizontal gene transfer could have contributed to the adaptation of 34melT to a highly polluted environment, as 13 genomic islands were identified in its genome, some of them containing genes coding for fitness-related traits. Heavy metal resistance genes were also found, along with others associated with oxidative and nitrosative stresses. These characteristics, together with melanin production and the ability to use different substrates, may explain the ability of this microorganism to live in an extremely polluted environment. PMID:26025898

  7. Preparation and characterization of a novel Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA conjugate for melanin-targeted imaging of malignant melanoma.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chih-Chao; Chang, Chih-Hsien; Lo, Yi-Hsuan; Lin, Ming-Hsien; Shen, Chih-Chieh; Liu, Ren-Shyan; Wang, Hsin-Ell; Chen, Chuan-Lin

    2016-08-15

    Melanin is an attractive target for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma. Previous studies have demonstrated the specific binding ability of benzamide moiety to melanin. In this study, we developed a novel (18)F-labeled NOTA-benzamide conjugate, Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA, which can be synthesized in 30min with a radiochemical yield of 20-35% and a radiochemical purity of >95%. Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA is highly hydrophilic (logP=-1.96) and shows good in vitro stability. Intravenous administration of Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA in two melanoma-bearing mouse models revealed highly specific uptake in B16F0 melanotic melanoma (6.67±0.91 and 1.50±0.26%ID/g at 15 and 120min p.i., respectively), but not in A375 amelanotic melanoma (0.87±0.21 and 0.24±0.09%ID/g at 15 and 120min p.i., respectively). The clearance from most normal tissues was fast. A microPET scan of Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA-injected mice also displayed high-contrast tumor images as compared with normal organs. Owing to the favorable in vivo distribution of Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA after intravenous administration, the estimated absorption dose was low in all normal organs and tissues. The melanin-specific binding ability, sustained tumor retention, fast normal tissues clearance and thelow projected human dosimetry supported that Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA is a very promising melanin-specific PET probe for melanin-positive melanoma. PMID:27445169

  8. Living in an Extremely Polluted Environment: Clues from the Genome of Melanin-Producing Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34melT.

    PubMed

    Pavan, María Elisa; Pavan, Esteban E; López, Nancy I; Levin, Laura; Pettinari, M Julia

    2015-08-01

    Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34mel(T) can be considered an extremophile due to the characteristics of the heavily polluted river from which it was isolated. While four subspecies of A. salmonicida are known fish pathogens, 34mel(T) belongs to the only subspecies isolated solely from the environment. Genome analysis revealed a high metabolic versatility, the capability to cope with diverse stress agents, and the lack of several virulence factors found in pathogenic Aeromonas. The most relevant phenotypic characteristics of 34mel(T) are pectin degradation, a distinctive trait of A. salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica, and melanin production. Genes coding for three pectate lyases were detected in a cluster, unique to this microorganism, that contains all genes needed for pectin degradation. Melanin synthesis in 34mel(T) is hypothesized to occur through the homogentisate pathway, as no tyrosinases or laccases were detected and the homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase gene is inactivated by a transposon insertion, leading to the accumulation of the melanin precursor homogentisate. Comparative genome analysis of other melanogenic Aeromonas strains revealed that this gene was inactivated by transposon insertions or point mutations, indicating that melanin biosynthesis in Aeromonas occurs through the homogentisate pathway. Horizontal gene transfer could have contributed to the adaptation of 34mel(T) to a highly polluted environment, as 13 genomic islands were identified in its genome, some of them containing genes coding for fitness-related traits. Heavy metal resistance genes were also found, along with others associated with oxidative and nitrosative stresses. These characteristics, together with melanin production and the ability to use different substrates, may explain the ability of this microorganism to live in an extremely polluted environment. PMID:26025898

  9. LASP1, a Newly Identified Melanocytic Protein with a Possible Role in Melanin Release, but Not in Melanoma Progression

    PubMed Central

    Houben, Roland; Grunewald, Thomas G. P.; Goebeler, Matthias; Butt, Elke

    2015-01-01

    The LIM and SH3 protein 1 (LASP1) is a focal adhesion protein. Its expression is increased in many malignant tumors. However, little is known about the physiological role of the protein. In the present study, we investigated the expression and function of LASP1 in normal skin, melanocytic nevi and malignant melanoma. In normal skin, a distinct LASP1 expression is visible only in the basal epidermal layer while in nevi LASP1 protein is detected in all melanocytes. Melanoma exhibit no increase in LASP1 mRNA compared to normal skin. In melanocytes, the protein is bound to dynamin and mainly localized at late melanosomes along the edges and at the tips of the cell. Knockdown of LASP1 results in increased melanin concentration in the cells. Collectively, we identified LASP1 as a hitherto unknown protein in melanocytes and as novel partner of dynamin in the physiological process of membrane constriction and melanosome vesicle release. PMID:26061439

  10. Fractal structure and the dynamics of aggregation of synthetic melanin in low pH aqueous solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, J.S.; Sung, J.; Eisner, M.; Moss, S.C.; Gallas, J.

    1989-01-01

    We have used static and dynamic light scattering to study the dynamics of aggregation of synthetic melanin, an amorphous biopolymeric substance, in low pH aqueous solution. We have found that, depending on the final pH value of the solutions, there existed two regimes of the aggregation kinetics, one corresponding to diffusion limited aggregation (DLA), and the other corresponding to reaction limited aggregation (RLA). The precipitates formed in these two regimes can be characterized by fractal structures. We have found fractal dimensions of d/sub f/ = 1.8 for the DLA clusters and d/sub f/ = 2.2 for the RLA clusters. These results agree well with the proposed limits of the fractal dimensions of the gold aggregates formed in aqueous solutions by Weitz et al.

  11. A simple one-step synthesis of melanin-originated red shift emissive carbonaceous dots for bioimaging.

    PubMed

    Hu, Chuan; Liu, Yongmei; Chen, Jiantao; He, Qin; Gao, Huile

    2016-10-15

    Carbonaceous dots (CDs) are superior nanomaterials owing to their promising luminescence properties and good biocompatibility. However, most CDs have relatively short excitation/emission, which restrict their application in bioimaging. In this study, a simple one-step procedure was developed for synthesis of melanin-originated CDs (MNPs). The MNPs showed two long red shift emissions at 570nm and 645nm with broad absorptions from 200nm to 400nm and 500nm to 700nm, suggesting the great potential of MNPs in bioimaging. Besides, several experiments indicated that MNPs possessed good serum stability and well blood compatibility. In vitro, MNPs could be taken up by C6 cell in a concentration- and time-dependent manner with endosomes involved. In conclusion, MNPs were prepared using a simple one-step method with unique optical and good biological properties and could be used for bioimaging. PMID:27416289

  12. Phylogeny of Bipolaris inferred from nucleotide sequences of Brn1, a reductase gene involved in melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Kiminori; Tanaka, Chihiro; Peng, You-Liang; Tsuda, Mitsuya

    1998-08-01

    The Brn1 reductase melanin biosynthesis gene in the fungal genus Bipolaris was sequenced in 74 strains of 22 species. The Brn1 region was highly conserved among the species examined at the nucleotide and the amino acid levels. To elucidate the phylogenetic relationships among Bipolaris species, trees were inferred from nucleotide sequences of this region. Species in these trees formed exclusive clusters clearly separated from one another, except for B. panici-miliacei and B. setariae, and B. victoriae and B. zeicola. When unidentified strains were added to this tree, they fell within known species or formed independent clusters. These data indicated that the Brn1 gene region was suitable for species-level systematics within the genus. The results also suggest that Bipolaris consists of two or more clades that may reflect teleomorphic connections. PMID:12501419

  13. Beyond skin color: emerging roles of melanin-concentrating hormone in energy homeostasis and other physiological functions.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yuguang

    2004-10-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a cyclic peptide that mediates its effects by the activation of two G-protein-coupled seven transmembrane receptors (MCHR1 and MCHR2) in humans. In contrast to its primary role in regulating skin color in fish, MCH has evolved in mammals to regulate dynamic physiological functions, from food intake and energy expenditure to behavior and emotion. Chronic infusion or transgenic expression of MCH stimulates feeding and increases adipocity, whereas targeted deletion of MCH or its receptor (MCHR1) leads to resistance to diet-induced obesity with increased energy expenditure and thermogenesis. The involvement of MCH in energy homeostasis and in brain activity has also been validated in mice treated with non-peptide antagonists, suggesting that blockade of MCHR1 could provide a viable approach for treatment of obesity and certain neurological disorders. This review focuses on emerging roles of MCH in regulating central and peripheral mechanisms. PMID:15476927

  14. Optimization of chromone-2-carboxamide melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonists: assessment of potency, efficacy, and cardiovascular safety.

    PubMed

    Lynch, John K; Freeman, Jennifer C; Judd, Andrew S; Iyengar, Rajesh; Mulhern, Mathew; Zhao, Gang; Napier, James J; Wodka, Dariusz; Brodjian, Sevan; Dayton, Brian D; Falls, Doug; Ogiela, Christopher; Reilly, Regina M; Campbell, Thomas J; Polakowski, James S; Hernandez, Lisa; Marsh, Kennan C; Shapiro, Robin; Knourek-Segel, Victoria; Droz, Brian; Bush, Eugene; Brune, Michael; Preusser, Lee C; Fryer, Ryan M; Reinhart, Glenn A; Houseman, Kathryn; Diaz, Gilbert; Mikhail, Ann; Limberis, James T; Sham, Hing L; Collins, Christine A; Kym, Philip R

    2006-11-01

    Evaluation of multiple structurally distinct series of melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonists in an anesthetized rat cardiovascualar assay led to the identification of a chromone-2-carboxamide series as having excellent safety against the chosen cardiovascular endpoints at high drug concentrations in the plasma and brain. Optimization of this series led to considerable improvements in affinity, functional potency, and pharmacokinetic profile. This led to the identification of a 7-fluorochromone-2-carboxamide (22) that was orally efficacious in a diet-induced obese mouse model, retained a favorable cardiovascular profile in rat, and demonstrated dramatic improvement in effects on mean arterial pressure in our dog cardiovascular model compared to other series reported by our group. However, this analogue also led to prolongation of the QT interval in the dog that was linked to affinity for hERG channel and unexpectedly potent functional blockade of this ion channel. PMID:17064075

  15. Inhibitory and Acceleratory Effects of Inonotus obliquus on Tyrosinase Activity and Melanin Formation in B16 Melanoma Cells.

    PubMed

    Yan, Zheng-Fei; Yang, Yang; Tian, Feng-Hua; Mao, Xin-Xin; Li, Yu; Li, Chang-Tian

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to preliminarily investigate the antimelanogenesis effect of Inonotus obliquus extracts by cell-free mushroom tyrosinase assay. It was found that petroleum ether and n-butanol extracts might contain unknown potential tyrosinase inhibitors, while its ethyl acetate extract might contain some unknown accelerators. Six compounds were isolated and their structures were identified by interpretation of NMR data and nicotinic acid was first discovered in Inonotus obliquus. In cells testing, betulin and trametenolic acid decreased tyrosinase activity and melanin content, while inotodiol and lanosterol significantly increased tyrosinase activity and melanin content, showing an AC⁡50 of 9.74 and 8.43 μM, respectively. Nicotinie acid, 3β,22,25-trihydroxy-lanosta-8-ene, had a little or no effect on tyrosinase. Betulin exhibited a mode of noncompetitive inhibition with a K I = K IS of 0.4 μM on tyrosinase activity showing an IC50 of 5.13 μM and being more effective than kojic acid (6.43 μM), and trametenolic acid exhibited a mode of mixed inhibition with a K I of 0.9 μM, K IS of 0.5 μM, and an IC50 of 7.25 μM. We proposed betulin and trametenolic acid as a new candidate of potent tyrosinase inhibitors and inotodiol and lanosterol as accelerators that could be used as therapeutic agent. PMID:25197307

  16. Effective Melanin Depigmentation of Human and Murine Ocular Tissues: An Improved Method for Paraffin and Frozen Sections

    PubMed Central

    Manicam, Caroline; Pitz, Susanne; Brochhausen, Christoph; Grus, Franz H.; Pfeiffer, Norbert; Gericke, Adrian

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The removal of excessive melanin pigments that obscure ocular tissue morphology is important to address scientific questions and for differential diagnosis of ocular tumours based on histology. Thus, the goal of the present study was to establish an effective and fast melanin bleaching method for paraffin and frozen mouse and human ocular tissues. Methods Paraffin-embedded and frozen ocular specimens from mice and human donors were subjected to bleaching employing two methods. The first employed potassium permanganate (KMnO4) with oxalic acid, and the second 10% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). To determine optimal bleaching conditions, depigmentation was carried out at various incubation times. The effect of diluents used for 10% H2O2 was assessed using phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and deionized water. Three different slide types and two fixatives, which were ice-cold acetone with 80% methanol, and 4% paraformaldehyde (PFA) were used to determine the optimal conditions for better tissue adherence during bleaching. All tissues were stained in hematoxylin and eosin for histological evaluation. Results Optimal bleaching was achieved using warm 10% H2O2 diluted in PBS at 65°C for 120 minutes. Chromium-gelatin-coated slides prevented tissue detachment. Adherence of cryosections was also improved with post-fixation using 4% PFA and overnight air-drying at RT after cryosectioning. Tissue morphology was preserved under these conditions. Conversely, tissues bleached in KMnO4/oxalic acid demonstrated poor depigmentation with extensive tissue damage. Conclusions Warm dilute H2O2 at 65°C for 120 minutes rapidly and effectively bleached both cryo- and paraffin sections of murine and human ocular tissues. PMID:25025426

  17. Trace metals, melanin-based pigmentation and their interaction influence immune parameters in feral pigeons (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Chatelain, M; Gasparini, J; Frantz, A

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the effects of trace metals emitted by anthropogenic activities on wildlife is of great concern in urban ecology; yet, information on how they affect individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems remains scarce. In particular, trace metals may impact survival by altering the immune system response to parasites. Plumage melanin is assumed to influence the effects of trace metals on immunity owing to its ability to bind metal ions in feathers and its synthesis being coded by a pleiotropic gene. We thus hypothesized that trace metal exposure would interact with plumage colouration in shaping immune response. We experimentally investigated the interactive effect between exposure to an environmentally relevant range of zinc and/or lead and melanin-based plumage colouration on components of the immune system in feral pigeons (Columba livia). We found that zinc increased anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) IgY primary response maintenance, buffered the negative effect of lead on anti-KLH IgY secondary response maintenance and tended to increase T-cell mediated phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) skin response. Lead decreased the peak of the anti-KLH IgY secondary response. In addition, pheomelanic pigeons exhibited a higher secondary anti-KLH IgY response than did eumelanic ones. Finally, T-cell mediated PHA skin response decreased with increasing plumage eumelanin level of birds exposed to lead. Neither treatments nor plumage colouration correlated with endoparasite intensity. Overall, our study points out the effects of trace metals on some parameters of birds' immunity, independently from other confounding urbanization factors, and underlines the need to investigate their impacts on other life history traits and their consequences in the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions. PMID:26809976

  18. Resveratrol-Enriched Rice Down-Regulates Melanin Synthesis in UVB-Induced Guinea Pigs Epidermal Skin Tissue.

    PubMed

    Lee, Taek Hwan; Seo, Jae Ok; Do, Moon Ho; Ji, Eunhee; Baek, So-Hyeon; Kim, Sun Yeou

    2014-09-01

    Synthetic compounds that are used in the clinic to regulate skin hyperpigmentation, such as arbutin, hydroquinone, and kojic acid, are only moderately effective. But, their use is limited by side effects. As part of an effort to overcome the limitations, we developed resveratrol-enriched rice (RR) using genetic engineering technique. Each of resveratrol and rice has been reported to produce anti-melanogenic effects. Therefore, we hypothesized that RR would show more anti-melanogenic effects than those of resveratrol or rice alone. Anti-melanogenic effect of RR was done by using melan-a mouse melanocytes. The depigmenting efficacy was then observed following topical application of the RR to UVB-stimulated hyperpigmented dorsal skin of guinea pigs. Treatment with RR extract resulted a 21.4 ± 0.7% decrease in tyrosinase expression at melan-a cells. Colorimetric analysis showed a significantly lower depigmenting value by day 9 following treatment with RR in UVB-irradiated guinea pigs the dorsal skin (p<0.01), indicating that RR produced a depigmentation effect. By staining with Fontana-Masson stain, we found that the RR-treated group had more effect histopathologically in epidermal melanin production than resveratrol or rice alone-treated group. RR was associated with reduction in the levels of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), and downregulation of tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein (TRP-2) expression, leading to inhibit epidermal melanin production by western blot analysis. This study suggests that the resveratrol-enriched rice may be a promising candidate in regulating skin pigmentation with UVB exposure. PMID:25414774

  19. Pigmented-MDCK (P-MDCK) cell line with tunable melanin expression: an in vitro model for the outer blood-retinal barrier.

    PubMed

    Kadam, Rajendra S; Scheinman, Robert I; Kompella, Uday B

    2012-11-01

    Retinal pigment epithelium, which forms the outer blood-retinal barrier, is a critical barrier for transport of drugs to the retina. The purpose of this study was to develop a pigmented MDCK (P-MDCK) cell line as a rapidly established in vitro model for the outer blood-retinal barrier to assess the influence of melanin pigment on solute permeability. A melanin synthesizing P-MDCK cell line was developed by lentiviral transduction of human tyrosinase and p-protein genes in MDCK (NBL-2) cells. Melanin content, tyrosinase activity (conversion of L-dopa to dopachrome), and transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) were measured. Expression of tyrosinase protein and p-protein in P-MDCK cells was confirmed by confocal microscopy. Effect of l-tyrosine (0 to 2 mM) in culture medium on melanin synthesis in P-MDCK cells was evaluated. Cell uptake and transepithelial transport of pigment-binding chloroquine (Log D = 1.59) and a negative control salicylic acid (Log D = -1.14) were investigated. P-MDCK cells expressed tyrosinase and p-protein. Tyrosinase activity was 4.5-fold higher in P-MDCK cells compared to wild type MDCK cells. The transepithelial electrical resistance stabilized by day 4 in both cell types, with the TEER being 958 ± 33 and 964 ± 58 Ω·cm(2) for P-MDCK and wild type cells, respectively. Melanin content in P-MDCK cells depended on the concentration of l-tyrosine in culture medium, and increased from 3 to 54 μg/mg protein with an increase in l-tyrosine content from 0 to 2 mM. When the cells were grown in 2 mM l-tyrosine, uptake of chloroquine was 2.3-fold higher and the transepithelial transport was 2.2-fold lower in P-MDCK cells when compared to wild type MDCK cells. No significant difference was observed for both cell uptake and transport of salicylic acid. We developed a P-MDCK cell line with tunable melanin synthesis as a rapidly developing surrogate for retinal pigment epithelium. PMID:23003570

  20. Effect of Light Wavelengths and Coherence on Growth, Enzymes Activity, and Melanin Accumulation of Liquid-Cultured Inonotus obliquus (Ach.:Pers.) Pilát.

    PubMed

    Poyedinok, Natalia; Mykhaylova, Oksana; Tugay, Tatyana; Tugay, Andrei; Negriyko, Anatoly; Dudka, Irina

    2015-05-01

    To investigate effects of light wavelengths and coherence on growth of liquid-cultured Inonotus obliquus mycelia, melanin accumulation and enzymes activity, culture condition as light of different wavelengths and coherence were studied. Short-term exposure of the vegetative mycelium by low-intensity coherent blue light was optimal for stimulation of growth, melanin synthesis, and increase in extracellular and intracellular activities of tyrosinase and polyphenoloxidase and extracellular catalase. Red coherent light, in the same mode, can effectively be used to stimulate the growth of mycelium and to increase intracellular and extracellular activity of polyphenoloxidase, extracellular catalase and tyrosinase, and intracellular peroxidase. Low-coherent light had less stimulating effect on the biosynthetic activity of I. оbliquus. It should be used in the cultivation directed at the obtaining endomelanin, polyphenoloxidase, and extracellular tyrosinase. PMID:25809995

  1. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Ma, Li; Parkhurst, Amy; Jeffery, William R

    2013-01-01

    Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish) and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish), albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment. PMID:24282555

  2. Melanin production by a yeast strain XJ5-1 of Aureobasidium melanogenum isolated from the Taklimakan desert and its role in the yeast survival in stress environments.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hong; Liu, Nan-Nan; Liu, Guang-Lei; Chi, Zhe; Wang, Jian-Ming; Zhang, Ly-Ly; Chi, Zhen-Ming

    2016-07-01

    The yeast strain XJ5-1 isolated from the Taklimakan desert soil was identified to be a strain of Aureobasdium melanogenum and could produce a large amount of melanin when it was grown in the PDA medium, but its melanin biosynthesis and expression of the PKS gene responsible for the melanin biosynthesis was significantly repressed in the presence of (NH4)2SO4. However, A. melanogenum P5 strain isolated from a mangrove ecosystem grown in both the presence and the absence of (NH4)2SO4 did not produce any melanin. The cell size of A. melanogenum XJ5-1 strain was much higher than that of A. melanogenum P5 strain. The melanized cells of the yeast strain XJ5-1 had higher tolerance to UV radiation, oxidation (200.0 mM H2O2), heat treatment (40 °C), salt shock (200.0 g/L NaCl), desiccation and strong acid hydrolysis (6.0 M HCl) at high temperature (80 °C) than the non-melanized cells of the same yeast strain XJ5-1. At the same time, the melanized cells of the yeast strain XJ5-1 also had higher tolerance to UV radiation, oxidation (200.0 mM H2O2), desiccation and strong acid hydrolysis (6.0 M HCl) at high temperature (80 °C) than A. melanogenum P5 strain, but had similar resistance to heat treatment (40 °C) and salt shock (200.0 g/L NaCl) compared to those of A. melanogenum P5 strain. All the results revealed that many characteristics of A. melanogenum XJ5-1 isolated from the Taklimakan desert soil was different from those of A. melanogenum P5 strain isolated from the mangrove ecosystem. PMID:27290725

  3. Anti-infective properties of the melanin-glucan complex obtained from medicinal tinder bracket mushroom, Fomes fomentarius (L.: Fr.) Fr. (Aphyllophoromycetideae).

    PubMed

    Seniuk, Olga F; Gorovoj, Leontiy F; Beketova, Galina V; Savichuk, Hatalia O; Rytik, Petr G; Kucherov, Igor I; Prilutskay, Alla B; Prilutsky, Alexandr I

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this investigation was to comparatively study the efficiency of traditionally used anti-infective drugs and biopolymer complexes originated from the medicinal mushroom Fomes fomentarius (L.:Fr.) Fr.: 1) water-soluble melanin-glucan complex (MGC; -80% melanins and -20% beta-glucans) and 2) insoluble chitin-glucan-melanin complex (ChGMC; -70% chitin, -20% beta-glucans, and -10% melanins). Infectious materials (Helicobacter pylori, Candida albicans, and Herpes vulgaris I and HIV-1(zmb) were used in pure cultures of in vitro and in vivo models on experimental animals. Comparison studies of fungal biopolymers and effective modern antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral drugs were used in in vitro models. The comparative clinical efficiency of ChGMC and of etiotropic pharmaceuticals in models of H. pylori, C. albicans, and H. vulgaris I infection contamination were studied. Using in vitro models, it was established that MGC completely depresses growth of C. albicans. MGC had an antimicrobial effect on H. pylori identical to erythromycin in all concentrations, and had a stronger action on this bacterium than other tested antibiotics. Tested MGC possesses simultaneously weak toxicity and high anti-HIV-1 activity in comparison with zidovudine (Retrovir). The obtained results show that CLUDDT therapy in Wistar rats with the application of ChGMC is, on average, 1.35-1.43 times as effective as a traditional one. Considering the absence of MGC and ChGMC toxic properties on blood cells even in very high concentrations, these complexes may be used as a source of biopolymers for the creation of essentially new agents for wide application in infectious pathology. PMID:22135899

  4. Preclinical evaluation of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonism for the treatment of obesity and depression.

    PubMed

    Gehlert, Donald R; Rasmussen, Kurt; Shaw, Janice; Li, Xia; Ardayfio, Paul; Craft, Libbey; Coskun, Tamer; Zhang, Hong Y; Chen, Yanyun; Witkin, Jeffrey M

    2009-05-01

    The mammalian neuropeptide, melanin-concentrating hormone, interacts with two G protein-coupled receptors, melanin-concentrating hormone receptor (MCHR) 1 and MCHR2; however, only MCHR1 is expressed in rats and mice. In the present study, we evaluated MCHR1 antagonism in preclinical models believed to be predictive of antiobesity and antidepressant activity. Central activity of the selective MCHR1 antagonist, GW803430 [6-(4-chloro-phenyl)-3-[3-methoxy-4-(2-pyrrolidin-1-yl-ethoxy)-phenyl]-3H-thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidin-4-one], was evaluated using ex vivo binding with autoradiography. Effective doses of GW803430 (1 and 3 mg/kg p.o.) were correlated with antiobesity activity in a 14-day study of diet-induced obese rats. GW803430 was evaluated subsequently for antidepressant-like effects in mice and rats. Acute and subchronic administration reduced immobility time in the mouse forced-swim test at doses of 3 (acute) and 3 and 10 (chronic) mg/kg p.o., an effect that was absent in MCHR1(-/-) mice. Combined subeffective doses of GW803430 (0.3 and 1 mg/kg p.o.) and imipramine (5 mg/kg) produced a robust antidepressant-like response. The compound was also active in the tail suspension test at a dose of 10 mg/kg p.o. GW803430 (30 mg/kg p.o.) significantly reduced submissive behaviors at weeks 2 and 3, a model of submissive behavior that may predict antidepressant onset. GW803430 decreased marble burying in mice at doses of 3, 10, and 30 mg/kg p.o., an assay that detects anxiolytic-like effects. Thus, GW803430 produces robust antiobesity and antidepressant-like effects in rats and mice at doses that compete for central MCHR1 in vivo. As such, MCHR1 should be considered as a promising target for future drug discovery efforts. PMID:19182070

  5. Roles of reactive oxygen species in UVA-induced oxidation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid-melanin as studied by differential spectrophotometric method.

    PubMed

    Ito, Shosuke; Kikuta, Marina; Koike, Shota; Szewczyk, Grzegorz; Sarna, Michal; Zadlo, Andrzej; Sarna, Tadeusz; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2016-05-01

    Eumelanin photoprotects pigmented tissues from ultraviolet (UV) damage. However, UVA-induced tanning seems to result from the photooxidation of preexisting melanin and does not contribute to photoprotection. We investigated the mechanism of UVA-induced degradation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA)-melanin taking advantage of its solubility in a neutral buffer and using a differential spectrophotometric method to detect subtle changes in its structure. Our methodology is suitable for examining the effects of various agents that interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to determine how ROS is involved in the UVA-induced oxidative modifications. The results show that UVA radiation induces the oxidation of DHICA to indole-5,6-quinone-2-carboxylic acid in eumelanin, which is then cleaved to form a photodegraded, pyrrolic moiety and finally to form free pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid. The possible involvement of superoxide radical and singlet oxygen in the oxidation was suggested. The generation and quenching of singlet oxygen by DHICA-melanin was confirmed by direct measurements of singlet oxygen phosphorescence. PMID:26920809

  6. Analysis on unevenness of skin color using the melanin and hemoglobin components separated by independent component analysis of skin color image

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, Nobutoshi; Fujiwara, Izumi; Inoue, Yayoi; Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Iwata, Kayoko

    2011-03-01

    Uneven distribution of skin color is one of the biggest concerns about facial skin appearance. Recently several techniques to analyze skin color have been introduced by separating skin color information into chromophore components, such as melanin and hemoglobin. However, there are not many reports on quantitative analysis of unevenness of skin color by considering type of chromophore, clusters of different sizes and concentration of the each chromophore. We propose a new image analysis and simulation method based on chromophore analysis and spatial frequency analysis. This method is mainly composed of three techniques: independent component analysis (ICA) to extract hemoglobin and melanin chromophores from a single skin color image, an image pyramid technique which decomposes each chromophore into multi-resolution images, which can be used for identifying different sizes of clusters or spatial frequencies, and analysis of the histogram obtained from each multi-resolution image to extract unevenness parameters. As the application of the method, we also introduce an image processing technique to change unevenness of melanin component. As the result, the method showed high capabilities to analyze unevenness of each skin chromophore: 1) Vague unevenness on skin could be discriminated from noticeable pigmentation such as freckles or acne. 2) By analyzing the unevenness parameters obtained from each multi-resolution image for Japanese ladies, agerelated changes were observed in the parameters of middle spatial frequency. 3) An image processing system modulating the parameters was proposed to change unevenness of skin images along the axis of the obtained age-related change in real time.

  7. DHN melanin biosynthesis in the plant pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea is based on two developmentally regulated key enzyme (PKS)-encoding genes.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Julia

    2016-02-01

    Botrytis cinerea is the causal agent of gray mold disease in various plant species and produces grayish macroconidia and/or black sclerotia at the end of the infection cycle. It has been suggested that the pigmentation is due to the accumulation of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin. To unravel its basis and regulation, the putative melanogenic and regulatory genes were identified and functionally characterized. Unlike other DHN melanin-producing fungi, B. cinerea and other Leotiomycetes contain two key enzyme (PKS)-encoding enzymes. Bcpks12 and bcpks13 are developmentally regulated and are required for melanogenesis in sclerotia and conidia respectively. BcYGH1 converts the BcPKS13 product and contributes thereby to conidial melanogenesis. In contrast, enzymes acting downstream in conversion of the PKS products (BcBRN2, BcSCD1 and BcBRN1) are required for both, sclerotial and conidial melanogenesis, suggesting that DHN melanogenesis in B. cinerea follows a non-linear pathway that is rather unusual for secondary metabolic pathways. Regulation of the melanogenic genes involves three pathway-specific transcription factors (TFs) that are clustered with bcpks12 or bcpks13 and other developmental regulators such as light-responsive TFs. Melanogenic genes are dispensable in vegetative mycelia for proper growth and virulence. However, DHN melanin is considered to contribute to the longevity of the reproduction structures. PMID:26514268

  8. Demonstration of tyrosinase in the vitiligo skin of human beings by a sensitive fluorometric method as well as by 14C(U)-L-tyrosine incorporation into melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Husain, I.; Vijayan, E.; Ramaiah, A.; Pasricha, J.S.; Madan, N.C.

    1982-03-01

    Tyrosinase activity (Monophenol, dihydroxyphenylalanine: oxygen oxidoreductase EC 1.14.18.1) in vitiligo and normal epidermal homogenates of skin from human beings was measured by estimating beta 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa) by a highly sensitive fluorometric method described in this paper. The tyrosine activity in the vitiligo skin was about 4 to 37% of corresponding normal skin. The activity of tyrosinase in normal human skin from different individuals and from different regions of the body was in the range of 4 to 140 picomoles of beta 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine formed per min/mg protein of epidermal homogenate. The enzyme from vitiligo and normal skin was severely inhibited by substance(s) of low molecular weight. The enzyme exhibits a lag of about 4 hr in the absence of added beta 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 1 hr in presence of 5 microM dopa. Tyrosinase from the normal and vitiligo skin was inhibited by excess concentration of tyrosine. The homogenates from vitiligo skin could synthesize melanin from C14(U)-L-Tyrosine. The rate of tyrosine incorporation into melanin by the epidermal homogenates is increased by 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa) disproportionate to its effect on tyrosinase activity. Based on the data presented in this paper it is concluded that melanocytes are present in the vitiligo skin. A tentative hypothesis is put forward to explain the lack of melanin synthesis by the vitiligo skin under in vivo conditions, although melanocytes are present.

  9. Ablation of neurons expressing melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) in adult mice improves glucose tolerance independent of MCH signaling.

    PubMed

    Whiddon, Benjamin B; Palmiter, Richard D

    2013-01-30

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-expressing neurons have been ascribed many roles based on studies of MCH-deficient mice. However, MCH neurons express other neurotransmitters, including GABA, nesfatin, and cocaine-amphetamine-regulated transcript. The importance of these other signaling molecules made by MCH neurons remains incompletely characterized. To determine the roles of MCH neurons in vivo, we targeted expression of the human diphtheria toxin receptor (DTR) to the gene for MCH (Pmch). Within 2 weeks of diphtheria toxin injection, heterozygous Pmch(DTR/+) mice lost 98% of their MCH neurons. These mice became lean but ate normally and were hyperactive, especially during a fast. They also responded abnormally to psychostimulants. For these phenotypes, ablation of MCH neurons recapitulated knock-out of MCH, so MCH appears to be the critical neuromodulator released by these neurons. In contrast, MCH-neuron-ablated mice showed improved glucose tolerance when compared with MCH-deficient mutant mice and wild-type mice. We conclude that MCH neurons regulate glucose tolerance through signaling molecules other than MCH. PMID:23365238

  10. Inhibitory effect of Cucumis sativus on melanin production in melanoma B16 cells by downregulation of tyrosinase expression.

    PubMed

    Kai, Hisahiro; Baba, Masaki; Okuyama, Toru

    2008-12-01

    We compared the inhibitory effects on melanogenesis of six plant parts (leaves, stems, roots, whole fruits, calyxes, and fruits without calyxes) of Cucumis sativus. MeOH extracts of leaves and stems inhibited melanin production in B16 cells. These extracts did not affect the activity of mushroom tyrosinase or crude enzyme lysate from B16 cells. However, the extracts decreased tyrosinase expression at the protein level. These results suggest that the depigmenting mechanism of extracts from leaves and stems of C. SATIVUS involves the expression of tyrosinase. Of eight compounds isolated from the leaves, lutein ( 1) (IC (50) = 170.7 microM) and (+)-(1 R,2 S,5 R,6 S)-2,6-di-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-3,7-dioxabicyclo[3.3.0]octane ( 2) (IC (50) = 270.8 microM) were found to suppress melanogenesis. Whereas 1 was found to markedly decrease the expression levels of tyrosinase, 2 only weakly reduced tyrosinase expression. This suggests that 1 is an active component in the leaves of C. sativus and is a potentially useful skin-whitening agent. PMID:19009501

  11. Black perithecial pigmentation in Fusarium species is due to the accumulation of 5-deoxybostrycoidin-based melanin.

    PubMed

    Frandsen, Rasmus J N; Rasmussen, Silas A; Knudsen, Peter B; Uhlig, Silvio; Petersen, Dirk; Lysøe, Erik; Gotfredsen, Charlotte H; Giese, Henriette; Larsen, Thomas O

    2016-01-01

    Biosynthesis of the black perithecial pigment in the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum is dependent on the polyketide synthase PGL1 (oPKS3). A seven-membered PGL1 gene cluster was identified by over-expression of the cluster specific transcription factor pglR. Targeted gene replacement showed that PGL1, pglJ, pglM and pglV were essential for the production of the perithecial pigment. Over-expression of PGL1 resulted in the production of 6-O-demethyl-5-deoxybostrycoidin (1), 5-deoxybostrycoidin (2), and three novel compounds 5-deoxybostrycoidin anthrone (3), 6-O-demethyl-5-deoxybostrycoidin anthrone (4) and purpurfusarin (5). The novel dimeric bostrycoidin purpurfusarin (5) was found to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans with an IC50 of 8.0 +/- 1.9 μM. The results show that Fusarium species with black perithecia have a previously undescribed form of 5-deoxybostrycoidin based melanin in their fruiting bodies. PMID:27193384

  12. Characterization of Two Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Genes in Zebrafish Reveals Evolutionary and Physiological Links with the Mammalian MCH System

    PubMed Central

    BERMAN, JENNIFER R.; SKARIAH, GEMINI; MARO, GÉRALDINE S.; MIGNOT, EMMANUEL; MOURRAIN, PHILIPPE

    2011-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) regulates feeding and complex behaviors in mammals and pigmentation in fish. The relationship between fish and mammalian MCH systems is not well understood. Here, we identify and characterize two MCH genes in zebrafish, Pmch1 and Pmch2. Whereas Pmch1 and its corresponding MCH1 peptide resemble MCH found in other fish, the zebrafish Pmch2 gene and MCH2 peptide share genomic structure, synteny, and high peptide sequence homology with mammalian MCH. Zebrafish Pmch genes are expressed in closely associated but non-overlapping neurons within the hypothalamus, and MCH2 neurons send numerous projections to multiple MCH receptor-rich targets with presumed roles in sensory perception, learning and memory, arousal, and homeostatic regulation. Preliminary functional analysis showed that whereas changes in zebrafish Pmch1 expression correlate with pigmentation changes, the number of MCH2-expressing neurons increases in response to chronic food deprivation. These findings demonstrate that zebrafish MCH2 is the putative structural and functional ortholog of mammalian MCH and help elucidate the nature of MCH evolution among vertebrates. PMID:19827161

  13. Three-dimensional visualization of the distribution of melanin-concentrating hormone producing neurons in the mouse hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Reinitz, László Zoltán; Szőke, Balázs; Várkonyi, Emese Éva; Sótonyi, Péter; Jancsik, Veronika

    2016-01-01

    We present here a new procedure to represent the 3D distribution of neuronal cell bodies within the brain, using exclusively softwares free for research purposes. Our technique is based on digitalized photos of brain slices processed by immunohistochemical technique, and the 3D Slicer software. The technique presented enables transposition of immunohistochemical or in situ hybridization data to the stereotaxic mouse brain atlas (e.g. Paxinos, G., Franklin, K.B.J., 2001. The Mouse Brain in Stereotaxic Coordinates. second ed. Academic Press, San Diego). By exporting the finalized models into a popular 3D design software (3DS Max) arbitrary environment and motion simulation can be created to improve the visual understanding of the area studied. Application of this technique provides the possibility to store, analyze and compare data - e.g. on the hypothalamic neuropeptides - across experimental techniques and laboratories. The method is exemplified by visualizing the distribution of immunohistochemically identified melanin-concetrating hormone (MCH) containing perikarya within the mouse hypothalamus. PMID:26686291

  14. Black perithecial pigmentation in Fusarium species is due to the accumulation of 5-deoxybostrycoidin-based melanin

    PubMed Central

    Frandsen, Rasmus J. N.; Rasmussen, Silas A.; Knudsen, Peter B.; Uhlig, Silvio; Petersen, Dirk; Lysøe, Erik; Gotfredsen, Charlotte H.; Giese, Henriette; Larsen, Thomas O.

    2016-01-01

    Biosynthesis of the black perithecial pigment in the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum is dependent on the polyketide synthase PGL1 (oPKS3). A seven-membered PGL1 gene cluster was identified by over-expression of the cluster specific transcription factor pglR. Targeted gene replacement showed that PGL1, pglJ, pglM and pglV were essential for the production of the perithecial pigment. Over-expression of PGL1 resulted in the production of 6-O-demethyl-5-deoxybostrycoidin (1), 5-deoxybostrycoidin (2), and three novel compounds 5-deoxybostrycoidin anthrone (3), 6-O-demethyl-5-deoxybostrycoidin anthrone (4) and purpurfusarin (5). The novel dimeric bostrycoidin purpurfusarin (5) was found to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans with an IC50 of 8.0 +/− 1.9 μM. The results show that Fusarium species with black perithecia have a previously undescribed form of 5-deoxybostrycoidin based melanin in their fruiting bodies. PMID:27193384

  15. Imaging melanin cancer growth in-vivo using raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) at 50 MHz and 100 MHz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omar, Murad; Schwarz, Mathias; Soliman, Dominik; Symvoulidis, Panagiotis; Ntziachristos, Vasilis

    2016-03-01

    We used raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) at 50 MHz, and at 100 MHz, to monitor tumor growth, and tumor angiogenesis, which is a central hallmark of cancer, in-vivo. In this study we compared the performance, and the effect of the 50 MHz, and the 100 MHz frequencies on the quality of the final image. The system is based on a reflection-mode implementation of RSOM. The detectors used are custom made, ultrawideband, and spherically focused. The use of such detectors enables light coupling from the same side as the detector, thus reflection-mode. Light is in turn coupled using a fiber bundle, and the detector is raster scanned in the xy-plane. Subsequently, to retrieve small features, the raw data are reconstructed using a multi-bandwidth, beamforming reconstruction algorithm. Comparison of the system performance at the different frequencies shows as expected a higher resolution in case of the 100 MHz detector compared to the 50 MHz. On the other hand the 50 MHz has a better SNR, can detect features from deeper layers, and has higher angular acceptance. Based on these characteristics the 50 MHz detector was mostly used. After comparing the performance we monitored the growth of B16F10 cells, melanin tumor, over the course of 9 days. We see correspondence between the optoacoustic measurements and the cryoslice validations. Additionally, in areas close to the tumor we see sprouting of new vessels, starting at day 4-5, which corresponds to tumor angiogenesis.

  16. Melanin and humic acid-like polymer complex from olive mill waste waters. Part I. Isolation and characterization.

    PubMed

    Khemakhem, Maissa; Papadimitriou, Vassiliki; Sotiroudis, Georgios; Zoumpoulakis, Panagiotis; Arbez-Gindre, Cécile; Bouzouita, Nabiha; Sotiroudis, Theodore G

    2016-07-15

    A water soluble humic acid and melanin-like polymer complex (OMWW-ASP) was isolated from olive mill waste waters (OMWW) by ammonium sulfate fractionation to be used as natural additive in food preparations. The dark polymer complex was further characterized by a variety of biochemical, physicochemical and spectroscopic techniques. OMWW-ASP is composed mainly of proteins associated with polyphenols and carbohydrates and the distribution of its relative molecular size was determined between about 5 and 190 kDa. SDS-PAGE shows the presence of a well separated protein band of 21.3 kDa and a low molecular weight peptide. The OMWW-ASP complex exhibits a monotonically increasing UV-Vis absorption spectrum and it contains stable radicals. Antioxidant activity measurements reveal the ability of the OMWW protein fraction to scavenge both the cationic 2,2'-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS(+)) radical, as well as the stable nitroxide free radical 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl (TEMPOL). PMID:26948649

  17. Hypothalamic melanin-concentrating hormone is induced by cold exposure and participates in the control of energy expenditure in rats.

    PubMed

    Pereira-da-Silva, Márcio; Torsoni, Márcio A; Nourani, Hugo V; Augusto, Viviane D; Souza, Claudio T; Gasparetti, Alessandra L; Carvalheira, José B; Ventrucci, Gislaine; Marcondes, Maria Cristina C G; Cruz-Neto, Ariovaldo P; Saad, Mário J A; Boschero, Antonio C; Carneiro, Everardo M; Velloso, Lício A

    2003-11-01

    Short-term cold exposure of homeothermic animals leads to higher thermogenesis and food consumption accompanied by weight loss. An analysis of cDNA-macroarray was employed to identify candidate mRNA species that encode proteins involved in thermogenic adaptation to cold. A cDNA-macroarray analysis, confirmed by RT-PCR, immunoblot, and RIA, revealed that the hypothalamic expression of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is enhanced by exposure of rats to cold environment. The blockade of hypothalamic MCH expression by antisense MCH oligonucleotide in cold-exposed rats promoted no changes in feeding behavior and body temperature. However, MCH blockade led to a significant drop in body weight, which was accompanied by decreased liver glycogen, increased relative body fat, increased absolute and relative interscapular brown adipose tissue mass, increased uncoupling protein 1 expression in brown adipose tissue, and increased consumption of lean body mass. Thus, increased hypothalamic MCH expression in rats exposed to cold may participate in the process that allows for efficient use of energy for heat production during thermogenic adaptation to cold. PMID:12960043

  18. Effect of intrahippocampal administration of anti-melanin-concentrating hormone on spatial food-seeking behavior in rats.

    PubMed

    Sita, Luciane Valéria; Diniz, Giovanne Baroni; Canteras, Newton Sabino; Xavier, Gilberto Fernando; Bittencourt, Jackson Cioni

    2016-02-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a hypothalamic peptide that plays a critical role in the regulation of food intake and energy metabolism. In this study, we investigated the potential role of dense hippocampal MCH innervation in the spatially oriented food-seeking component of feeding behavior. Rats were trained for eight sessions to seek food buried in an arena using the working memory version of the food-seeking behavior (FSB) task. The testing day involved a bilateral anti-MCH injection into the hippocampal formation followed by two trials. The anti-MCH injection did not interfere with the performance during the first trial on the testing day, which was similar to the training trials. However, during the second testing trial, when no food was presented in the arena, the control subjects exhibited a dramatic increase in the latency to initiate digging. Treatment with an anti-MCH antibody did not interfere with either the food-seeking behavior or the spatial orientation of the subjects, but the increase in the latency to start digging observed in the control subjects was prevented. These results are discussed in terms of a potential MCH-mediated hippocampal role in the integration of the sensory information necessary for decision-making in the pre-ingestive component of feeding behavior. PMID:26804300

  19. 3-D volume reconstruction of skin lesions for melanin and blood volume estimation and lesion severity analysis.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Brian; Dhawan, Atam P

    2012-11-01

    Subsurface information about skin lesions, such as the blood volume beneath the lesion, is important for the analysis of lesion severity towards early detection of skin cancer such as malignant melanoma. Depth information can be obtained from diffuse reflectance based multispectral transillumination images of the skin. An inverse volume reconstruction method is presented which uses a genetic algorithm optimization procedure with a novel population initialization routine and nudge operator based on the multispectral images to reconstruct the melanin and blood layer volume components. Forward model evaluation for fitness calculation is performed using a parallel processing voxel-based Monte Carlo simulation of light in skin. Reconstruction results for simulated lesions show excellent volume accuracy. Preliminary validation is also done using a set of 14 clinical lesions, categorized into lesion severity by an expert dermatologist. Using two features, the average blood layer thickness and the ratio of blood volume to total lesion volume, the lesions can be classified into mild and moderate/severe classes with 100% accuracy. The method therefore has excellent potential for detection and analysis of pre-malignant lesions. PMID:22829392

  20. Molecular characterization of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) in Schizothorax prenanti: cloning, tissue distribution and role in food intake regulation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tao; Yuan, Dengyue; Zhou, Chaowei; Lin, Fangjun; Wei, Rongbin; Chen, Hu; Wu, Hongwei; Xin, Zhiming; Liu, Ju; Gao, Yundi; Chen, Defang; Yang, Shiyong; Wang, Yan; Pu, Yundan; Li, Zhiqiong

    2016-06-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a crucial neuropeptide involved in various biological functions in both mammals and fish. In this study, the full-length MCH cDNA was obtained from Schizothorax prenanti by rapid amplification of cDNA ends polymerase chain reaction. The full-length MCH cDNA contained 589 nucleotides including an open reading frame of 375 nucleotides encoding 256 amino acids. MCH mRNA was highly expressed in the brain by real-time quantitative PCR analysis. Within the brain, expression of MCH mRNA was preponderantly detected in the hypothalamus. In addition, the MCH mRNA expression in the S. prenanti hypothalamus of fed group was significantly decreased compared with the fasted group at 1 and 3 h post-feeding, respectively. Furthermore, the MCH gene expression presented significant increase in the hypothalamus of fasted group compared with the fed group during long-term fasting. After re-feeding, there was a dramatic decrease in MCH mRNA expression in the hypothalamus of S. prenanti. The results indicate that the expression of MCH is affected by feeding status. Taken together, our results suggest that MCH may be involved in food intake regulation in S. prenanti. PMID:26690629

  1. The orexigenic effect of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is influenced by sex and stage of the estrous cycle.

    PubMed

    Santollo, Jessica; Eckel, Lisa A

    2008-03-18

    Recently, it was shown that the orexigenic effect of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is attenuated by estradiol treatment in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. This suggests that female rats may be less responsive than male rats to the behavioral effects of MCH. To investigate this hypothesis, the effects of lateral ventricular infusions of MCH on food intake, water intake, meal patterns, and running wheel activity were examined in male and female rats. To further characterize the impact of estradiol on MCH-induced food intake, female rats were OVX and tested with and without 17-beta-estradiol benzoate (EB) replacement. In support of our hypothesis, food and water intakes following MCH treatment were greater in male rats, relative to female rats. Specifically, the orexigenic effect of MCH was maximal in male rats and minimal in EB-treated OVX rats. In both sexes, the orexigenic effect of MCH was mediated by a selective increase in meal size, which was attenuated in EB-treated OVX rats. MCH-induced a short-term (2 h) decrease in wheel running that, unlike its effects on ingestive behavior, was similar in males and females. Thus, estradiol decreases some, but not all, of the behavioral effects of MCH. To examine the influence of endogenous estradiol, food intake was monitored following MCH treatment in ovarian-intact, cycling rats. As predicted by our findings in OVX rats, the orexigenic effect of MCH was attenuated in estrous rats, relative to diestrous rats. We conclude that the female rat's reduced sensitivity to the orexigenic effect of MCH may contribute to sex- and estrous cycle-related differences in food intake. PMID:18191424

  2. Antidepressant/anxiolytic potential and adverse effect liabilities of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonists in animal models.

    PubMed

    Chaki, Shigeyuki; Shimazaki, Toshiharu; Nishiguchi, Mariko; Funakoshi, Takeo; Iijima, Michihiko; Ito, Akie; Kanuma, Kosuke; Sekiguchi, Yoshinori

    2015-08-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCH1 receptor) is known to be involved in the control of mood and stress, in addition to the regulation of feeding. Here, we report further evidence that the blockade of the MCH1 receptor exhibits antidepressant and anxiolytic-like effects in a variety of animal models using TASP0382650 and TASP0489838, newly synthesized MCH1 receptor antagonists, with different scaffolds. Both TASP0382650 and TASP0489838 exhibited high affinities for human MCH1 receptor with IC50 values of 7.13 and 3.80nM, respectively. Both compounds showed potent antagonist activities at the MCH1 receptor, as assessed using MCH-increased [(35)S]GTPγS binding to human MCH1 receptor and an MCH-induced [Ca(2+)]i assay in rat MCH1 receptor expressing cells. In contrast, neither TASP0382650 nor TASP0489838 showed an affinity for the MCH2 receptor, another MCH receptor subtype. The oral administration of TASP0382650 or TASP0489838 significantly reduced the immobility time during the forced swimming test in rats, and reduced hyperemotionality induced by an olfactory bulbectomy, both of which are indicative of an antidepressant-like potential. In the olfactory bulbectomy model, the antidepressant effect of TASP0382650 appeared following a single administration, suggesting a faster onset of action, compared with current medications. Moreover, both TASP0382650 and TASP0489838 exhibited anxiolytic effects in several animal models of anxiety. In contrast, both TASP0382650 and TASP0489838 did not affect spontaneous locomotor activity, motor function, spatial memory during the Morris water maze task, or the convulsion threshold to pentylenetetrazole. These findings provide additional evidence that the blockade of the MCH1 receptor exhibits antidepressant- and anxiolytic activities with no adverse effects in experimental animal models. PMID:26044968

  3. GABA Receptors on Orexin and Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Neurons Are Differentially Homeostatically Regulated Following Sleep Deprivation123

    PubMed Central

    Toossi, Hanieh; del Cid-Pellitero, Esther

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Though overlapping in distribution through the hypothalamus, orexin (Orx) and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons play opposite roles in the regulation of sleep–wake states. Orx neurons discharge during waking, whereas MCH neurons discharge during sleep. In the present study, we examined in mice whether GABAA and GABAB receptors (Rs) are present on Orx and MCH neurons and might undergo differential changes as a function of their different activities following sleep deprivation (SD) and sleep recovery (SR). Applying quantitative stereological image analysis to dual-immunofluorescent stained sections, we determined that the proportion of Orx neurons positively immunostained for GABAARs was significantly higher following SD (∼48%) compared with sleep control (SC; ∼24%) and SR (∼27%), and that the luminance of the GABAARs was significantly greater. In contrast, the average proportion of the MCH neurons immunostained for GABAARs was insignificantly lower following SD (∼43%) compared with SC (∼54%) and SR (56%), and the luminance of the GABAARs was significantly less. Although, GABABRs were observed in all Orx and MCH neurons (100%), the luminance of these receptors was differentially altered following SD. The intensity of GABABRs in the Orx neurons was significantly greater after SD than after SC and SR, whereas that in the MCH neurons was significantly less. The present results indicate that GABA receptors undergo dynamic and differential changes in the wake-active Orx neurons and the sleep-active MCH neurons as a function of and homeostatic adjustment to their preceding activity and sleep–wake state. PMID:27294196

  4. Responses of melanin-concentrating hormone mRNA to salt water challenge in the rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Francis, K; Suzuki, M; Baker, B I

    1997-09-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a structurally conserved neuropeptide, produced in the hypothalamus of all vertebrates where it probably serves as a central neurotransmitter/neuromodulator. In teleost fish it is also a neurohypophysial hormone with peripheral effects on skin colour but its central effects are less well understood. In mammals, MCH mRNA abundance changes in response to salt-loading or dehydration, suggesting an involvement in salt or water balance. The present study has used in situ hybridization to investigate the response of the MCH neurons in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to progressive changes in ambient salinity. In trout, MCH perikarya are found in two hypothalamic sites: predominantly in the nucleus lateralis tuberis (NLT) and, to a lesser extent, in neurons above the lateral ventricular recess (LVR). Immersion in 50% salt water (SW) for 24 h had no effects on MCH transcripts, plasma osmotic pressure (OP) or cortisol concentrations, but after 24 h in 80% SW, plasma OP and cortisol were raised and MCH transcripts in the NLT were significantly increased (159% of controls, p < 0.01). LVR-MCH neurons remained unaffected. However, after 24 h in 100% SW, MCH mRNA was significantly reduced in both groups of neurons (NLT -62% of controls, p < 0.001; LVR -33% of control, p < 0.001). These responses were transient and were no longer apparent after 6 days in 100% SW, despite the fact that plasma OP and cortisol levels continued to rise. The relative importance of osmotic disturbance and stress on the differential responses of the 2 groups of MCH neurons to changing salinity is discussed, together with a consideration of the potential role of MCH in osmoregulation. PMID:9380277

  5. GABA Receptors on Orexin and Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Neurons Are Differentially Homeostatically Regulated Following Sleep Deprivation.

    PubMed

    Toossi, Hanieh; Del Cid-Pellitero, Esther; Jones, Barbara E

    2016-01-01

    Though overlapping in distribution through the hypothalamus, orexin (Orx) and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons play opposite roles in the regulation of sleep-wake states. Orx neurons discharge during waking, whereas MCH neurons discharge during sleep. In the present study, we examined in mice whether GABAA and GABAB receptors (Rs) are present on Orx and MCH neurons and might undergo differential changes as a function of their different activities following sleep deprivation (SD) and sleep recovery (SR). Applying quantitative stereological image analysis to dual-immunofluorescent stained sections, we determined that the proportion of Orx neurons positively immunostained for GABAARs was significantly higher following SD (∼48%) compared with sleep control (SC; ∼24%) and SR (∼27%), and that the luminance of the GABAARs was significantly greater. In contrast, the average proportion of the MCH neurons immunostained for GABAARs was insignificantly lower following SD (∼43%) compared with SC (∼54%) and SR (56%), and the luminance of the GABAARs was significantly less. Although, GABABRs were observed in all Orx and MCH neurons (100%), the luminance of these receptors was differentially altered following SD. The intensity of GABABRs in the Orx neurons was significantly greater after SD than after SC and SR, whereas that in the MCH neurons was significantly less. The present results indicate that GABA receptors undergo dynamic and differential changes in the wake-active Orx neurons and the sleep-active MCH neurons as a function of and homeostatic adjustment to their preceding activity and sleep-wake state. PMID:27294196

  6. DeoxyArbutin and its derivatives inhibit tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis without inducing reactive oxygen species or apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Smita; Kvalnes, Kalla; deLong, Mitchell A; Wickett, Randall; Manga, Prashiela; Boissy, Raymond E

    2012-10-01

    Safety is a major concern in developing commercial skin-lightening agents. Here, we report the modulating effects of deoxyArbutin (dA) and its second-generation derivatives - deoxyFuran (dF), 2-fluorodeoxyArbutin (fdA), and thiodeoxyArbutin (tdA) - on tyrosinase, and consequently, on melanization. Results demonstrate that dA and its derivatives inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase and dopa oxidase activity of tyrosinase. The inhibition is dose-dependent, thereby inhibiting melanin synthesis in intact melanocytes, when used at concentrations that retain 95% viability of the treated cells in culture. Herein we demonstrate that dA, and its second-generation derivatives dF, fdA, and tdA, exhibit dose-dependent reductions in melanocyte cell number, primarily due to inhibition of proliferation rather than initiation of apoptosis as exemplified by hydroquinone (HQ), ie, cytostatic as opposed to cytotoxic. Human and murine melanocytes with functional mutations in either tyrosinase or tyrosinase-related protein 1 (Tyrp1) are less sensitive to the cytostatic effects of dA and its derivatives. Minimal amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were generated upon treatment with dA and its derivatives, in contrast to a dramatic amount of ROS induced by HQ. This increase in ROS subsequently induced the expression of the endogenous antioxidant catalase in treated melanocytes. Treatment with exogenous antioxidants provided protection for melanocytes treated with HQ, but not dA and its derivatives, suggesting that HQ exerts more oxidative stress. These studies demonstrate that dA and its derivatives are relatively safe tyrosinase inhibitors for skin lightening or for ameliorating hyperpigmented lesions. PMID:23134995

  7. Identification of mRNAs coding for mammalian-type melanin-concentrating hormone and its receptors in the scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini.

    PubMed

    Mizusawa, Kanta; Amiya, Noriko; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Takabe, Souichirou; Amano, Masafumi; Breves, Jason P; Fox, Bradley K; Grau, E Gordon; Hyodo, Susumu; Takahashi, Akiyoshi

    2012-10-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuromodulator, synthesized in the hypothalamus, that regulates both appetite and energy homeostasis in mammals. MCH was initially identified in teleost fishes as a pituitary gland hormone that induced melanin aggregation in chromatophores in the skin; however, this function of MCH has not been observed in other vertebrates. Recent studies suggest that MCH is involved in teleost feeding behavior, spurring the hypothesis that the original function of MCH in early vertebrates was appetite regulation. The present study reports the results of cDNAs cloning encoding preproMCH and two MCH receptors from an elasmobranch fish, Sphyrna lewini, a member of Chondrichthyes, the earliest diverged class in gnathostomes. The putative MCH peptide is composed of 19 amino acids, similar in length to the mammalian MCH. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction revealed that MCH is expressed in the hypothalamus in S. lewini MCH cell bodies and fibers were identified by immunochemistry in the hypothalamus, but not in the pituitary gland, suggesting that MCH is not released via the pituitary gland into general circulation. MCH receptor genes mch-r1 and mch-r2 were expressed in the S. lewini hypothalamus, but were not found in the skin. These results indicate that MCH does not have a peripheral function, such as a melanin-concentrating effect, in the skin of S. lewini hypothalamic MCH mRNA levels were not affected by fasting, suggesting that feeding conditions might not affect the expression of MCH in the hypothalamus. PMID:22884735

  8. Melanin biosynthesis in the maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus depends on two mitogen-activated protein kinases, Chk1 and Mps1, and the transcription factor Cmr1.

    PubMed

    Eliahu, Noa; Igbaria, Aeid; Rose, Mark S; Horwitz, Benjamin A; Lev, Sophie

    2007-03-01

    The maize pathogen Cochliobolus heterostrophus requires two mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), Chk1 and Mps1, to produce normal pigmentation. Young colonies of mps1 and chk1 deletion mutants have a white and autolytic appearance, which was partially rescued by a hyperosmotic environment. We isolated the transcription factor Cmr1, an ortholog of Colletotrichum lagenarium Cmr1 and Magnaporthe grisea Pig1, which regulates melanin biosynthesis in C. heterostrophus. Deletion of CMR1 in C. heterostrophus resulted in mutants that lacked dark pigmentation and acquired an orange-pink color. In cmr1 deletion strains the expression of putative scytalone dehydratase (SCD1) and hydroxynaphthalene reductase (BRN1 and BRN2) genes involved in melanin biosynthesis was undetectable, whereas expression of PKS18, encoding a polyketide synthase, was only moderately reduced. In chk1 and mps1 mutants expression of PKS18, SCD1, BRN1, BRN2, and the transcription factor CMR1 itself was very low in young colonies, slightly up-regulated in aging colonies, and significantly induced in hyperosmotic conditions, compared to invariably high expression in the wild type. These findings indicate that two MAPKs, Chk1 and Mps1, affect Cmr1 at the transcriptional level and this influence is partially overridden in stress conditions including aging culture and hyperosmotic environment. Surprisingly, we found that the CMR1 gene was transcribed in both sense and antisense directions, apparently producing mRNA as well as a long noncoding RNA transcript. Expression of the antisense CMR1 was also Chk1 and Mps1 dependent. Analysis of chromosomal location of the melanin biosynthesis genes in C. heterostrophus resulted in identification of a small gene cluster comprising BRN1, CMR1, and PKS18. Since expression of all three genes depends on Chk1 and Mps1 MAPKs, we suggest their possible epigenetic regulation. PMID:17237364

  9. Cucurbitacins from Trichosanthes kirilowii as the inhibitory components on tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis of B16/F10 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Oh, Hyuncheol; Mun, Yeun-Ja; Im, Sook-Jung; Lee, Seung Yon; Song, Ho Joon; Lee, Ho-Sub; Woo, Won-Hong

    2002-09-01

    Cucurbitacins 1 and 2 were isolated from the root of Trichosanthes kirilowii by tyrosinase inhibitory activity-guided fractionation. Spectroscopic analysis revealed that compounds 1 and 2 were cucurbitacin D and 23,24-dihydro-cucurbitacin D, respectively. Compounds 1 and 2 effectively inhibited the activity of tyrosinase (IC(50) = 0.18 microM and 6.7 microM, respectively), and the synthesis of melanin (IC(50) = 0.16 microM and 7.5 microM, respectively) in B16/F10 melanoma cells. PMID:12357397

  10. Pilot study to visualise and measure skin tissue oxygenation, erythema, total haemoglobin and melanin content using index maps in healthy controls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poxon, Ian; Wilkinson, Jack; Herrick, Ariane; Dickinson, Mark; Murray, Andrea

    2014-02-01

    We report on a method for analysing multispectral images of skin in vivo for the measurement and visualisation of skin characteristics. Four different indices were used to characterise skin tissue oxygenation, erythema, total haemoglobin and melanin content. Index values were calculated pixel-wise and combined to create index maps to visualise skin properties. Quantitative measurement of tissue oxygenation saturation was possible by calibrating the oxygenation index using a commercial, calibrated oximeter. Index maps were tested by arterial occlusion of the index finger with multispectral images taken before, during and after occlusion in a pilot study with 10 healthy controls.

  11. The PBDE metabolite 6-OH-BDE 47 affects melanin pigmentation and THRβ MRNA expression in the eye of zebrafish embryos

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Wu; Macaulay, Laura J; Kwok, Kevin WH; Hinton, David E; Ferguson, P Lee; Stapleton, Heather M

    2015-01-01

    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and their hydroxyl-metabolites (OH-BDEs) are commonly detected contaminants in human serum in the US population. They are also considered to be endocrine disruptors, and are specifically known to affect thyroid hormone regulation. In this study, we investigated and compared the effects of a PBDE and its OH-BDE metabolite on developmental pathways regulated by thyroid hormones using zebrafish as a model. Exposure to 6-OHBDE 47 (10–100 nM), but not BDE 47 (1–50 μM), led to decreased melanin pigmentation and increased apoptosis in the retina of zebrafish embryos in a concentration-dependent manner in short-term exposures (4 – 30 hours). Six-OH-BDE 47 exposure also significantly decreased thyroid hormone receptor β (THRβ) mRNA expression, which was confirmed using both RT-PCR and in situ hybridization (whole mount and paraffin- section). Interestingly, exposure to the native thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (T3) also led to similar responses: decreased THRβ mRNA expression, decreased melanin pigmentation and increased apoptosis, suggesting that 6-OH-BDE 47 may be acting as a T3 mimic. To further investigate short-term effects that may be regulated by THRβ, experiments using a morpholino gene knock down and THRβ mRNA over expression were conducted. Knock down of THRβ led to decreases in melanin pigmentation and increases in apoptotic cells in the eye of zebrafish embryos, similar to exposure to T3 and 6-OH-BDE 47, but THRβ mRNA overexpression rescued these effects. Histological analysis of eyes at 22 hpf from each group revealed that exposure to T3 or to 6-OH-BDE 47 was associated with a decrease of melanin and diminished proliferation of cells in layers of retina near the choroid. This study suggests that 6-OH-BDE 47 disrupts the activity of THRβ in early life stages of zebrafish, and warrants further studies on effects in developing humans. PMID:25767823

  12. Inhibition effect of phenyl compounds from the Oryza sativa roots on melanin production in murine B16-F10 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Cho, Jin-Gyeong; Huh, Jeongran; Jeong, Rak-Hun; Cha, Byeong-Ju; Shrestha, Sabina; Lee, Dong-Geol; Kang, Hee-Cheol; Kim, Ji-Young; Baek, Nam-In

    2015-01-01

    Five phenyl compounds, vanillin (1), methyl trans-ferulate (2), trans-p-coumaric acid methyl ester (3), N-benzoyltryptamine (4), and N-(trans-cinnamoyl)tryptamine (5), were isolated from the roots of Oryza sativa L. and identified on the basis of spectroscopic data. Compounds 3 and 5 showed strong inhibition effect on melanin production in murine B16-F10 melanoma cells and tyrosinase activity. Also, the quantitative analysis of the compounds was carried out using LC/MS/MS experiment. Compounds 3 and 5 could be used as skin-whitening agents. PMID:25299734

  13. SPECIAL ISSUE DEVOTED TO MULTIPLE RADIATION SCATTERING IN RANDOM MEDIA: Estimate of the melanin content in human hairs by the inverse Monte-Carlo method using a system for digital image analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bashkatov, A. N.; Genina, Elina A.; Kochubei, V. I.; Tuchin, Valerii V.

    2006-12-01

    Based on the digital image analysis and inverse Monte-Carlo method, the proximate analysis method is deve-loped and the optical properties of hairs of different types are estimated in three spectral ranges corresponding to three colour components. The scattering and absorption properties of hairs are separated for the first time by using the inverse Monte-Carlo method. The content of different types of melanin in hairs is estimated from the absorption coefficient. It is shown that the dominating type of melanin in dark hairs is eumelanin, whereas in light hairs pheomelanin dominates.

  14. Hair dyes resorcinol and lawsone reduce production of melanin in melanoma cells by tyrosinase activity inhibition and decreasing tyrosinase and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) expression.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shu-Mei; Chen, Yi-Shyan; Lin, Chih-Chien; Chen, Kuan-Hung

    2015-01-01

    Hair coloring products are one of the most important cosmetics for modern people; there are three major types of hair dyes, including the temporary, semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes. The selected hair dyes (such as ammonium persulfate, sodium persulfate, resorcinol and lawsone) are the important components for hair coloring products. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of these compounds on melanogenesis in B16-F10 melanoma cells. The results proved that hair dyes resorcinol and lawsone can reduce the production of melanin. The results also confirmed that resorcinol and lawsone inhibit mushroom and cellular tyrosinase activities in vitro. Resorcinol and lawsone can also downregulate the protein levels of tyrosinase and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) in B16-F10 cells. Thus, we suggest that frequent use of hair dyes may have the risk of reducing natural melanin production in hair follicles. Moreover, resorcinol and lawsone may also be used as hypopigmenting agents to food, agricultural and cosmetic industry in the future. PMID:25584612

  15. Compounds isolated from the aerial part of Crataegus azarolus inhibit growth of B16F10 melanoma cells and exert a potent inhibition of the melanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Mustapha, Nadia; Bzéouich, Imèn Mokdad; Ghedira, Kamel; Hennebelle, Thierry; Chekir-Ghedira, Leila

    2015-02-01

    Poor therapeutic results have been reported for treatment of malignant melanoma; therefore in this study, we have investigated inhibitory capacity of vitexin-2''-O-rhamnoside as well as the extract from which it was isolated, i.e. the ethyl acetate extract obtained from the leaves of Crataegus azarolus, on mouse melanoma (B16F10) proliferation. Cell viability was determined using the 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. In addition, amounts of melanin and tyrosinase were measured spectrophotometrically at 475nm. Ethyl acetate extract and vitexin-2''-O-rhamnoside exhibited significant anti-proliferative activity against B16F10 melanoma cells after incubation for 48hours with IC50s of 50μg/mL and 20μM, respectively. Furthermore, these two compounds have the ability to reduce the melanin content by inhibiting the tyrosinase activity of B16F10 cells. Thus, further investigations are merited to ascertain their potential application in treating hyperpigmentation disorders. PMID:25661350

  16. Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi extract and linoleic acid from Passiflora edulis synergistically decrease melanin synthesis in B16 cells and reconstituted epidermis.

    PubMed

    Jorge, A T S; Arroteia, K F; Santos, I A; Andres, E; Medina, S P H; Ferrari, C R; Lourenço, C B; Biaggio, R M T T; Moreira, P L

    2012-10-01

    Several treatments for skin whitening are available today, but few of them are completely adequate, especially owing to the carcinogenic potential attributed to classical drugs like hydroquinone, arbutin and kojic acid. To provide an alternative and safer technology for whitening, we developed two botanical compounds originated from Brazilian biodiversity, an extract of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi and a linoleic acid fraction isolated from Passiflora edulis oil. The whitening effect of these compounds was assessed using biochemical assays and in vitro models including cellular assays and equivalent skin. The results showed that S. terebinthifolius Raddi extract is able to reduce the tyrosinase activity in vitro, and the combination of this extract with linoleic acid is able to decrease the level of melanin produced by B16 cells cultured with melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Furthermore, melanin was also reduced in human reconstituted epidermis (containing melanocytes) treated with the compounds. The combination of the compounds may provide a synergistic positive whitening effect rather than their isolated use. Finally, we demonstrated that the performance of these mixed compounds is comparable to classical molecules used for skin whitening, as kojic acid. This new natural mixture could be considered an alternative therapeutic agent for treating hyperpigmentation and an effective component in whitening cosmetics. PMID:22738140

  17. Effect of UVC, UVB, UVA and a solar simulator on the survival of mouse melanoma cell lines differing in melanin content

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, H.Z.; Hill, G.J.; Cieszka, K.; Azure, M.

    1994-12-31

    These studies were designed to determine the survival of cells that vary in constitutive pigment levels after exposure to different UV wave lengths. The lamps employed emitted UVC (near monochromatic 254 nm), UVB (Philips TL01-88.7% of UV output is UVB), UVA (Philips HPW125-89% of output is at 365 nm) and Westinghouse FS20 (broad band UVB and UVA). Dish lids were used to cut off UVC in the UVB and FS20 experiments and 0.25 inch plate glass was used to cut off UVB in the UVA experiments. UVC photons interact with putative intracellular photosensitizers which in turn convert O{sub 2} to active oxygen species which damage DNA to produce strand breaks, cross links and base damage. UVB acts by both mechanisms. The two cell lines studied were Cloudman S91/I3 (3.6 pg melanin/cell) and the closely related S91/amel (1.2 pg melanin/cell). Attached cells were covered with Ca{sup ++} and Mg{sup ++} free PBS and irradiated in the cold. Colonies were scored after 2 weeks. The two cell lines exhibit similar survival kinetics after UVC. S91/IE is more sensitive to killing by either UVB (TL01) or UVA. However, S91/amel cells are more sensitive to killing by UVB plus UVA (FS20). It is clear that UV of different qualities can interact to produce effects that would not be predicted based on responses to monochromatic wave lengths.

  18. Structural characterization, molecular modification and hepatoprotective effect of melanin from Lachnum YM226 on acute alcohol-induced liver injury in mice.

    PubMed

    Song, Sheng; Li, Shenglan; Su, Nana; Li, Jinglei; Shi, Fang; Ye, Ming

    2016-08-10

    In this paper, the possible structural formula of the intracellular homogeneous melanin of Lachnum YM226 (LM) was concluded based on an elemental assay, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), mass spectrometry (MS) and equivalent series resistance (ESR). Meanwhile, a d-glucosamine melanin derivative (GLM) was also prepared and its cytotoxicity was evaluated using the MTT assay. The hepatoprotective effect of LM and GLM was evaluated in an acute alcohol-induced liver injury model. The results showed that pretreatments with LM and GLM markedly decreased subsequent alcohol elicited acute hepatic oxidative and inflammatory stress via improving the activity of antioxidant enzymes (glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and total superoxide dismutase (SOD)), reducing hepatic levels of nuclear transcription factor (NF-κB), cytokines related to its activation (interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and macrophage chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1) and hepatic activities of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2. The protection properties of alcoholic liver injury of GLM were more obvious than that of LM at the same dose. The present findings recommend that LM and GLM may be used as a prototype for the prevention of alcoholic liver injury. PMID:27485489

  19. Hair Dyes Resorcinol and Lawsone Reduce Production of Melanin in Melanoma Cells by Tyrosinase Activity Inhibition and Decreasing Tyrosinase and Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor (MITF) Expression

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shu-Mei; Chen, Yi-Shyan; Lin, Chih-Chien; Chen, Kuan-Hung

    2015-01-01

    Hair coloring products are one of the most important cosmetics for modern people; there are three major types of hair dyes, including the temporary, semi-permanent and permanent hair dyes. The selected hair dyes (such as ammonium persulfate, sodium persulfate, resorcinol and lawsone) are the important components for hair coloring products. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of these compounds on melanogenesis in B16-F10 melanoma cells. The results proved that hair dyes resorcinol and lawsone can reduce the production of melanin. The results also confirmed that resorcinol and lawsone inhibit mushroom and cellular tyrosinase activities in vitro. Resorcinol and lawsone can also downregulate the protein levels of tyrosinase and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) in B16-F10 cells. Thus, we suggest that frequent use of hair dyes may have the risk of reducing natural melanin production in hair follicles. Moreover, resorcinol and lawsone may also be used as hypopigmenting agents to food, agricultural and cosmetic industry in the future. PMID:25584612

  20. Characterization of a polyketide synthase in Aspergillus niger whose product is a precursor for both dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin and naphtho-γ-pyrone.

    SciTech Connect

    Chiang, Yi Ming; Meyer, Kristen M; Praseuth, Michael; Baker, Scott E; Bruno, Kenneth S; Wang, Clay C

    2010-12-06

    The genome sequencing of the fungus Aspergillus niger, an industrial workhorse, uncovered a large cache of genes encoding enzymes thought to be involved in the production of secondary metabolites yet to be identified. Identification and structural characterization of many of these predicted secondary metabolites are hampered by their low concentration relative to the known A. niger metabolites such as the naphtho-γ-pyrone family of polyketides. We deleted a nonreducing PKS gene in A. niger strain ATCC 11414, a daughter strain of A. niger ATCC strain 1015 whose genome was sequenced by the DOE Joint Genome Institute. This PKS encoding gene is a predicted ortholog of alb1 from Aspergillus fumigatus which is responsible for production of YWA1, a precursor of fungal DHN melanin. Our results show that the A. niger alb1 PKS is responsible for the production of the polyketide precursor for DHN melanin biosynthesis. Deletion of alb1 elimnates the production of major metabolites, naphtho-γ-pyrones. The generation of an A. niger strain devoid of naphtho-γ-pyrones will greatly facilitate the elucidation of cryptic biosynthetic pathways in this organism.

  1. Using a melanin granule lattice model to study the thermal effects of pulsed and scanning light irradiations through a measurement aperture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Do-Hyun

    2011-12-01

    Optical radiation hazards of scanning light sources are often evaluated using pulsed light source criteria, with the relevant pulse parameter equivalent to the scanning light source determined by the energy delivered through a measurement aperture. However, physical equivalence has not been completely understood: a pulsed light source is temporally dynamic but spatially stationary, while a scanning light source is temporally stationary but spatially dynamic. This study introduces a numerical analysis based upon the melanin granule lattice model to investigate the equivalence of scanning and pulsed light sources through a measurement aperture and their respective thermal effects in the pigmented retinal layer. The numerical analysis calculates the thermal contribution of individual melanin granules with varying temporal sequence, and finds that temperature changes and thermal damage thresholds for the two different types of light sources were not equal. However, dwell times of 40 to 200 μsec did not produce significant differences between pulsed and scanning light sources in temperature change and thermal damage thresholds to the sample tissue.

  2. Melanin production by Rhizobium meliloti GR4 is linked to nonsymbiotic plasmid pRmeGR4b: cloning, sequencing, and expression of the tyrosinase gene mepA.

    PubMed Central

    Mercado-Blanco, J; García, F; Fernández-López, M; Olivares, J

    1993-01-01

    Melanin production by Rhizobium meliloti GR4 is linked to nonsymbiotic plasmid pRmeGR4b (140 MDa). Transfer of this plasmid to GR4-cured derivatives or to Agrobacterium tumefaciens enables these bacteria to produce melanin. Sequence analysis of a 3.5-kb PstI fragment of plasmid pRmeGR4b has revealed the presence of a open reading frame 1,481-bp that codes for a protein whose sequence shows strong homology to two conserved regions involved in copper binding in tyrosinases and hemocyanins. In vitro-coupled transcription-translation experiments showed that this open reading frame codes for a 55-kDa polypeptide. Melanin production in GR4 is not under the control of the RpoN-NifA regulatory system, unlike that in R. leguminosarum bv. phaseoli 8002. The GR4 tyrosinase gene could be expressed in Escherichia coli under the control of the lacZ promoter. For avoiding confusion with mel genes (for melibiose), a change of the name of the previously reported mel genes of R. leguminosarum bv. phaseoli and other organisms to mep genes (for melanin production) is proposed. Images PMID:8366027

  3. The role of melanin pathways in extremotolerance and virulence of Fonsecaea revealed by de novo assembly transcriptomics using illumina paired-end sequencing.

    PubMed

    Li, X Q; Guo, B L; Cai, W Y; Zhang, J M; Huang, H Q; Zhan, P; Xi, L Y; Vicente, V A; Stielow, B; Sun, J F; de Hoog, G S

    2016-01-01

    Melanisation has been considered to be an important virulence factor of Fonsecaea monophora. However, the biosynthetic mechanisms of melanisation remain unknown. We therefore used next generation sequencing technology to investigate the transcriptome and digital gene expression data, which are valuable resources to better understand the molecular and biological mechanisms regulating melanisation in F. monophora. We performed de novo transcriptome assembly and digital gene expression (DGE) profiling analyses of parent (CBS 122845) and albino (CBS 125194) strains using the Illumina RNA-seq system. A total of 17 352 annotated unigenes were found by BLAST search of NR, Swiss-Prot, Gene Ontology, Clusters of Orthologous Groups and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) (E-value <1e‒5). A total of 2 283 unigenes were judged to be the differentially expressed between the two genotypes. We identified most of the genes coding for key enzymes involved in melanin biosynthesis pathways, including polyketide synthase (pks), multicopper oxidase (mco), laccase, tyrosinase and homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (hmgA). DEG analysis showed extensive down-regulation of key genes in the DHN pathway, while up-regulation was noted in the DOPA pathway of the albino mutant. The transcript levels of partial genes were confirmed by real time RT-PCR, while the crucial role of key enzymes was confirmed by either inhibitor or substrate tests in vitro. Meanwhile, numbers of genes involved in light sensing, cell wall synthesis, morphology and environmental stress were identified in the transcriptome of F. monophora. In addition, 3 353 SSRs (Simple Sequence Repeats) markers were identified from 21 600 consensus sequences. Blocking of the DNH pathway is the most likely reason of melanin deficiency in the albino strain, while the production of pheomelanin and pyomelanin were probably regulated by unknown transcription factors on upstream of both pathways. Most of genes involved in

  4. Radiosynthesis of [11C]SNAP-7941—the first PET-tracer for the melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1)

    PubMed Central

    Philippe, C.; Schirmer, E.; Mitterhauser, M.; Shanab, K.; Lanzenberger, R.; Karanikas, G.; Spreitzer, H.; Viernstein, H.; Wadsak, W.

    2012-01-01

    The melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) system is a new target to treat human disorders. Our aim was the preparation of the first PET-tracer for the MCHR1. [11C]SNAP-7941 is a carbon-11 labeled analog of the published MCHR1 antagonist SNAP-7941. The optimum reaction conditions were 2 min reaction time, ≤25 °C reaction temperature, and 2 mg/mL precursor (SNAP-acid) in acetonitrile, using [11C]CH3OTf as methylation agent. [11C]SNAP-7941 was prepared in a reliable and feasible manner with high radiochemical yields (2.9±1.6 GBq; 11.5±6.4% EOB, n=15). PMID:22858577

  5. Ablation of neurons expressing agouti-related protein, but not melanin concentrating hormone, in leptin-deficient mice restores metabolic functions and fertility

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qi; Whiddon, Benjamin B.; Palmiter, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leptin-deficient (Lepob/ob) mice are obese, diabetic, and infertile. Ablation of neurons that make agouti-related protein (AgRP) in moderately obese adult Lepob/ob mice caused severe anorexia. The mice stopped eating for 2 wk and then gradually recovered. Their body weight fell to within a normal range for WT mice, at which point food intake and glucose tolerance were restored to that of WT mice. Remarkably, both male and female Lepob/ob mice became fertile. Ablation of neurons that express melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) in adult Lepob/ob mice had no effect on food intake, body weight, or fertility, but resulted in improved glucose tolerance. We conclude that AgRP-expressing neurons play a critical role in mediating the metabolic syndrome and infertility of Lepob/ob mice, whereas MCH-expressing neurons have only a minor role. PMID:22232663

  6. Growth of a radiation-transformed clone of C3H 1OT1/2 cells into melanin-producing colonies

    SciTech Connect

    Szekely, J.G.; Raaphorst, G.P.; Lobreau, A.U.; Azzam, E.I.; Vadasz, J.A.

    1985-01-01

    When R25, a radiation-transformed clone of C3H 1OT1/2 cells, was plated in soft agarose, a fraction of the colonies became pigmented. The morphologies of the white and dark colonies and their cells were compared by optical, transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The transformed R25 cells had apparently differentiated into melanin-producing cells in the soft agarose, with the white colonies containing actively growing cells having only a few melanosomes, and the dark colonies being made up of stationary-phase cells filled with electronopaque melanosomes. Exposure of the R25 cells to 4.0 Gy of X-rays decreased the percentage of dark colonies, while exposure to 1% DMSO had no effect.

  7. Corticosterone shifts reproductive behaviour towards self-maintenance in the barn owl and is linked to melanin-based coloration in females.

    PubMed

    Almasi, Bettina; Roulin, Alexandre; Jenni, Lukas

    2013-06-01

    Trade-offs between the benefits of current reproduction and the costs to future reproduction and survival are widely recognized. However, such trade-offs might only be detected when resources become limited to the point where investment in one activity jeopardizes investment in others. The resolution of the trade-off between reproduction and self-maintenance is mediated by hormones such as glucocorticoids which direct behaviour and physiology towards self-maintenance under stressful situations. We investigated this trade-off in male and female barn owls in relation to the degree of heritable melanin-based coloration, a trait that reflects the ability to cope with various sources of stress in nestlings. We increased circulating corticosterone in breeding adults by implanting a corticosterone-releasing-pellet, using birds implanted with a placebo-pellet as controls. In males, elevated corticosterone reduced the activity (i.e. reduced home-range size and distance covered within the home-range) independently of coloration, while we could not detect any effect on hunting efficiency. The effect of experimentally elevated corticosterone on female behaviour was correlated with their melanin-based coloration. Corticosterone (cort-) induced an increase in brooding behaviour in small-spotted females, while this hormone had no detectable effect in large-spotted females. Cort-females with small eumelanic spots showed the normal body-mass loss during the early nestling period, while large spotted cort-females did not lose body mass. This indicates that corticosterone induced a shift towards self-maintenance in males independently on their plumage, whereas in females this shift was observed only in large-spotted females. PMID:23583559

  8. Expression of THR1, a 1,3,8-trihydroxynaphthalene reductase gene involved in melanin biosynthesis in the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae, is enhanced by near-ultraviolet radiation.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Junichi; Moriwaki, Akihiro; Ito, Machiko; Arase, Sakae; Honda, Yuichi

    2004-02-01

    1,3,8-Trihydroxynaphthalene (1,3,8-THN) reductase is involved in the production of fungal dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin. We isolated and characterized THR1, a gene encoding 1,3,8-THN reductase, from the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae. Sequence analysis showed that THR1 encodes a putative protein of 267 amino acids having a molecular weight of 28.5 kDa and 68-98% sequence identity to other fungal 1,3,8-THN reductases. Targeted disruption of the THR1 gene showed that it is essential for melanin biosynthesis in B. oryzae. Northern blot analysis showed that THR1 transcripts are constitutively expressed during normal growth but are specifically enhanced by near-ultraviolet (NUV) radiation in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate that THR1 expression is transcriptionally enhanced by NUV radiation in B. oryzae. PMID:14717841

  9. Identification of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene melanin in Monosporascus cannonballus and the analysis of hexaketide and pentaketide compounds produced by wild-type and pigmented isolates of the fungus.

    PubMed

    Wheeler, Michael H; Bruton, Benny D; Puckhaber, Lorraine S; Zhang, Jiuxu; Stipanovic, Robert D

    2004-06-30

    Monosporascus cannonballus causes root rot and vine decline in muskmelons and watermelons. Wild types of this fungus often undergo degenerative changes that have been associated with yellow to brown pigmentation, hypovirulence, dsRNA infection, and decreased production of perithecia. In this study, degenerate isolates that produced yellow to brown pigments and no perithecia were obtained from wild-type cultures that had been stored for extended periods of time. Cultures of the degenerate isolates were found to accumulate five related hexaketides when grown on potato-dextrose agar (PDA). In contrast, these hexaketides were present only in minute amounts in wild-type cultures unless grown on NaCl-amended PDA. 1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene melanin was established to be present in wild-type M. cannonballus and absent in the degenerate isolates. Various melanin-related metabolites, however, were produced by the variants. Tricyclazole in PDA cultures blocked melanin biosynthesis by the wild types but had little effect on hexaketide production by the degenerate isolates. PMID:15212456

  10. Important role of fungal intracellular laccase for melanin synthesis: purification and characterization of an intracellular laccase from Lentinula edodes fruit bodies.

    PubMed

    Nagai, Masaru; Kawata, Maki; Watanabe, Hisayuki; Ogawa, Machiko; Saito, Kumiko; Takesawa, Toshikazu; Kanda, Katsuhiro; Sato, Toshitsugu

    2003-09-01

    A laccase (EC 1.10.3.2) was isolated from the fully browned gills of Lentinula edodes fruit bodies. The enzyme was purified to a homogeneous preparation using hydrophobic, cation-exchange and size-exclusion chromatography. SDS-PAGE analysis showed the purified laccase, Lcc 2, to be a monomeric protein of 58.0 kDa. The enzyme had an isoelectric point of around pH 6.9. The optimum pH for enzyme activity was around 3.0 against 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)diammonium salt (ABTS), and it was most active at 40 degrees C and stable up to 50 degrees C. The enzyme contained 8.6 % carbohydrate and some copper atoms. The enzyme oxidized ABTS, p-phenylenediamine, pyrogallol, guaiacol, 2,6-dimethoxyphenol, catechol and ferulic acid, but not veratryl alcohol and tyrosine. Beta-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)alanine (L-DOPA), which was not oxidized by a laccase previously reported from the culture filtrate of L. edodes, was also oxidized by Lcc 2, and the oxidative product of L-dopa was identified as L-DOPA quinone by HPLC analysis. Lcc 2 was able to oxidize phenolic compounds extracted from fresh gills to brown-coloured products, suggesting a role for laccase in melanin synthesis in this strain. PMID:12949171

  11. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) immunoreactivity in non-neuronal cells within the raphe nuclei and subventricular region of the brainstem of the cat.

    PubMed

    Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia; Sampogna, Sharon; Chase, Michael H

    2008-05-19

    Neurons that utilize melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) as a neuromodulator are localized within the postero-lateral hypothalamus and zona incerta. These neurons project diffusely throughout the central nervous system and have been implicated in critical physiological processes such as energy homeostasis and sleep. In the present report, we examined the distribution of MCH immunoreactivity in the brainstem of the cat. In addition to MCH+ axons, we found MCH-immunoreactive cells that have not been previously described either in the midbrain raphe nuclei or in the periaqueductal and periventricular areas. These MCH+ cells constituted: 1. ependymal cells that lined the fourth ventricle and aqueduct, 2. ependymal cells with long basal processes that projected deeply into the subventricular (subaqueductal) parenchyma, and, 3. cells in subventricular regions and the midbrain raphe nuclei. The MCH+ cells in the midbrain raphe nuclei were closely related to neuronal processes of serotonergic neurons. Utilizing Neu-N and GFAP immunohistochemistry we determined that the preceding MCH+ cells were neither neurons nor astrocytes. However, we found that vimentin, an intermediate-filament protein that is used as a marker for tanycytes, was specifically co-localized with MCH in these cells. We conclude that MCH is present in tanycytes whose processes innervate the midbrain raphe nuclei and adjacent subependymal regions. Because tanycytes are specialized cells that transport substances from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to neural parenchyma, we suggest that MCH is absorbed from the CSF by tanycytes and subsequently liberate to act upon neurons of brainstem nuclei. PMID:18410908

  12. Detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity identifies neuronal integrity in damaged rat central nervous system after application of bacterial melanin

    PubMed Central

    Petrosyan, Tigran R.; Ter-Markosyan, Anna S.; Hovsepyan, Anna S.

    2016-01-01

    The study aims to confirm the neuroregenerative effects of bacterial melanin (BM) on central nervous system injury using a special staining method based on the detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity. Twenty-four rats were randomly assigned to undergo either unilateral destruction of sensorimotor cortex (group I; n = 12) or unilateral rubrospinal tract transection at the cervical level (C3–4) (group II; n = 12). In each group, six rats were randomly selected after surgery to undergo intramuscular injection of BM solution (BM subgroup) and the remaining six rats were intramuscularly injected with saline (saline subgroup). Neurological testing confirmed that BM accelerated the recovery of motor function in rats from both BM and saline subgroups. Two months after surgery, Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity detection in combination with Chilingarian’s calcium adenoside triphosphate method revealed that BM stimulated the sprouting of fibers and dilated the capillaries in the brain and spinal cord. These results suggest that BM can promote the recovery of motor function of rats with central nervous system injury; and detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity is a fast and easy method used to study the regeneration-promoting effects of BM on the injured central nervous system.

  13. Control of Ventricular Ciliary Beating by the Melanin Concentrating Hormone-Expressing Neurons of the Lateral Hypothalamus: A Functional Imaging Survey

    PubMed Central

    Conductier, Grégory; Martin, Agnès O.; Risold, Pierre-Yves; Jego, Sonia; Lavoie, Raphaël; Lafont, Chrystel; Mollard, Patrice; Adamantidis, Antoine; Nahon, Jean-Louis

    2013-01-01

    The cyclic peptide Melanin Concentrating Hormone (MCH) is known to control a large number of brain functions in mammals such as food intake and metabolism, stress response, anxiety, sleep/wake cycle, memory, and reward. Based on neuro-anatomical and electrophysiological studies these functions were attributed to neuronal circuits expressing MCHR1, the single MCH receptor in rodents. In complement to our recently published work (1) we provided here new data regarding the action of MCH on ependymocytes in the mouse brain. First, we establish that MCHR1 mRNA is expressed in the ependymal cells of the third ventricle epithelium. Second, we demonstrated a tonic control of MCH-expressing neurons on ependymal cilia beat frequency using in vitro optogenics. Finally, we performed in vivo measurements of CSF flow using fluorescent micro-beads in wild-type and MCHR1-knockout mice. Collectively, our results demonstrated that MCH-expressing neurons modulate ciliary beating of ependymal cells at the third ventricle and could contribute to maintain cerebro-spinal fluid homeostasis. PMID:24324458

  14. In vivo track the development of melanoma with the intrinsic third harmonic generation and two-photon fluorescence contrasts of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Pei-Chun; Chen, Yu-Shing; Hsieh, Tsung-Yuan; Liu, Han-Wen; Lin, Wen-Li; Liu, Tzu-Ming

    2012-03-01

    The understanding of the interaction between tumors and surrounding microenvironment in vivo is an important first step and basis for pathway-targeting cancer therapy. To in vivo observe the dynamic development of tumor cells and validate the efficacy of therapy in microscopic scales, people commonly performed multi-photon fluorescence microscopy through an invasive window chamber setup. However, under such system, the cancer cells can't be identified and long-term tracked without a fluorescence labeling. Exploiting the intrinsic third harmonic generation (THG) and two-photon fluorescence (2PF) contrasts of melanin, we demonstrated in vivo identification of melanoma and tracked its development without labeling. It was achieved with a least invasive femtosecond Cr:forsterite laser and a laser scanning nonlinear microscopy system with 3D sub-micron spatial resolution. Combined with molecular probes or reporters, we anticipate thus developed platform a powerful tool to reveal molecular insights of tumor microenvironments, enhance our understanding of tumor biology, and trigger new therapeutic approaches.

  15. Dichloromethane fraction of Cimicifuga heracleifolia decreases the level of melanin synthesis by activating the ERK or AKT signaling pathway in B16F10 cells.

    PubMed

    Jang, Ji Yeon; Lee, Jun Hyuk; Kang, Byoung Won; Chung, Kyung Tae; Choi, Yung Hyun; Choi, Byung Tae

    2009-03-01

    Cimicifuga rhizoma has long been used in traditional Korean medicine. In particular, a Cimicifuga heracleifolia extract (CHE) was reported to inhibit the formation of glutamate and the glutamate dehydrogenase activity in cultured rat islet. Glutamate activates melanogenesis by activating tyrosinase. Accordingly, it was hypothesized that a CHE might inhibit the melanogenesis-related signal pathways including the inhibition of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF)-tyrosinase signaling and/or the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-Akt signaling. The results showed that CHE inhibits the cellular melanin contents, tyrosinase activity and expression of melanogenesis-related proteins including MITF, tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)s in alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-stimulated B16 cells. Moreover, CHE phosphorylates MEK, ERK1/2 and Akt, which are melanogenesis inhibitory proteins. The data suggest that CHE inhibits melanogenesis signaling by both inhibiting the tyrosinase directly and activating the MEK-ERK or Akt signal pathways-mediated suppression of MITF and its downstream signal pathway, including tyrosinase and TRPs. Therefore, C. heracleifolia would be a useful therapeutic agent for treating hyperpigmentation and an effective component in whitening and/or lightening cosmetics. PMID:18803655

  16. Characterization of a polyketide synthase in Aspergillus niger whose product is a precursor for both dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin and naphtho-γ-pyrone

    PubMed Central

    Chiang, Yi-Ming; Meyer, Kristen M.; Praseuth, Michael; Baker, Scott E.; Bruno, Kenneth S.; Wang, Clay C. C.

    2011-01-01

    The genome sequencing of the fungus Aspergillus niger uncovered a large cache of genes encoding enzymes thought to be involved in the production of secondary metabolites yet to be identified. Identification and structural characterization of many of these predicted secondary metabolites are hampered by their low concentration relative to the known A. niger metabolites such as the naphtho-γ-pyrone family of polyketides. We deleted a nonreducing PKS gene in A. niger strain ATCC 11414, a daughter strain of A. niger ATCC strain 1015 whose genome was sequenced by the DOE Joint Genome Institute. This PKS encoding gene we name albA is a predicted ortholog of alb1 from Aspergillus fumigatus which is responsible for production of the naphtho-γ-pyrone precursor for the 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin/spore pigment. Our results show that the A. nigeralbA PKS is responsible for both the production of the spore pigment precursor and a family of naphtho-γ-pyrones commonly found in significant quantity in A. niger culture extracts. The generation of an A. niger strain devoid of naphtho-γ-pyrones will greatly facilitate the elucidation of cryptic biosynthetic pathways in this organism. PMID:21176790

  17. Central Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Influences Liver and Adipose Metabolism Via Specific Hypothalamic Nuclei and Efferent Autonomic/JNK1 Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Imbernon, Monica; Beiroa, Daniel; Vázquez, María J.; Morgan, Donald A.; Veyrat–Durebex, Christelle; Porteiro, Begoña; Díaz–Arteaga, Adenis; Senra, Ana; Busquets, Silvia; Velásquez, Douglas A.; Al–Massadi, Omar; Varela, Luis; Gándara, Marina; López–Soriano, Francisco–Javier; Gallego, Rosalía; Seoane, Luisa M.; Argiles, Josep M.; López, Miguel; Davis, Roger J.; Sabio, Guadalupe; Rohner–Jeanrenaud, Françoise; Rahmouni, Kamal; Dieguez, Carlos; Nogueiras, Ruben

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND & AIMS Specific neuronal circuits modulate autonomic outflow to liver and white adipose tissue. Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-deficient mice are hypophagic, lean, and do not develop hepatosteatosis when fed a high-fat diet. Herein, we sought to investigate the role of MCH, an orexigenic neuropeptide specifically expressed in the lateral hypothalamic area, on hepatic and adipocyte metabolism. METHODS Chronic central administration of MCH and adenoviral vectors increasing MCH signaling were performed in rats and mice. Vagal denervation was performed to assess its effect on liver metabolism. The peripheral effects on lipid metabolism were assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. RESULTS We showed that the activation of MCH receptors promotes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease through the parasympathetic nervous system, whereas it increases fat deposition in white adipose tissue via the suppression of sympathetic traffic. These metabolic actions are independent of parallel changes in food intake and energy expenditure. In the liver, MCH triggers lipid accumulation and lipid uptake, with c-Jun N-terminal kinase being an essential player, whereas in adipocytes MCH induces metabolic pathways that promote lipid storage and decreases lipid mobilization. Genetic activation of MCH receptors or infusion of MCH specifically in the lateral hypothalamic area modulated hepatic lipid metabolism, whereas the specific activation of this receptor in the arcuate nucleus affected adipocyte metabolism. CONCLUSIONS Our findings show that central MCH directly controls hepatic and adipocyte metabolism through different pathways. PMID:23142626

  18. Association of the OCA2 polymorphism His615Arg with melanin content in east Asian populations: further evidence of convergent evolution of skin pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Melissa; Bigham, Abigail; Tan, Jinze; Li, Shilin; Gozdzik, Agnes; Ross, Kendra; Jin, Li; Parra, Esteban J

    2010-03-01

    The last decade has witnessed important advances in our understanding of the genetics of pigmentation in European populations, but very little is known about the genes involved in skin pigmentation variation in East Asian populations. Here, we present the results of a study evaluating the association of 10 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) located within 5 pigmentation candidate genes (OCA2, DCT, ADAM17, ADAMTS20, and TYRP1) with skin pigmentation measured quantitatively in a sample of individuals of East Asian ancestry living in Canada. We show that the non-synonymous polymorphism rs1800414 (His615Arg) located within the OCA2 gene is significantly associated with skin pigmentation in this sample. We replicated this result in an independent sample of Chinese individuals of Han ancestry. This polymorphism is characterized by a derived allele that is present at a high frequency in East Asian populations, but is absent in other population groups. In both samples, individuals with the derived G allele, which codes for the amino acid arginine, show lower melanin levels than those with the ancestral A allele, which codes for the amino acid histidine. An analysis of this non-synonymous polymorphism using several programs to predict potential functional effects provides additional support for the role of this SNP in skin pigmentation variation in East Asian populations. Our results are consistent with previous research indicating that evolution to lightly-pigmented skin occurred, at least in part, independently in Europe and East Asia. PMID:20221248

  19. Expression Patterns of Corticotropin-Releasing Factor, Arginine Vasopressin, Histidine Decarboxylase, Melanin-Concentrating Hormone, and Orexin Genes in the Human Hypothalamus

    PubMed Central

    Krolewski, David M.; Medina, Adriana; Kerman, Ilan A.; Bernard, Rene; Burke, Sharon; Thompson, Robert C.; Bunney, William E.; Schatzberg, Alan F.; Myers, Richard M.; Akil, Huda; Jones, Edward G.; Watson, Stanley J

    2010-01-01

    The hypothalamus regulates numerous [W2]autonomic responses and behaviors. The neuroactive substances corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), arginine-vasopressin (AVP), histidine decarboxylase (HDC), melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), and orexin/hypocretins (ORX) produced in the hypothalamus mediate a subset of these processes. Although the expression patterns of these genes have been well studied in rodents, less is known about them in humans. We combined classical histological techniques with in situ hybridization histochemistry to produce both 2 and 3-dimensional images and to visually align and quantify expression of the genes for these substances in nuclei of the human hypothalamus. The hypothalamus was arbitrarily divided into rostral, intermediate and caudal regions. The rostral region, containing the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), was defined by discrete localization of CRF and AVP expressing neurons, whereas distinct relationships between HDC, MCH, and ORX mRNA expressing neurons delineated specific levels within the intermediate and caudal regions. Quantitative mRNA signal intensity measurements revealed no significant differences in overall CRF or AVP expression at any rostro-caudal level of the PVN. HDC mRNA expression was highest at the level of the premammillary areawhich included the dorsomedial and tuberomammillary nuclei as well as the dorsolateral hypothalamic area. In addition, the overall intensity of hybridization signal exhibited by both MCH and ORX mRNA expressing neurons peaked in distinct intermediate and caudal hypothalamic regions. These results suggest that human hypothalamic neurons involved in the regulation of the HPA axis display distinct neurochemical patterns that may encompass multiple local nuclei. PMID:20886624

  20. Physical Exercise Counteracts Stress-induced Upregulation of Melanin-concentrating Hormone in the Brain and Stress-induced Persisting Anxiety-like Behaviors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae-Kyung; Han, Pyung-Lim

    2016-08-01

    Chronic stress induces anxiety disorders, whereas physical exercise is believed to help people with clinical anxiety. In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying stress-induced anxiety and its counteraction by exercise using an established animal model of anxiety. Mice treated with restraint for 2 h daily for 14 days exhibited anxiety-like behaviors, including social and nonsocial behavioral symptoms, and these behavioral impairments lasted for more than 12 weeks after the stress treatment was removed. Despite these lasting behavioral changes, wheel-running exercise treatment for 1 h daily from post-stress days 1 - 21 counteracted anxiety-like behaviors, and these anxiolytic effects of exercise persisted for more than 2 months, suggesting that anxiolytic effects of exercise stably induced. Repeated restraint treatment up-regulated the expression of the neuropeptide, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), in the lateral hypothalamus, hippocampus, and basolateral amygdala, the brain regions important for emotional behaviors. In an in vitro study, treatment of HT22 hippocampal cells with glucocorticoid increased MCH expression, suggesting that MCH upregulation can be initially triggered by the stress hormone, corticosterone. In contrast, post-stress treatment with wheel-running exercise reduced the stress-induced increase in MCH expression to control levels in the lateral hypothalamus, hippocampus and basolateral amygdala. Administration of an MCH receptor antagonist (SNAP94847) to stress-treated mice was therapeutic against stress-induced anxiety-like behaviors. These results suggest that repeated stress produces long-lasting anxiety-like behaviors and upregulates MCH in the brain, while exercise counteracts stress-induced MCH expression and persisting anxiety-like behaviors. PMID:27574483

  1. Role of melanin-concentrating hormone in the control of ethanol consumption: Region-specific effects revealed by expression and injection studies

    PubMed Central

    Morganstern, I; Chang, G-Q; Chen, Y-W; Barson, J.R; Zhiyu, Y; Hoebel, B.G; Leibowitz, S.F

    2010-01-01

    The peptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), produced mainly by cells in the lateral hypothalamus (LH), perifornical area (PF) and zona incerta (ZI), is suggested to have a role in the consumption of rewarding substances, such as ethanol, sucrose and palatable food. However, there is limited information on the specific brain sites where MCH acts to stimulate intake of these rewarding substances and on the feedback effects that their consumption has on the expression of endogenous MCH. The current study investigated MCH in relation to ethanol consumption, in Sprague-Dawley rats. In Experiment 1, chronic consumption of ethanol (from 0.70 to 2.7 g/kg/day) dose-dependently reduced MCH gene expression in the LH. In Experiments 2–4, the opposite effect was observed with acute oral ethanol, which stimulated MCH expression specifically in the LH but not the ZI. In Experiment 5, the effect of MCH injection in brain-cannulated rats on ethanol consumption was examined. Compared to saline, MCH injected in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) selectively stimulated ethanol consumption without affecting food or water intake. In contrast, it reduced ethanol intake when administered into the LH, while having no effect in the ZI. These results demonstrate that voluntary, chronic consumption of ethanol leads to local negative feedback control of MCH expression in the LH. However, with a brief exposure, ethanol stimulates MCH-expressing neurons in this region, which through projections to the feeding-related PVN and reward-related NAc can promote further drinking behavior. PMID:20670637

  2. Physical Exercise Counteracts Stress-induced Upregulation of Melanin-concentrating Hormone in the Brain and Stress-induced Persisting Anxiety-like Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Tae-Kyung

    2016-01-01

    Chronic stress induces anxiety disorders, whereas physical exercise is believed to help people with clinical anxiety. In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms underlying stress-induced anxiety and its counteraction by exercise using an established animal model of anxiety. Mice treated with restraint for 2 h daily for 14 days exhibited anxiety-like behaviors, including social and nonsocial behavioral symptoms, and these behavioral impairments lasted for more than 12 weeks after the stress treatment was removed. Despite these lasting behavioral changes, wheel-running exercise treatment for 1 h daily from post-stress days 1 - 21 counteracted anxiety-like behaviors, and these anxiolytic effects of exercise persisted for more than 2 months, suggesting that anxiolytic effects of exercise stably induced. Repeated restraint treatment up-regulated the expression of the neuropeptide, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), in the lateral hypothalamus, hippocampus, and basolateral amygdala, the brain regions important for emotional behaviors. In an in vitro study, treatment of HT22 hippocampal cells with glucocorticoid increased MCH expression, suggesting that MCH upregulation can be initially triggered by the stress hormone, corticosterone. In contrast, post-stress treatment with wheel-running exercise reduced the stress-induced increase in MCH expression to control levels in the lateral hypothalamus, hippocampus and basolateral amygdala. Administration of an MCH receptor antagonist (SNAP94847) to stress-treated mice was therapeutic against stress-induced anxiety-like behaviors. These results suggest that repeated stress produces long-lasting anxiety-like behaviors and upregulates MCH in the brain, while exercise counteracts stress-induced MCH expression and persisting anxiety-like behaviors. PMID:27574483

  3. Comparison of melanin-concentrating hormone and hypocretin/orexin peptide expression patterns in a current parceling scheme of the lateral hypothalamic zone.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Joel D

    2010-01-01

    The distribution of hypothalamic neurons expressing the peptides melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH; 'MCH neurons') or hypocretin/orexin (H/O; 'H/O neurons') was assessed with immunocytochemistry in male rats at high spatial resolution. Data were plotted on a rat brain atlas that includes a recently revised parcellation scheme for the lateral hypothalamic zone. Quantitative analysis revealed approximately three times more MCH neurons than H/O neurons in the hypothalamus, and approximately twice as many within the parcellations of the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA). The LHA contained 60% of MCH neurons and 81% of H/O neurons, and the same five LHA regions contained the vast majority of MCH (87%) or H/O (93%) neurons present within the LHA: namely the LHA dorsal region (LHAd: 31% of H/O; 38% of MCH), suprafornical region (LHAs: 28% of H/O; 11% of MCH), ventral region medial zone (LHAvm: 15% of H/O; 16% of MCH), juxtadorsomedial region (LHAjd: 14% of H/O and MCH) and magnocellular nucleus (LHAm: 5% of H/O; 7% of MCH). The zona incerta (ZI) contained 18% of MCH neurons. A high co-abundance of MCH and H/O neurons outside of the LHA was present in the posterior hypothalamic nucleus (PH: 11% of H/O; 9% of MCH). Morphological analysis revealed MCH and H/O neurons as typically tri-polar with irregularly shaped somata. These data provide a quantitative analysis of neurons expressing either MCH or H/O peptides within the rat hypothalamus, and they clarify differences in the distribution pattern for different subsets of these neuron types, especially within the LHA. PMID:19850103

  4. Identifying the emerging human pathogen Scedosporium prolificans by using a species-specific monoclonal antibody that binds to the melanin biosynthetic enzyme tetrahydroxynaphthalene reductase.

    PubMed

    Thornton, Christopher R; Ryder, Lauren S; Le Cocq, Kate; Soanes, Darren M

    2015-04-01

    The dematiaceous (melanized) fungus Scedosporium prolificans is an emerging and frequently fatal pathogen of immunocompromised humans and which, along with the closely related fungi Pseudallescheria boydii, Scedosporium apiospermum and S. aurantiacum in the Pseudallescheria-Scedosporium complex, is a contributing aetiology to tsunami lung and central nervous system infections in near-drowning victims who have aspirated water laden with spores. At present, the natural habitat of the fungus is largely unknown, and accurate detection methods are needed to identify environmental reservoirs of infectious propagules. In this study, we report the development of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) (CA4) specific to S. prolificans, which does not cross-react with closely related fungi in the Pseudallescheria-Scedosporium complex or with a wide range of mould and yeast species pathogenic to humans. Using genome sequencing of a soil isolate and targeted gene disruption of the CA4 antigen-encoding gene, we show that mAb CA4 binds to the melanin-biosynthetic enzyme tetrahydroxynaphthalene reductase. Enzyme-deficient mutants produce orange-brown or green-brown spore suspensions compared with the black spore suspension of the wild-type strain. Using mAb CA4 and a mAb (HG12) specific to the related fungi P. boydii, P. apiosperma, S. apiospermum and S. aurantiacum, we demonstrate how the mAbs can be used in combination with a semiselective isolation procedure to track these opportunistic pathogens in environmental samples containing mixed populations of human pathogenic fungi. Specificity of mAb CA4 was confirmed by sequencing of the internally transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1)-5.8S-ITS2 rRNA-encoding regions of fungi isolated from estuarine muds. PMID:24684242

  5. Melanin nanoparticles derived from a homology of medicine and food for sentinel lymph node mapping and photothermal in vivo cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Chu, Maoquan; Hai, Wangxi; Zhang, Zheyu; Wo, Fangjie; Wu, Qiang; Zhang, Zefei; Shao, Yuxiang; Zhang, Ding; Jin, Lu; Shi, Donglu

    2016-06-01

    The use of non-toxic or low toxicity materials exhibiting dual functionality for use in sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping and cancer therapy has attracted considerable attention during the past two decades. Herein, we report that the natural black sesame melanin (BSM) extracted from black sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum L.) shows exciting potential for SLN mapping and cancer photothermal therapy. Aqueous solutions of BSM under neutral and alkaline conditions can assemble into sheet-like nanoparticles ranging from 20 to 200 nm in size. The BSM nanoparticles were encapsulated by liposomes to improve their water solubility and the encapsulated and bare BSM nanoparticles were both non-toxic to cells. Furthermore, the liposome-encapsulated BSM nanoparticles (liposome-BSM) did not exhibit any long-term toxicity in mice. The liposome-BSM nanoparticles were subsequently used to passively target healthy and tumor-bearing mice SLNs, which were identified by the black color of the nanoparticles. BSM also strongly absorbed light in the near-infrared (NIR) range, which was rapidly converted to heat energy. Human esophagus carcinoma cells (Eca-109) were killed efficiently by liposome-BSM nanocomposites upon NIR laser irradiation. Furthermore, mouse tumor tissues grown from Eca-109 cells were seriously damaged by the photothermal effects of the liposome-BSM nanocomposites, with significant tumor growth suppression compared with controls. Given that BSM is a safe and nutritious biomaterial that can be easily obtained from black sesame seed, the results presented herein represent an important development in the use of natural biomaterials for clinical SLN mapping and cancer therapy. PMID:27031812

  6. Lateral hypothalamic orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone neurons provide direct input to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the human.

    PubMed

    Skrapits, Katalin; Kanti, Vivien; Savanyú, Zsófia; Maurnyi, Csilla; Szenci, Ottó; Horváth, András; Borsay, Beáta Á; Herczeg, László; Liposits, Zsolt; Hrabovszky, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Hypophysiotropic projections of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-synthesizing neurons form the final common output way of the hypothalamus in the neuroendocrine control of reproduction. Several peptidergic neuronal systems of the medial hypothalamus innervate human GnRH cells and mediate crucially important hormonal and metabolic signals to the reproductive axis, whereas much less is known about the contribution of the lateral hypothalamic area to the afferent control of human GnRH neurons. Orexin (ORX)- and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-synthesizing neurons of this region have been implicated in diverse behavioral and autonomic processes, including sleep and wakefulness, feeding and other functions. In the present immunohistochemical study, we addressed the anatomical connectivity of these neurons to human GnRH cells in post-mortem hypothalamic samples obtained from autopsies. We found that 38.9 ± 10.3% and 17.7 ± 3.3% of GnRH-immunoreactive (IR) perikarya in the infundibular nucleus of human male subjects received ORX-IR and MCH-IR contacts, respectively. On average, each 1 mm segment of GnRH dendrites received 7.3 ± 1.1 ORX-IR and 3.7 ± 0.5 MCH-IR axo-dendritic appositions. Overall, the axo-dendritic contacts dominated over the axo-somatic contacts and represented 80.5 ± 6.4% of ORX-IR and 76.7 ± 4.6% of MCH-IR inputs to GnRH cells. Based on functional evidence from studies of laboratory animals, the direct axo-somatic and axo-dendritic input from ORX and MCH neurons to the human GnRH neuronal system may convey critical metabolic and other homeostatic signals to the reproducive axis. In this study, we also report the generation and characterization of new antibodies for immunohistochemical detection of GnRH neurons in histological sections. PMID:26388735

  7. Lateral hypothalamic orexin and melanin-concentrating hormone neurons provide direct input to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the human

    PubMed Central

    Skrapits, Katalin; Kanti, Vivien; Savanyú, Zsófia; Maurnyi, Csilla; Szenci, Ottó; Horváth, András; Borsay, Beáta Á.; Herczeg, László; Liposits, Zsolt; Hrabovszky, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Hypophysiotropic projections of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-synthesizing neurons form the final common output way of the hypothalamus in the neuroendocrine control of reproduction. Several peptidergic neuronal systems of the medial hypothalamus innervate human GnRH cells and mediate crucially important hormonal and metabolic signals to the reproductive axis, whereas much less is known about the contribution of the lateral hypothalamic area to the afferent control of human GnRH neurons. Orexin (ORX)- and melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-synthesizing neurons of this region have been implicated in diverse behavioral and autonomic processes, including sleep and wakefulness, feeding and other functions. In the present immunohistochemical study, we addressed the anatomical connectivity of these neurons to human GnRH cells in post-mortem hypothalamic samples obtained from autopsies. We found that 38.9 ± 10.3% and 17.7 ± 3.3% of GnRH-immunoreactive (IR) perikarya in the infundibular nucleus of human male subjects received ORX-IR and MCH-IR contacts, respectively. On average, each 1 mm segment of GnRH dendrites received 7.3 ± 1.1 ORX-IR and 3.7 ± 0.5 MCH-IR axo-dendritic appositions. Overall, the axo-dendritic contacts dominated over the axo-somatic contacts and represented 80.5 ± 6.4% of ORX-IR and 76.7 ± 4.6% of MCH-IR inputs to GnRH cells. Based on functional evidence from studies of laboratory animals, the direct axo-somatic and axo-dendritic input from ORX and MCH neurons to the human GnRH neuronal system may convey critical metabolic and other homeostatic signals to the reproducive axis. In this study, we also report the generation and characterization of new antibodies for immunohistochemical detection of GnRH neurons in histological sections. PMID:26388735

  8. Inhibitory effects of salidroside and paeonol on tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis in mouse B16F10 melanoma cells and ultraviolet B-induced pigmentation in guinea pig skin.

    PubMed

    Peng, Li-Hua; Liu, Shuai; Xu, Shen-Yao; Chen, Lei; Shan, Ying-Hui; Wei, Wei; Liang, Wen-Quan; Gao, Jian-Qing

    2013-09-15

    Salidroside, the major active component of Rhodiola rosea, a herb with antioxidant, free radical scavenging and tyrosinase inhibitory effects, has been recently reported in protecting the kerationcytes from the UV radiation, suggesting the potential of this component in depigmentation. Paeonol is isolated from Moutan Cortex Radicis with anti-inflammation/microbial activities, was reported to induce the down-regulation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor and subsequently tyrosinase. To testify the potential of these compounds as melanin formation inhibitors for hyperpigmentation therapy, the influence of salidroside and paeonol on pigmentation was investigated. With arbutin as a positive control, salidroside and paeonol were evaluated for their inhibitory effect on the cell viability, tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis in B16F10 melanoma cells, as well as their effects in UVB-induced hyperpigmentation in brown guinea pig skins. It was demonstrated that the significant inhibition of salidroside (33.0%) and paeonol (22.2-30.9%) on the tyrosinase activity is slightly lower than that of arbutin (18.4-44.7%). However, salidroside exhibited the dose-dependent inhibition (30.6-42.0%) in melanin synthesis at a low concentration of 100 μM, paeonol and arbutin expressed inhibition rates of 27.4-37.2% and 25.8-45.6% within 500-1000 μM. The in vivo topical application of these compounds was demonstrated to obviously decrease the hyperpigmentation on UVB stimulated guinea pig skin. This study provided the original evidence for the salidroside and paeonol as therapeutic agents for pigmentation disorder and skin lightening, with further clinical investigation of these compounds in the field of depigmentation was suggested. PMID:23746955

  9. Antitumor activities of interferon alpha, beta, and gamma and their combinations on human melanoma cells in vitro: changes of proliferation, melanin synthesis, and immunophenotype.

    PubMed

    Garbe, C; Krasagakis, K; Zouboulis, C C; Schröder, K; Krüger, S; Stadler, R; Orfanos, C E

    1990-12-01

    The antitumor activities of human interferon (IFN) alpha, beta, and gamma alone or in combination were studied on four human melanoma cell lines (StML-11, StML-12, StML-14, and SKMel-28) in various concentrations (1-50,000 IU/ml IFN alpha, 0.1-1000 IU/ml IFN beta, 1-10,000 IU/ml IFN gamma) in vitro. In all experiments IFN beta exhibited the most potent antiproliferative effect of all IFN tested. After 3 d of incubation a 50% growth inhibition was achieved with 20-40 IU/ml for natural IFN beta and with 600-1200 U/ml for recombinant IFN gamma. Substantially higher doses (7,000 to more than 50,000 IU/ml) of recombinant IFN alpha 2a were required to achieve a 50% growth inhibition. A strong synergistic antiproliferative activity resulted from the combination of IFN alpha with IFN gamma and IFN beta with IFN gamma. None of the IFN tested induced terminal differentiation of melanoma cells in vitro. The formation of dendrites was inhibited, and the portion of differentiated cells in vitro was reduced after treatment with IFN in comparison to the untreated controls (untreated controls: 100%; portion of differentiated cells after treatment with IFN alpha: 58%-74%, IFN beta: 48%-96%, IFN gamma: 10%-33%). The melanin synthesis was slightly elevated after treatment with IFN alpha (untreated controls: 100%; after treatment with IFN alpha: 103%-157%, ns.) and decreased significantly after treatment with IFN beta (49%-71%, p less than 0.05) as well as with IFN gamma (80%-88%, ns.). Cell surface markers were modulated varyingly by the IFN: HLA-I antigens were enhanced by all IFN, with IFN beta emerging as the most potent inducer. Only IFN gamma, however, induced a de novo expression of HLA-DR and -DQ antigens and increased the expression of the ICAM-1 molecule and of the melanoma progression marker A.1.43. Possibly, these findings indicate a biologically more aggressive phenotype of melanoma cells. PMID:2124247

  10. trans-Caffeic acid stearyl ester from Paeonia suffruticosa inhibits melanin synthesis by cAMP-mediating down-regulation of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-stimulated melanogenesis signaling pathway in B16 cells.

    PubMed

    Liang, Chia-Hua; Chou, Tzung-Han; Tseng, Ya-Ping; Ding, Hsiou-Yu

    2012-01-01

    trans-Caffeic acid stearyl ester (TCASE) from the root cortex of Paeonia suffruticosa ANDREWS is a traditional medicinal herb that has several beneficial properties. However, the inhibitory effect of TCASE on melanogenesis has not been explored. In the cell viability assay, TCASE did not show a cytotoxic effect at a dose of 65 µM for 48 h in B16, HaCaT and Hs68 cells. TCASE considerably inhibits melanin synthesis, and reduces intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels, tyrosinase activity and L-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-alanine (DOPA) oxidase activity in a concentration-dependent manner in the presence of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in B16 cells, and the inhibition efficiency of TCASE exceeds that of ascorbic acid and arbutin. TCASE reduces melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2) and TRP-1 mRNA and protein levels in B16 cells. Based on the findings, TCASE is posited to inhibit melanogenesis signaling while suppressing cAMP levels and, subsequently, MC1R, MITF, tyrosinase, TRP-2 and TRP-1 down-regulation, resulting in the suppression of tyrosinase activity, DOPA oxidase activity and melanin synthesis. PMID:23207771

  11. Hispolon Decreases Melanin Production and Induces Apoptosis in Melanoma Cells through the Downregulation of Tyrosinase and Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor (MITF) Expressions and the Activation of Caspase-3, -8 and -9

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yi-Shyan; Lee, Shu-Mei; Lin, Chih-Chien; Liu, Chia-Yi

    2014-01-01

    Hispolon is one of the most important functional compounds that forms Phellinus linteus (Berkeley & Curtis) Teng. Hispolon has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative and anticancer effects. In this study, we analyzed the functions of hispolon on melanogenesis and apoptosis in B16-F10 melanoma cells. The results demonstrated that hispolon is not an enzymatic inhibitor for tyrosinase; rather, it represses the expression of tyrosinase and the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) to reduce the production of melanin in α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-stimulated B16-F10 cells at lower concentrations (less than 2 μM). In contrast, at higher concentration (greater than 10 μM), hispolon can induce activity of caspase-3, -8 and -9 to trigger apoptosis of B16-F10 cells but not of Detroit 551 normal fibroblast cells. Therefore, we suggest that hispolon has the potential to treat hyperpigmentation diseases and melanoma skin cancer in the future. PMID:24445257

  12. Study of heat and radiation response of a malignant, melanin-producing cell line derived from C3H 10T1/2 cells transformed in culture by radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Raaphorst, G.P.; Vadasz, J.; Azzam, E.I.

    1986-12-01

    The mouse C3H 10T1/2 cell line was transformed to the malignant state using ionizing radiation. One of the transformed lines (R25) that was isolated, displayed some properties similar to malignant melanoma cells. The cells became dark and pigmented after prolonged time in culture and this cell line produced tumors in C3H mice. The radiation survival curve of R25 had a large shoulder which was also observed for human melanoma cell lines. R25 was more resistant to heating at 45.0 degrees C than the normal cell line. Heating at 45.0 degrees C before irradiation resulted in a reduction of the survival curve shoulder. The heat and radiation sensitivity of R25 did not appear to be related to the melanin content of these cells.

  13. Syntheses of precursors and reference compounds of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) tracers [¹¹C]SNAP-7941 and [¹⁸F]FE@SNAP for positron emission tomography.

    PubMed

    Schirmer, Eva; Shanab, Karem; Datterl, Barbara; Neudorfer, Catharina; Mitterhauser, Markus; Wadsak, Wolfgang; Philippe, Cécile; Spreitzer, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    The MCH receptor has been revealed as a target of great interest in positron emission tomography imaging. The receptor's eponymous substrate melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a cyclic peptide hormone, which is located predominantly in the hypothalamus with a major influence on energy and weight regulation as well as water balance and memory. Therefore, it is thought to play an important role in the pathophysiology of adiposity, which is nowadays a big issue worldwide. Based on the selective and high-affinity MCH receptor 1 antagonist SNAP-7941, a series of novel SNAP derivatives has been developed to provide different precursors and reference compounds for the radiosyntheses of the novel PET radiotracers [(11)C]SNAP-7941 and [(18)F]FE@SNAP. Positron emission tomography promotes a better understanding of physiologic parameters on a molecular level, thus giving a deeper insight into MCHR1 related processes as adiposity. PMID:24084017

  14. Modestobacter versicolor sp. nov., an actinobacterium from biological soil crusts that produces melanins under oligotrophy, with emended descriptions of the genus Modestobacter and Modestobacter multiseptatus Mevs et al. 2000.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Gundlapally S N; Potrafka, Ruth M; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2007-09-01

    A novel isolate, CP153-2(T), was obtained from topsoil biological crusts in the Colorado Plateau (USA). Colonies were black in colour due to melanin-like pigments when grown on oligotrophic medium, but not when grown on copiotrophic medium. Induction of melanogenesis was independent of growth phase or illumination conditions, including exposure to UVB and UVA radiation, but exposure to UVB could enhance total pigment production and growth under low nitrogen prevented its synthesis. This mode of regulation was previously unknown among melanin-producing bacteria. Polyphasic characterization of the strain revealed that cells were short, straight to curved or irregular rods that developed into pairs and formed multiseptate short filaments, with rare bud-like cells. Short rods were typically motile by means of flagella; multicellular structures tended to be sessile. Cells stained Gram-positive, grew at 4-30 degrees C and had a narrow range of pH tolerance (pH 5-9). The major fatty acids were iso-C(15:0) iso-C(16 : 0), anteiso-C(15 : 0) and C(18 : 1); MK-9(H(4)) was the major respiratory quinone. Its peptidoglycan contained meso-diaminopimelic acid. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity data, its closest relative (98.1 % similarity) was Modestobacter multiseptatus DSM 44406(T), which is similar morphologically. Based on the above characteristics, strain CP153-2(T) was also assigned to the genus Modestobacter. However, CP153-2(T) had a relatedness of only 49.9 % in whole-genome reassociation comparisons with the type strain of M. multiseptatus and thus formally represents a novel species, for which the name Modestobacter versicolor sp. nov. is proposed. Additional evidence in support of a novel species comes from phenotypic and chemotaxonomic characteristics. Strain CP153-2(T) (=ATCC BAA-1040(T) =DSM 16678(T)) is the type strain of M. versicolor. PMID:17766865

  15. Quercetin-3-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-d-glucopyranoside suppresses melanin synthesis by augmenting p38 MAPK and CREB signaling pathways and subsequent cAMP down-regulation in murine melanoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Hyun Gug; Kim, Han Hyuk; Paul, Souren; Jang, Jae Yoon; Cho, Yong Hun; Kim, Hyeon Jeong; Yu, Jae Myo; Lee, Eun Su; An, Bong Jeun; Kang, Sun Chul; Bang, Byung Ho

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the effect of purified quercetin-3-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-d-glucopyranosid (QCGG) on melanogenesis was investigated. QCGG was isolated from the calyx of a traditional Korean medicinal herb, Persimmon (Diospyros kaki). The hypopigmentation effects of QCGG were determined by examination of cellular melanin contents, tyrosinase activity assay, cAMP assay, and Western blotting of α-MSH-stimulated B16F10 mouse melanoma cells. Our results showed that QCGG inhibited both melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in a concentration-dependent manner as well as significantly reduced the expression of melanogenic proteins such as microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase-related protein-1, tyrosinase-related protein-2, and tyrosinase. Moreover, QCGG inhibited intracellular cAMP levels, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), and p38 MAPK expression in α-MSH-stimulated B16F10 cells. Taken together, the suppressive effects of QCGG on melanogenesis may involve down-regulation of MITF and its downstream signaling pathway via phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and CREB along with reduced cAMP levels. These results indicate that QCGG reduced melanin synthesis by reducing expression of tyrosine and tyrosine-related proteins via extracellular signal-related protein kinase (ERK) activation, followed by down-regulation of CREB, p38, and MITF. PMID:26586997

  16. Quercetin-3-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-d-glucopyranoside suppresses melanin synthesis by augmenting p38 MAPK and CREB signaling pathways and subsequent cAMP down-regulation in murine melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hyun Gug; Kim, Han Hyuk; Paul, Souren; Jang, Jae Yoon; Cho, Yong Hun; Kim, Hyeon Jeong; Yu, Jae Myo; Lee, Eun Su; An, Bong Jeun; Kang, Sun Chul; Bang, Byung Ho

    2015-11-01

    In this study, the effect of purified quercetin-3-O-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-d-glucopyranosid (QCGG) on melanogenesis was investigated. QCGG was isolated from the calyx of a traditional Korean medicinal herb, Persimmon (Diospyros kaki). The hypopigmentation effects of QCGG were determined by examination of cellular melanin contents, tyrosinase activity assay, cAMP assay, and Western blotting of α-MSH-stimulated B16F10 mouse melanoma cells. Our results showed that QCGG inhibited both melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in a concentration-dependent manner as well as significantly reduced the expression of melanogenic proteins such as microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase-related protein-1, tyrosinase-related protein-2, and tyrosinase. Moreover, QCGG inhibited intracellular cAMP levels, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), and p38 MAPK expression in α-MSH-stimulated B16F10 cells. Taken together, the suppressive effects of QCGG on melanogenesis may involve down-regulation of MITF and its downstream signaling pathway via phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and CREB along with reduced cAMP levels. These results indicate that QCGG reduced melanin synthesis by reducing expression of tyrosine and tyrosine-related proteins via extracellular signal-related protein kinase (ERK) activation, followed by down-regulation of CREB, p38, and MITF. PMID:26586997

  17. Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Receptor 1 Antagonists Lacking an Aliphatic Amine: Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationships of Novel 1-(Imidazo[1,2-a]pyridin-6-yl)pyridin-2(1H)-one Derivatives.

    PubMed

    Igawa, Hideyuki; Takahashi, Masashi; Kakegawa, Keiko; Kina, Asato; Ikoma, Minoru; Aida, Jumpei; Yasuma, Tsuneo; Kawata, Yayoi; Ashina, Shuntaro; Yamamoto, Syunsuke; Kundu, Mrinalkanti; Khamrai, Uttam; Hirabayashi, Hideki; Nakayama, Masaharu; Nagisa, Yasutaka; Kasai, Shizuo; Maekawa, Tsuyoshi

    2016-02-11

    Aiming to discover melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonists with improved safety profiles, we hypothesized that the aliphatic amine employed in most antagonists reported to date could be removed if the bicyclic motif of the compound scaffold interacted with Asp123 and/or Tyr272 of MCHR1. We excluded aliphatic amines from our compound designs, with a cutoff value of pK(a) < 8, and explored aliphatic amine-free MCHR1 antagonists in a CNS-oriented chemical space limited by four descriptors (TPSA, ClogP, MW, and HBD count). Screening of novel bicyclic motifs with high intrinsic binding affinity for MCHR1 identified the imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine ring (represented in compounds 6a and 6b), and subsequent cyclization of the central aliphatic amide linkage led to the discovery of a potent, orally bioavailable MCHR1 antagonist 4-[(4-chlorobenzyl)oxy]-1-(2-cyclopropyl-3-methylimidazo[1,2-a]pyridin-6-yl)pyridin-2(1H)-one 10a. It exhibited low potential for hERG inhibition and phospholipidosis induction as well as sufficient brain concentration to exert antiobesity effects in diet-induced obese rats. PMID:26736071

  18. Effects of tank color on melanin-concentrating hormone levels in the brain, pituitary gland, and plasma of the barfin flounder as revealed by a newly developed time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay.

    PubMed

    Amiya, Noriko; Amano, Masafumi; Takahashi, Akiyoshi; Yamanome, Takeshi; Kawauchi, Hiroshi; Yamamori, Kunio

    2005-09-15

    A pleuronectiform fish, the barfin flounder Verasper moseri, reared in a white tank had a smaller ratio of pigmented area of the skin on non-eyed side, grew faster, and had greater melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-immunoreactive cell bodies and MCH gene expression in the brain than in the black tank, indicating that synthesis and release of MCH are higher in fish from a white tank. In the present study, a time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay for MCH was developed. MCH levels were assessed in the brain, pituitary gland, and plasma of barfin flounders reared in a white or black tank. A competitive assay using two antibodies was performed among secondary antibodies in the solid phase, MCH antibodies, samples, and europium-labeled MCH. Displacement curves of serially diluted extracts (brain, pituitary gland, and plasma) of the barfin flounder paralleled that of the MCH standard. MCH levels in the brain and plasma were higher in fish reared in the white tank for 5 months than in the black tank. These results suggest that synthesis and secretion of MCH are enhanced with the white background and that MCH is involved in both somatic growth and the skin pigmentation in the barfin flounder. PMID:15979616

  19. Assignment of the human pro-melanin-concentrating hormone gene (PMCH) to chromosome 12q23-q24 and two variant genes (PMCHL1 and PMCHL2) to chromosome 5p14 and 5q12-q13

    SciTech Connect

    Pedeutour, F. ); Szpirer, C. ); Nahon, J.L. )

    1994-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a peptide that has been isolated from salmon pituitary and rat hypothalamus. In mammals, pro-MCH (PMCH) encodes two putative peptides, named NEI and NGE, in addition to MCH. Those peptides are expressed predominantly in hypothalamus and display a broad array of functions in rat brain. The authors have previously mapped the PMCH locus on human chromosome 12q and rat chromosome 7. Genomic cloning has revealed the existence of two distinct MCH genes in human: one authentic and one variant. In this report, they describe Southern blotting analysis with DNA from a panel of somatic cell hybrids and demonstrate that the authentic human MCH (hMCH) gene is located as expected on chromosome 12, while the variant form of hMCH gene is located on chromosome 5. Direct chromosomal assignment of the authentic and variant hMCH genes was obtained by using fluorescence in situ hybridization on metaphase chromosomes. A strong signal was observed in 12q23-q24 with the authentic HMCH genomic DNA probe. Surprisingly, two signals were conspicuously found in 5p14 and 5q12-q13 with different variant hMCH genomic DNA probes. These loci were designated PMCHL1 and PMCHL2. Evidence of physiological and pathological data in rodents together with locus linkage analyses in human suggests that hMCH authentic and variant genes may be involved in human brain disorders. 44 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Amine-free melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonists: Novel non-basic 1-(2H-indazole-5-yl)pyridin-2(1H)-one derivatives and mitigation of mutagenicity in Ames test.

    PubMed

    Igawa, Hideyuki; Takahashi, Masashi; Ikoma, Minoru; Kaku, Hiromi; Kakegawa, Keiko; Kina, Asato; Aida, Jumpei; Okuda, Shoki; Kawata, Yayoi; Noguchi, Toshihiro; Hotta, Natsu; Yamamoto, Syunsuke; Nakayama, Masaharu; Nagisa, Yasutaka; Kasai, Shizuo; Maekawa, Tsuyoshi

    2016-06-01

    To develop non-basic melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonists with a high probability of target selectivity and therapeutic window, we explored neutral bicyclic motifs that could replace the previously reported imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine or 1H-benzimidazole motif. The results indicated that the binding affinity of a chemically neutral 2H-indazole derivative 8a with MCHR1 (hMCHR1: IC50=35nM) was comparable to that of the imidazopyridine and benzimidazole derivatives (1 and 2, respectively) reported so far. However, 8a was positive in the Ames test using TA1537 in S9- condition. Based on a putative intercalation of 8a with DNA, we introduced a sterically-hindering cyclopropyl group on the indazole ring to decrease planarity, which led to the discovery of 1-(2-cyclopropyl-3-methyl-2H-indazol-5-yl)-4-{[5-(trifluoromethyl)thiophen-3-yl]methoxy}pyridin-2(1H)-one 8l without mutagenicity in TA1537. Compound 8l exerted significant antiobesity effects in diet-induced obese F344 rats and exhibited promising safety profile. PMID:27117261

  1. Amine-free melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonists: Novel 1-(1H-benzimidazol-6-yl)pyridin-2(1H)-one derivatives and design to avoid CYP3A4 time-dependent inhibition.

    PubMed

    Igawa, Hideyuki; Takahashi, Masashi; Shirasaki, Mikio; Kakegawa, Keiko; Kina, Asato; Ikoma, Minoru; Aida, Jumpei; Yasuma, Tsuneo; Okuda, Shoki; Kawata, Yayoi; Noguchi, Toshihiro; Yamamoto, Syunsuke; Fujioka, Yasushi; Kundu, Mrinalkanti; Khamrai, Uttam; Nakayama, Masaharu; Nagisa, Yasutaka; Kasai, Shizuo; Maekawa, Tsuyoshi

    2016-06-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is an attractive target for antiobesity agents, and numerous drug discovery programs are dedicated to finding small-molecule MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonists. We recently reported novel pyridine-2(1H)-ones as aliphatic amine-free MCHR1 antagonists that structurally featured an imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine-based bicyclic motif. To investigate imidazopyridine variants with lower basicity and less potential to inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), we designed pyridine-2(1H)-ones bearing various less basic bicyclic motifs. Among these, a lead compound 6a bearing a 1H-benzimidazole motif showed comparable binding affinity to MCHR1 to the corresponding imidazopyridine derivative 1. Optimization of 6a afforded a series of potent thiophene derivatives (6q-u); however, most of these were found to cause time-dependent inhibition (TDI) of CYP3A4. As bioactivation of thiophenes to form sulfoxide or epoxide species was considered to be a major cause of CYP3A4 TDI, we introduced electron withdrawing groups on the thiophene and found that a CF3 group on the ring or a Cl adjacent to the sulfur atom helped prevent CYP3A4 TDI. Consequently, 4-[(5-chlorothiophen-2-yl)methoxy]-1-(2-cyclopropyl-1-methyl-1H-benzimidazol-6-yl)pyridin-2(1H)-one (6s) was identified as a potent MCHR1 antagonist without the risk of CYP3A4 TDI, which exhibited a promising safety profile including low CYP3A4 inhibition and exerted significant antiobesity effects in diet-induced obese F344 rats. PMID:27112449

  2. Immunohistochemical techniques: the effect of melanin bleaching.

    PubMed

    Foss, A J; Alexander, R A; Jefferies, L W; Lightman, S

    1995-03-01

    This study addresses two questions: i) which antigens can withstand bleaching by 2.5 g/L of potassium permanganate followed by 10 g/L of oxalate, before immunohistochemical staining; and ii) are any other steps in the immunohistochemical staining technique resistant to bleaching? A panel of 10 antigens was stained immunohistochemically and the results compared with staining performed with a bleaching step interpolated at different steps in the procedures. Four antigens (HMB-45, S-100, factor VIII-related antigen and collagen type IV) were unaffected by bleaching; two antigens (CD-20 and CD-45) had their staining enhanced by bleaching; one had the staining reduced (hsp27); and in three it was abolished (CD-45Ro, CD-31 and Ulex/anti-ulex antibody) by bleaching. Two antibodies (UCHL-1 and L-26) showed evidence for altered specificity following bleaching. None of the steps after application of the primary antibody was resistant to bleaching. Three chromagens used for peroxidase demonstration-amino ethyl-carbazole, diaminobenzidine and chloro-naphthol-were also found to be sensitive to bleaching. While some antigens were resistant to the effects of bleaching, some were not, and no other step in the immunohistochemical procedure could withstand bleaching. PMID:7549602

  3. Discovery of (3-(4-(2-Oxa-6-azaspiro[3.3]heptan-6-ylmethyl)phenoxy)azetidin-1-yl)(5-(4-methoxyphenyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-yl)methanone (AZD1979), a Melanin Concentrating Hormone Receptor 1 (MCHr1) Antagonist with Favorable Physicochemical Properties.

    PubMed

    Johansson, Anders; Löfberg, Christian; Antonsson, Madeleine; von Unge, Sverker; Hayes, Martin A; Judkins, Robert; Ploj, Karolina; Benthem, Lambertus; Lindén, Daniel; Brodin, Peter; Wennerberg, Marie; Fredenwall, Marléne; Li, Lanna; Persson, Joachim; Bergman, Rolf; Pettersen, Anna; Gennemark, Peter; Hogner, Anders

    2016-03-24

    A novel series of melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHr1) antagonists were the starting point for a drug discovery program that culminated in the discovery of 103 (AZD1979). The lead optimization program was conducted with a focus on reducing lipophilicity and understanding the physicochemical properties governing CNS exposure and undesired off-target pharmacology such as hERG interactions. An integrated approach was taken where the key assay was ex vivo receptor occupancy in mice. The candidate compound 103 displayed appropriate lipophilicity for a CNS indication and showed excellent permeability with no efflux. Preclinical GLP toxicology and safety pharmacology studies were without major findings and 103 was taken into clinical trials. PMID:26741166

  4. Enhanced melanin fluorescence by stepwise three-photon excitation.

    PubMed

    Kerimo, Josef; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles A

    2011-01-01

    The fluorescence of eumelanin (from Sepia officinalis and black human hair) was activated and enhanced by almost three orders of magnitude by exposure to near-infrared radiation. No activation or enhanced emission was observed when the samples were heated up to 100°C. The near-infrared irradiation caused obvious changes to the eumelanin and could be seen by fluorescence and bright field imaging. The area of enhanced emission appeared to originate from a region with changes in the morphology of the eumelanin's granule and increased with exposure time. At least two different components with enhanced fluorescence were activated and could be distinguished by their excitation properties. One component could be excited efficiently with wavelengths in the visible region and exhibited linear absorption dependence with respect to the laser power level. The second component could be excited efficiently using near-infrared wavelengths by a nonlinear process and exhibited a third-order dependence on the excitation. The third-order dependence is explained by a step-wise excited-state absorption process since the same third-order dependence was present when either continuous wave or femtosecond pulsed laser, with similar average-power levels, was used. PMID:21668873

  5. Studying melanin and lipofuscin in RPE cell culture models

    PubMed Central

    Boulton, Michael E

    2014-01-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium contains three major types of pigment granules; melanosomes, lipofuscin and melanolipofuscin. Melanosomes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) are formed during embryogenesis and mature during early postnatal life while lipofuscin and melanolipofuscin granules accumulate as a function of age. The difficulty in studying the formation and consequences of melanosomes and lipofuscin granules in RPE cell culture is compounded by the fact that these pigment granules do not normally occur in established RPE cell lines and pigment granules are rapidly lost in adult human primary culture. This review will consider options available for overcoming these limitations and permitting the study of melanosomes and lipofuscin in cell culture and will briefly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the different protocols. PMID:25152361

  6. Percutaneous penetration, melanin activation and toxicity evaluation of a phytotherapic formulation for vitiligo therapeutic.

    PubMed

    Truite, Cecília Valente Rodrigues; Philippsen, Gisele Strieder; Ueda-Nakamura, Tânia; Natali, Maria Raquel Marçal; Dias Filho, Benedito Prado; Bento, Antonio Carlos; Baesso, Mauro Luciano; Nakamura, Celso Vataru

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this work was to apply photoacoustic spectroscopy for the ex vivo determination of the penetration rate of a phytotherapic formulation for vitiligo therapeutic, with or without salicylic acid as the promoter agent. In addition, the compound toxicity and morphophysiology effects were evaluated for different concentrations of salicylic acid. The experiments were performed as a function of the period of time of treatment in a well-controlled group of rabbits. Toxic effects were not observed with any of the tested products. All formulations containing salicylic acid induced cutaneous reaction which was dose dependent. The histological analysis showed that the use of the medication was associated with an increased comedogenic effect in relation to the control group, regardless of salicylic acid concentration. Inflammatory reactions and acanthosis were observed only in the animals treated with formulations containing higher concentrations of salicylic acid, while none of these effects were detected with the use of the formulation containing 2.5% (wt/vol) of salicylic acid. Photoacoustic depth monitoring showed that both formulations, with or without salicylic acid, propagated through the skin up to the melanocytes region, suggesting that the transport of the active agent may occur through the epithelial structure without the need of using queratinolitic substances, which are known to induce side effects in the animals. PMID:18028229

  7. Electronic transition imaging of carbon based materials: The photothreshold of melanin and thermionic field emission from diamond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garguilo, Jacob

    This study explores electronic transitions in carbon based materials through the use of a custom built, non rastering electron emission microscope. The specifics and history of electron emission are described as well as the equipment used in this study. The materials examined fall into two groups, melanosome films isolated from the human body and polycrystalline diamond tip arrays. A novel technique for determining the photothreshold of a heterogeneous material on a microscopic or smaller scale is developed and applied to melanosome films isolated from the hair, eyes, and brain of human donors. The conversion of the measured photothreshold on the vacuum scale to an electrochemical oxidation potential is discussed and the obtained data is considered based on this conversion. Pheomelanosomes isolated from human hair are shown to have significantly lower photoionization energy than eumelanosomes, indicating their likelihood as sources of oxidative stress. The ionization energies of the hair melanosomes are checked with complimentary procedures. Ocular melanosomes from the retinal pigment epithelium are measured as a function of patient age and melanosome shape. Lipofuscin, also found in the eye, is examined with the same microscopy technique and shown to have a significantly lower ionization threshold than RPE melanosomes. Neuromelanin from the substantia nigra is also examined and shown to have an ionization threshold close to that of eumelanin. A neuromelanin formation model is proposed based on these results. Polycrystalline diamond tip arrays are examined for their use as thermionic energy converter emitters. Thermionic energy conversion is accomplished through the combination of a hot electron emitter in conjunction with a somewhat cooler electron collector. The generated electron current can be used to do work in an external load. It is shown that the tipped structures of these samples result in enhanced emission over the surrounding flat areas, which may prove valuable in limiting the negative space charge effect in vacuum energy converting devices. Additionally, the effects of exceeding a threshold temperature for the films are shown, establishing a maximum operating regime for any device which incorporates hydrogen terminated diamond.

  8. Microarray-based analysis of the differential expression of melanin synthesis genes in dark and light-muzzle Korean cattle.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sang Hwan; Hwang, Sue Yun; Yoon, Jong Taek

    2014-01-01

    The coat color of mammals is determined by the melanogenesis pathway, which is responsible for maintaining the balance between black-brown eumelanin and yellow-reddish pheomelanin. It is also believed that the color of the bovine muzzle is regulated in a similar manner; however, the molecular mechanism underlying pigment deposition in the dark-muzzle has yet to be elucidated. The aim of the present study was to identify melanogenesis-associated genes that are differentially expressed in the dark vs. light muzzle of native Korean cows. Using microarray clustering and real-time polymerase chain reaction techniques, we observed that the expression of genes involved in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Wnt signaling pathways is distinctively regulated in the dark and light muzzle tissues. Differential expression of tyrosinase was also noticed, although the difference was not as distinct as those of MAPK and Wnt. We hypothesize that emphasis on the MAPK pathway in the dark-muzzle induces eumelanin synthesis through the activation of cAMP response element-binding protein and tyrosinase, while activation of Wnt signaling counteracts this process and raises the amount of pheomelanin in the light-muzzle. We also found 2 novel genes (GenBank No. NM-001076026 and XM-588439) with increase expression in the black nose, which may provide additional information about the mechanism of nose pigmentation. Regarding the increasing interest in the genetic diversity of cattle stocks, genes we identified for differential expression in the dark vs. light muzzle may serve as novel markers for genetic diversity among cows based on the muzzle color phenotype. PMID:24811126

  9. Molecular mechanisms of flavonoids in melanin synthesis and the potential for the prevention and treatment of melanoma.

    PubMed

    Liu-Smith, Feng; Meyskens, Frank L

    2016-06-01

    Flavonoids are becoming popular nutraceuticals. Different flavonoids show similar or distinct biological effects on different tissues or cell types, which may limit or define their usefulness in cancer prevention and/or treatment application. This review focuses on a few selected flavonoids and discusses their functions in normal and transformed pigment cells, including cyanidin, apigenin, genistein, fisetin, EGCG, luteolin, baicalein, quercetin and kaempferol. Flavonoids exhibit melanogenic or anti-melanogenic effects mainly via transcriptional factor MiTF and/or the melanogenesis enzymes tyrosinase, DCT or TYRP-1. To identify a direct target has been a challenge as most studies were not able to discriminate whether the effect(s) of the flavonoid were from direct targeting or represented indirect effects. Flavonoids exhibit an anti-melanoma effect via inhibiting cell proliferation and invasion and inducing apoptosis. The mechanisms are also multi-fold, via ROS-scavenging, immune-modulation, cell cycle regulation and epigenetic modification including DNA methylation and histone deacetylation. In summary, although many flavonoid compounds are extremely promising nutraceuticals, their detailed molecular mechanism and their multi-target (simultaneously targeting multiple molecules) nature warrant further investigation before advancement to translational studies or clinical trials. PMID:26865001

  10. Sticky tubes and magnetic hydrogels co-assembled by a short peptide and melanin-like nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Das, Priyadip; Yuran, Sivan; Yan, Jian; Lee, Pooi See; Reches, Meital

    2015-03-28

    This communication describes the co-assembly of polydopamine spheres, either bare or coated with Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles, with the short aromatic peptide diphenylalanine. The combination of polydopamine particles and diphenylalanine generated tubular structures decorated with adhesive spherical particles, while the co-assembly of the polydopamine spheres coated with magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles with diphenylalanine resulted in the formation of a magnetic hydrogel. These new architectures may be useful as new vehicles for several applications including tissue regeneration and drug delivery. PMID:25470201

  11. NAD(P)H dehydrogenase, quinone 1 (NQO1), protects melanin-producing cells from cytotoxicity of rhododendrol.

    PubMed

    Okubo, Ayaka; Yasuhira, Shinji; Shibazaki, Masahiko; Takahashi, Kazuhiro; Akasaka, Toshihide; Masuda, Tomoyuki; Maesawa, Chihaya

    2016-05-01

    Rhododendrol (RD) is a potent tyrosinase inhibitor that is metabolized to RD-quinone by tyrosinase, which may underlie the cytotoxicity of RD and leukoderma of the skin that may result. We have examined how forced expression of the NAD(P)H quinone dehydrogenase, quinone 1 (NQO1), a major quinone-reducing enzyme in cytosol, affects the survival of RD-treated cells. We found that treatment of the mouse melanoma cell line B16BL6 or normal human melanocytes with carnosic acid, a transcriptional inducer of the NQO1 gene, notably suppressed the cell killing effect of RD. This effect was mostly abolished by ES936, a highly specific NQO1 inhibitor. Moreover, conditional overexpression of the human NQO1 transgene in B16BL6 led to an expression-dependent increase of cell survival after RD treatment. Our results suggest that NQO1 attenuates the cytotoxicity of RD and/or its metabolites. PMID:26847926

  12. Human melanoma cells transplanted into zebrafish proliferate, migrate, produce melanin, form masses and stimulate angiogenesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Haldi, Maryann; Ton, Christopher; Seng, Wen Lin; McGrath, Patricia

    2006-01-01

    In this research, we optimized parameters for xenotransplanting WM-266-4, a metastatic melanoma cell line, including zebrafish site and stage for transplantation, number of cells, injection method, and zebrafish incubation temperature. Melanoma cells proliferated, migrated and formed masses in vivo. We transplanted two additional cancer cell lines, SW620, a colorectal cancer cell line, and FG CAS/Crk, a pancreatic cancer cell line and these human cancers also formed masses in zebrafish. We also transplanted CCD-1092Sk, a human fibroblast cell line established from normal foreskin and this cell line migrated, but did not proliferate or form masses. We quantified the number of proliferating melanoma and normal skin fibroblasts by dissociating xenotransplant zebrafish, dispensing an aliquot of CM-DiI labeled human cells from each zebrafish onto a hemocytometer slide and then visually counting the number of fluorescently labeled cancer cells. Since zebrafish are transparent until approximately 30 dpf, the interaction of labeled melanoma cells and zebrafish endothelial cells (EC) can be visualized by whole-mount immunochemical staining. After staining with Phy-V, a mouse anti-zebrafish monoclonal antibody (mAb) that specifically labels activated EC and angioblasts, using immunohistology and 2-photon microscopy, we observed activated zebrafish EC embedded in human melanoma cell masses. The zebrafish model offers a rapid efficient approach for assessing human cancer cells at various stages of tumorigenesis. PMID:17051341

  13. Melanin-concentrating hormone expression in the rat hypothalamus is not affected in an experiment of prenatal alcohol exposure.

    PubMed

    Chometton, Sandrine; Franchi-Bernard, Gabrielle; Houdayer, Christophe; Mariot, Amandine; Poncet, Fabrice; Fellmann, Dominique; Risold, Pierre-Yves

    2014-08-01

    Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause a "fetal alcoholic syndrome" (FAS) in the progeny. This syndrome is characterized by important brain defects often associated to a decreased expression of the morphogenic protein sonic hedgehog (Shh). The goal of this study was to verify if a FAS could modify the differentiation of hypothalamic neurons producing MCH. Indeed, the expression of this peptide and neurons producing it are dependent of a Shh controlled genetic cascade in the embryo. To address this question, female rats received a 15% ethanol solution to drink during pregnancy and lactation. Higher abortion rate and smaller pups at birth confirmed that descendants were affected by this experimental condition. MCH expression was analyzed by RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry in embryos taken at E11 and E13, or in pups and young adults born from control and alcoholic mothers. MCH expression level, number of MCH neurons or ratio of MCH sub-populations were not modified by our experimental conditions. However, Shh expression was significantly lover at E11 and we also observed that hindbrain serotonergic neurons were affected as reported in the literature. These findings as well as other data from the literature suggest that protective mechanisms are involved to maintain peptide expressions and differentiation of some specific neuron populations in the ventral diencephalon in surviving embryos exposed to ethanol during pregnancy. PMID:25093909

  14. Skin Cancer

    MedlinePlus

    ... are specialized skin cells that produce pigment called melanin. The melanin pigment produced by melanocytes gives skin its color. ... absorbing and scattering the energy. People with more melanin have darker skin and better protection from UV ...

  15. Skin Pigmentation Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    ... skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of ...

  16. Effects of a High-Fat or High-Sucrose Diet on Ultraviolet B Irradiation-Induced Carcinogenesis and Tumor Growth in Melanin-Possessing Hairless Mice.

    PubMed

    Sumiyoshi, Maho; Kimura, Yoshiyuki

    2016-07-01

    We herein compared the effects of the chronic feeding of high-fat (HF), high-sucrose (HS), and low-fat/low-sucrose (control) diets on carcinogenesis following chronic ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation in hairless mice. UVB irradiation-induced carcinogenesis was more prominent in HF diet-fed group than in control diet- and HS diet-fed groups. The HS diet group, as well as the HF diet one, showed tumor development and growth, increased skin matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and blood plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) levels, and decreased blood leptin and adiponectin levels after long-term UVB irradiation. These changes were smaller in the HS diet group than in the HF diet group. In addition, no difference was noted in the above changes between the control and HS diet groups. The increase induced in adipose tissue weight by the HF diet was markedly reduced by UVB irradiation. This result suggests that the abundant availability of lipids in hypertrophic adipose tissue may be related to tumor incidence and growth through increases in blood PAI-1 and skin MMP-9 expression levels and decreases in blood adiponectin levels by UVB irradiation. In conclusion, HF diet-induced hypertrophic adipose tissue is an important cancer risk factor that promotes UV irradiation-induced carcinogenesis and tumor growth. PMID:27046042

  17. Ultraviolet B, melanin and mitochondrial DNA: Photo-damage in human epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes modulated by alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone

    PubMed Central

    Böhm, Markus; Hill, Helene Z.

    2016-01-01

    Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) increases melanogenesis and protects from UV-induced DNA damage. However, its effect on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage is unknown. We have addressed this issue in a pilot study using human epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes incubated with alpha-MSH and irradiated with UVB. Real-time touchdown PCR was used to quantify total and deleted mtDNA. The deletion detected encompassed the common deletion but was more sensitive to detection. There were 4.4 times more mtDNA copies in keratinocytes than in melanocytes. Irradiation alone did not affect copy numbers. Alpha-MSH slightly increased copy numbers in both cell types in the absence of UVB and caused a similar small decrease in copy number with dose in both cell types. Deleted copies were nearly twice as frequent in keratinocytes as in melanocytes. Alpha-MSH reduced the frequency of deleted copies by half in keratinocytes but not in melanocytes. UVB dose dependently led to an increase in the deleted copy number in alpha-MSH-treated melanocytes. UVB irradiation had little effect on deleted copy number in alpha-MSH-treated keratinocytes. In summary, alpha-MSH enhances mtDNA damage in melanocytes presumably by increased melanogenesis, while α-MSH is protective in keratinocytes, the more so in the absence of irradiation. PMID:27303631

  18. MVE1, encoding the velvet gene product homolog in Mycosphaerella graminicola, is associated with aerial mycelium formation, melanin biosynthesis, hyphal swelling, and light signaling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola is an important pathogen of wheat causing economically significant losses. The primary nutritional mode of this fungus is thought to be hemibiotrophic. This pathogenic lifestyle is associated with an early biotrophic stage of nutrient uptake followed ...

  19. Gene encoding a C-type cyclin in Mycosphaerella graminicola is involved in aerial mycelium formation, filamentous growth, hyphal swelling, melanin biosynthesis, stress response, and pathogenicity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mycosphaerella graminicola is an important wheat pathogen causing septoria tritici blotch. To date, an efficient strategy to control M. graminicola has not been developed. More significantly, we have a limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms of M. graminicola pathogenicity. In this study, ...

  20. Gene Encoding a C-Type Cyclin in Mycosphaerella Graminicola is Involved in Mycelium Formation, Melanin Biosynthesis, Stress Response, and Pathogenicity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mycosphaerella graminicola is an important wheat pathogen causing septoria tritici blotch. To date, an efficient strategy to control M. graminicola has not been developed. More significantly, we have a limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms of M. graminicola pathogenicity. In this study, ...

  1. MVE1 Encoding the velvet gene product homolog in Mycosphaerella graminicola is associated with aerial mycelium formation, melanin biosynthesis, hyphal swelling, and light signaling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola is an important pathogen of wheat that causes the disease septoria tritici blotch. Despite the serious impact of M. graminicola on wheat production worldwide, knowledge about its molecular biology is limited. The velvet gene, veA, is one of the key re...

  2. Ultraviolet B, melanin and mitochondrial DNA: Photo-damage in human epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes modulated by alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone.

    PubMed

    Böhm, Markus; Hill, Helene Z

    2016-01-01

    Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) increases melanogenesis and protects from UV-induced DNA damage. However, its effect on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage is unknown. We have addressed this issue in a pilot study using human epidermal keratinocytes and melanocytes incubated with alpha-MSH and irradiated with UVB. Real-time touchdown PCR was used to quantify total and deleted mtDNA. The deletion detected encompassed the common deletion but was more sensitive to detection. There were 4.4 times more mtDNA copies in keratinocytes than in melanocytes. Irradiation alone did not affect copy numbers. Alpha-MSH slightly increased copy numbers in both cell types in the absence of UVB and caused a similar small decrease in copy number with dose in both cell types. Deleted copies were nearly twice as frequent in keratinocytes as in melanocytes. Alpha-MSH reduced the frequency of deleted copies by half in keratinocytes but not in melanocytes. UVB dose dependently led to an increase in the deleted copy number in alpha-MSH-treated melanocytes. UVB irradiation had little effect on deleted copy number in alpha-MSH-treated keratinocytes. In summary, alpha-MSH enhances mtDNA damage in melanocytes presumably by increased melanogenesis, while α-MSH is protective in keratinocytes, the more so in the absence of irradiation. PMID:27303631

  3. Layers of the Skin

    MedlinePlus

    ... produce the skin coloring or pigment known as melanin, which gives skin its tan or brown color ... Sun exposure causes melanocytes to increase production of melanin in order to protect the skin from damaging ...

  4. Skin Pigment

    MedlinePlus

    ... Professional Version Pigment Disorders Overview of Skin Pigment Albinism Vitiligo Hyperpigmentation Melasma Melanin is the brown pigment ... dark-skinned people produce the most. People with albinism have little or no melanin and thus their ...

  5. Skin Pigmentation Disorders

    MedlinePlus

    Pigmentation means coloring. Skin pigmentation disorders affect the color of your skin. Your skin gets its color from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or ...

  6. Vitiligo (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... with vitiligo. Vitiligo is a loss of skin pigment, or color, that causes white spots or patches ... function is to produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color and helps protect ...

  7. Genetics Home Reference: ocular albinism

    MedlinePlus

    ... are cellular structures that produce and store a pigment called melanin. Melanin is the substance that gives ... and eyes their color. In the retina, this pigment also plays a role in normal vision. Most ...

  8. Fossil melanosomes or bacteria? A wealth of findings favours melanosomes: Melanin fossilises relatively readily, bacteria rarely, hence the need for clarification in the debate over the identity of microbodies in fossil animal specimens.

    PubMed

    Vinther, Jakob

    2016-03-01

    The discovery of fossil melanosomes has resulted in a wealth of research over the last 7 years, notably the reconstruction of colour in dinosaurs and fossil mammals. In spite of these discoveries some authors persist in arguing that the observed microbodies could represent preserved bacteria. They contend that bacteria fossilise easily and everywhere, which means that one can never be certain that a microbody is a melanosome without an extraordinary burden of evidence. However, this critique mischaracterises the morphological and structural evidence for interpreting microbodies as fossil melanosomes, and hence the basis for using them in reconstructing prehistoric colours. The claims for bacterial omnipresence in the fossil record are themselves not supported, thus tipping the scales strongly towards melanosomes in the bacteria-versus-melanosome controversy. PMID:26692172

  9. The Role of L-DOPA on Melanization and Mycelial Production in Malassezia Furfur

    PubMed Central

    Youngchim, Sirida; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Pornsuwan, Soraya; Kajiwara, Susumu; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are synthesized by organisms of all biological kingdoms and comprise a heterogeneous class of natural pigments. Certain of these polymers have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human fungal pathogens. This study investigated whether the fungal skin pathogen Malassezia furfur produces melanin or melanin-like compounds. A melanin-binding monoclonal antibody (MAb) labelled in vitro cultivated yeast cells of M. furfur. In addition, melanization of Malassezia yeasts and hyphae was detected by anti-melanin MAb in scrapings from patients with pityriasis versicolor. Treatment of Malassezia yeasts with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant and concentrated hot acid yielded dark particles and electron spin resonance spectroscopy revealed that these particles contained a stable free radical compound, consistent with their identification as melanins. Malassezia yeasts required phenolic compounds, such as L-DOPA, in order to synthesize melanin. L-DOPA also triggered hyphal formation in vitro when combined with kojic acid, a tyrosinase inhibitor, in a dose-dependent manner. In this respect, L-DOPA is thought to be an essential substance that is linked to both melanization and yeast-mycelial transformation in M. furfur. In summary, M. furfur can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and in vivo, and the DOPA melanin pathway is involved in cell wall melanization. PMID:23762233

  10. The role of L-DOPA on melanization and mycelial production in Malassezia furfur.

    PubMed

    Youngchim, Sirida; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Pornsuwan, Soraya; Kajiwara, Susumu; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are synthesized by organisms of all biological kingdoms and comprise a heterogeneous class of natural pigments. Certain of these polymers have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human fungal pathogens. This study investigated whether the fungal skin pathogen Malassezia furfur produces melanin or melanin-like compounds. A melanin-binding monoclonal antibody (MAb) labelled in vitro cultivated yeast cells of M. furfur. In addition, melanization of Malassezia yeasts and hyphae was detected by anti-melanin MAb in scrapings from patients with pityriasis versicolor. Treatment of Malassezia yeasts with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant and concentrated hot acid yielded dark particles and electron spin resonance spectroscopy revealed that these particles contained a stable free radical compound, consistent with their identification as melanins. Malassezia yeasts required phenolic compounds, such as L-DOPA, in order to synthesize melanin. L-DOPA also triggered hyphal formation in vitro when combined with kojic acid, a tyrosinase inhibitor, in a dose-dependent manner. In this respect, L-DOPA is thought to be an essential substance that is linked to both melanization and yeast-mycelial transformation in M. furfur. In summary, M. furfur can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and in vivo, and the DOPA melanin pathway is involved in cell wall melanization. PMID:23762233

  11. Interactive effects between diet and genotypes of host and pathogen define the severity of infection.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ji; Friman, Ville-Petri; Laakso, Jouni; Mappes, Johanna

    2012-09-01

    Host resistance and parasite virulence are influenced by multiple interacting factors in complex natural communities. Yet, these interactive effects are seldom studied concurrently, resulting in poor understanding of host-pathogen-environment dynamics. Here, we investigated how the level of opportunist pathogen virulence, strength of host immunity and the host condition manipulated via diet affect the survival of wood tiger moth Parasemia plantaginis (Arctidae). Larvae from "low cuticular melanin" and "high cuticular melanin" (considered as low and high pathogen resistance, respectively) selection lines were infected with moderately and highly virulent bacteria strains of Serratia marcescens, while simultaneously manipulating host diet (with or without antibacterial compounds). We measured host survival and food preference before and after infection to test whether the larvae "self-medicate" by choosing an anti-infection diet (Plantago major, i.e., plantain leaf) over lettuce (Lactuca sativa). "High melanin" larvae were more resistant than "low melanin" larvae to the less virulent strain that had slower growth and colonization rate compared with the more virulent strain. Cuticular melanin did not enhance survival when the larvae were infected with the highly virulent strain. Anti-infection diet enhanced survival of the "high melanin" but not the "low melanin" hosts. Survival was dependent on family origin even within the melanin selection lines. Despite the intrinsic preference for lettuce, no evidence of self-medication was found. These results demonstrate that the relative benefit of host cuticular melanin depends on both diet and pathogen virulence: plantain diet only boosted the immunity of already resistant "high melanin" hosts, and cuticular melanin increased host survival only when infected with moderately virulent pathogen. Moreover, there was considerable variation in host survival between families within both melanin lines suggesting genetic basis for

  12. Stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanoma imaging for dermatologists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Lian, Christine; Ma, Jie; Yu, Jingyi; Gu, Zetong; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2014-02-01

    Previous research has shown that the stepwise multi-photon activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser, is a low cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in a mouse hair and a formalin fixed mouse melanoma were compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) images and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM) images, all of which were acquired at an excitation wavelength of 920 nm, to further prove the effectiveness of SMPAF in detecting melanin. SMPAF images add specificity for melanin detection to MPFM images and CRM images. Melanin SMPAF can be a promising technology to enable melanoma imaging for dermatologists.

  13. Melanogenesis in dermatophyte species in vitro and during infection

    PubMed Central

    Pornsuwan, Soraya; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Dankai, Wiyada; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2011-01-01

    Dermatophytes are keratinophilic fungi that are the most common cause of fungal skin infections worldwide. Melanin has been isolated from several important human fungal pathogens, and the polymeric pigment is now recognized as an important virulence determinant. This study investigated whether dermatophytes, including Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosum and Microsporum gypseum, produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Digestion of the pigmented microconidia and macroconidia of dermatophytes with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant and hot concentrated acid yielded dark particles that retained the size and shape of the original fungal cells. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy revealed that particles derived from pigmented conidia contained a stable free radical signal, consistent with the pigments being a melanin. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated reactivity of a melanin-binding mAb with the pigmented conidia and hyphae, as well as the isolate particles. Laccase, an enzyme involved in melanization, was detected in the dermatophytes by an agar plate assay using 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) as the substrate. Skin scrapings from patients with dermatophytoses contained septate hyphae and arthrospores that were reactive with the melanin-binding mAb. These findings indicate that dermatophytes can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Based on what is known about the function of melanin as a virulence factor of other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may have a similar role in the pathogenesis of dermatophytic diseases. PMID:21565930

  14. Your Hair

    MedlinePlus

    ... someone's hair, the less melanin there is. A person with brown or black hair has much more melanin than someone with ... example, many blondes have light skin, whereas many people with darker skin have dark brown or black hair. And don't forget genes (genes are ...

  15. Sunburn

    MedlinePlus

    ... melanin to protect the skin. Melanin is the skin's protective coloring (pigment). Sunburn in a very light-skinned person may occur in less than 15 minutes of midday sun exposure, while a ... aging of the skin and skin cancer. Sun exposure can cause first ...

  16. Genetic study of oxygen resistance and melanization in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed Central

    Emery, H S; Shelburne, C P; Bowman, J P; Fallon, P G; Schulz, C A; Jacobson, E S

    1994-01-01

    Genetic analysis of oxygen-sensitive mutants of Cryptococcus neoformans revealed two loci (oxy1 and oxy2) linking hyperoxia sensitivity to production of melanin, a known virulence factor. Hyperoxia-sensitive strain 562 (oxy1 oxy2) is albino and avirulent. oxy2-defective strains lacking the oxy1 defect are melanin deficient but show normal hyperoxia resistance. Mutants defective at three additional mapped melanin loci fail to show hyperoxia sensitivity in the oxy1 background. Revertants of strain 562, which regain the ability to synthesize melanin by mutation at suppressor sites unlinked to oxy2, retain the oxygen sensitivity conferred by their oxy1 and oxy2 defects. These data identify the melanin gene oxy2 as unique in its association of hyperoxia resistance and melanization. Images PMID:7960156

  17. Photoacoustic microscopy of tyrosinase reporter gene in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumholz, Arie; Vanvickle-Chavez, Sarah J.; Yao, Junjie; Fleming, Timothy P.; Gillanders, William E.; Wang, Lihong V.

    2011-08-01

    Photoacoustic tomography is a hybrid modality based on optical absorption excitation and ultrasonic detection. It is sensitive to melanin, one of the primary absorbers in skin. For cells that do not naturally contain melanin, melanin production can be induced by introducing the gene for tyrosinase, the primary enzyme responsible for expression of melanin in melanogenic cells. Optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy was used in the ex vivo study reported here, where the signal from transfected cells increased by more than 10 times over wild-type cells. A subsequent in vivo experiment was conducted to demonstrate the capability of photoacoustic microscopy to spectrally differentiate between tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin and various other absorbers in tissue.

  18. Photoacoustic microscopy of tyrosinase reporter gene in vivo.

    PubMed

    Krumholz, Arie; Vanvickle-Chavez, Sarah J; Yao, Junjie; Fleming, Timothy P; Gillanders, William E; Wang, Lihong V

    2011-08-01

    Photoacoustic tomography is a hybrid modality based on optical absorption excitation and ultrasonic detection. It is sensitive to melanin, one of the primary absorbers in skin. For cells that do not naturally contain melanin, melanin production can be induced by introducing the gene for tyrosinase, the primary enzyme responsible for expression of melanin in melanogenic cells. Optical resolution photoacoustic microscopy was used in the ex vivo study reported here, where the signal from transfected cells increased by more than 10 times over wild-type cells. A subsequent in vivo experiment was conducted to demonstrate the capability of photoacoustic microscopy to spectrally differentiate between tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin and various other absorbers in tissue. PMID:21895303

  19. Chemical analysis of constitutive pigmentation of human epidermis reveals constant eumelanin to pheomelanin ratio.

    PubMed

    Del Bino, Sandra; Ito, Shosuke; Sok, Juliette; Nakanishi, Yukiko; Bastien, Philippe; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Bernerd, Françoise

    2015-11-01

    The skin constitutive pigmentation is given by the amount of melanin pigment, its relative composition (eu/pheomelanin) and distribution within the epidermis, and is largely responsible for the sensitivity to UV exposure. Nevertheless, a precise knowledge of melanins in human skin is lacking. We characterized the melanin content of human breast skin samples with variable pigmentations rigorously classified through the Individual Typology Angle (ITA) by image analysis, spectrophotometry after solubilization with Soluene-350 and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) after chemical degradation. ITA and total melanin content were found correlated, ITA and PTCA (degradation product of DHICA melanin), and TTCA (degradation product of benzothiazole-type pheomelanin) as well but not 4-AHP (degradation product of benzothiazine-type pheomelanin). Results revealed that human epidermis comprises approximately 74% of eumelanin and 26% pheomelanin, regardless of the degree of pigmentation. They also confirm the low content of photoprotective eumelanin among lighter skins thereby explaining the higher sensitivity toward UV exposure. PMID:26285058

  20. Signaling Pathways in Melanogenesis

    PubMed Central

    D’Mello, Stacey A. N.; Finlay, Graeme J.; Baguley, Bruce C.; Askarian-Amiri, Marjan E.

    2016-01-01

    Melanocytes are melanin-producing cells found in skin, hair follicles, eyes, inner ear, bones, heart and brain of humans. They arise from pluripotent neural crest cells and differentiate in response to a complex network of interacting regulatory pathways. Melanins are pigment molecules that are endogenously synthesized by melanocytes. The light absorption of melanin in skin and hair leads to photoreceptor shielding, thermoregulation, photoprotection, camouflage and display coloring. Melanins are also powerful cation chelators and may act as free radical sinks. Melanin formation is a product of complex biochemical events that starts from amino acid tyrosine and its metabolite, dopa. The types and amounts of melanin produced by melanocytes are determined genetically and are influenced by a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic factors such as hormonal changes, inflammation, age and exposure to UV light. These stimuli affect the different pathways in melanogenesis. In this review we will discuss the regulatory mechanisms involved in melanogenesis and explain how intrinsic and extrinsic factors regulate melanin production. We will also explain the regulatory roles of different proteins involved in melanogenesis. PMID:27428965

  1. Use of multiphoton tomography and fluorescence lifetime imaging to investigate skin pigmentation in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dancik, Yuri; Favre, Amandine; Loy, Chong Jin; Zvyagin, Andrei V.; Roberts, Michael S.

    2013-02-01

    There is a growing body of literature showing the usefulness of multiphoton tomography (MPT) and fluorescence lifetime imaging for in situ characterization of skin constituents and the ensuing development of noninvasive diagnostic tools against skin diseases. Melanin and pigmentation-associated skin cancers constitute some of the major applications. We show that MPT and fluorescence lifetime imaging can be used to measure changes in cutaneous melanin concentration and that these can be related to the visible skin color. Melanin in the skin of African, Indian, Caucasian, and Asian volunteers is detected on the basis of its emission wavelength and fluorescence lifetimes in solution and in a melanocyte-keratinocyte cell culture. Fluorescence intensity is used to characterize the melanin content and distribution as a function of skin type and depth into the skin (stratum granulosum and stratum basale). The measured fluorescence intensities in given skin types agree with melanin amounts reported by others using biopsies. Our results suggest that spatial distribution of melanin in skin can be studied using MPT and fluorescence lifetime imaging, but further studies are needed to ascertain that the method can resolve melanin amount in smaller depth intervals.

  2. Signaling Pathways in Melanogenesis.

    PubMed

    D'Mello, Stacey A N; Finlay, Graeme J; Baguley, Bruce C; Askarian-Amiri, Marjan E

    2016-01-01

    Melanocytes are melanin-producing cells found in skin, hair follicles, eyes, inner ear, bones, heart and brain of humans. They arise from pluripotent neural crest cells and differentiate in response to a complex network of interacting regulatory pathways. Melanins are pigment molecules that are endogenously synthesized by melanocytes. The light absorption of melanin in skin and hair leads to photoreceptor shielding, thermoregulation, photoprotection, camouflage and display coloring. Melanins are also powerful cation chelators and may act as free radical sinks. Melanin formation is a product of complex biochemical events that starts from amino acid tyrosine and its metabolite, dopa. The types and amounts of melanin produced by melanocytes are determined genetically and are influenced by a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic factors such as hormonal changes, inflammation, age and exposure to UV light. These stimuli affect the different pathways in melanogenesis. In this review we will discuss the regulatory mechanisms involved in melanogenesis and explain how intrinsic and extrinsic factors regulate melanin production. We will also explain the regulatory roles of different proteins involved in melanogenesis. PMID:27428965

  3. Structural characterization of allomelanin from black oat.

    PubMed

    Varga, Mónika; Berkesi, Ottó; Darula, Zsuzsanna; May, Nóra Veronika; Palágyi, András

    2016-10-01

    The brown to black coloration found in plants is due to the melanins, which have been relatively poorly investigated among the plant pigments. The aim of this work was to study the dark pigment extracted from the black oat hull with respect to composition and structure. Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy were applied for the characterization of the pigment. UV-Vis spectroscopy revealed that the extracted material displays a broadband, structureless absorption profile a common feature of melanins. MALDI-TOF MS measurements demonstrated that oat melanin is a homopolymer built up from p-coumaric acid and consists mainly of low molecular weight (527-1499 Da) oligomers of 3-9 monomer units. The tetramer oligomer proved to be dominant. The results of the FT-IR analysis indicated that oat melanin is a fully conjugated aromatic system containing tetrasubstituted aromatic rings linked by CC coupling. The in vitro preparation of melanin from p-coumaric acid by horseradish peroxidase was performed for comparison. The resulting polymer consisted of oligomers of 4-9 monomer units similarly to those in oat melanin. However, the building blocks proved to be connected to each other via COC linkages in contrast with the CC linkages in oat melanin. PMID:27427433

  4. Malignant melanoma metastatic to the ovary: presentation and radiological characteristics.

    PubMed

    Moselhi, M; Spencer, J; Lane, G

    1998-05-01

    Cutaneous melanomas rarely metastasize to the ovary; however, we have recently encountered three cases which have proved a diagnostic dilemma. All presented with a pelvic mass and a past history of cutaneous melanoma but both ultrasound examination and CT scanning proved inconclusive and neither was able to accurately characterize the lesions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was able to demonstrate the presence of melanin in one of the ovarian lesions as peripheral high signal change on T1-weighted images. The two lesions without melanin failed to show this feature. MRI may therefore be useful in the diagnosis of ovarian melanoma but only if melanin is present. PMID:9600825

  5. Ultrasonic chorioretinopathy: a chloroquine vs control study.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, L J; Holasek, E

    1983-12-01

    High frequency ultrasound was used to produce chorioretinal lesions in two groups of pigmented rabbits. The control group received no medications. The other group was treated with subretinotoxic doses of chloroquine. Our experiment showed that the untreated group developed focal chorioretinal lesions and ricochet lesions at lower energies than did the chloroquinated group. We postulated that chloroquine, a melanin binding drug, altered melanin's ability to process ultrasonic energy by sonic-thermal conversion. This work suggests that chloroquine, even in subretinotoxic doses, may still exert an effect on the retina by chemically binding melanin and preventing its function as an energy transport system. PMID:6660693

  6. Source separation on hyperspectral cube applied to dermatology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, J.; Jolivot, R.; Vabres, P.; Marzani, F. S.

    2010-03-01

    This paper proposes a method of quantification of the components underlying the human skin that are supposed to be responsible for the effective reflectance spectrum of the skin over the visible wavelength. The method is based on independent component analysis assuming that the epidermal melanin and the dermal haemoglobin absorbance spectra are independent of each other. The method extracts the source spectra that correspond to the ideal absorbance spectra of melanin and haemoglobin. The noisy melanin spectrum is fixed using a polynomial fit and the quantifications associated with it are reestimated. The results produce feasible quantifications of each source component in the examined skin patch.

  7. Bioinspired Artificial Melanosomes As Colorimetric Indicators of Oxygen Exposure.

    PubMed

    Shillingford, Cicely; Russell, Calvin W; Burgess, Ian B; Aizenberg, Joanna

    2016-02-01

    Many industries require irreversibly responsive materials for use as sensors or detectors of environmental exposure. We describe the synthesis and fabrication of a nontoxic surface coating that reports oxygen exposure of the substrate material through irreversible formation of colored spots. The coating consists of a selectively permeable rubber film that contains the colorless organic precursors to darkly pigmented synthetic melanin. Melanin synthesis within the film is triggered by exposure to molecular oxygen. The selectively permeable rubber film regulates the rate of oxygen diffusion, enabling independent control of the sensitivity and response time of the artificial melanosome, while preventing leaching of melanin or its precursors. PMID:26854914

  8. Direct chemical evidence for eumelanin pigment from the Jurassic period.

    PubMed

    Glass, Keely; Ito, Shosuke; Wilby, Philip R; Sota, Takayuki; Nakamura, Atsushi; Bowers, C Russell; Vinther, Jakob; Dutta, Suryendu; Summons, Roger; Briggs, Derek E G; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Simon, John D

    2012-06-26

    Melanin is a ubiquitous biological pigment found in bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. It has a diverse range of ecological and biochemical functions, including display, evasion, photoprotection, detoxification, and metal scavenging. To date, evidence of melanin in fossil organisms has relied entirely on indirect morphological and chemical analyses. Here, we apply direct chemical techniques to categorically demonstrate the preservation of eumelanin in two > 160 Ma Jurassic cephalopod ink sacs and to confirm its chemical similarity to the ink of the modern cephalopod, Sepia officinalis. Identification and characterization of degradation-resistant melanin may provide insights into its diverse roles in ancient organisms. PMID:22615359

  9. Direct chemical evidence for eumelanin pigment from the Jurassic period

    PubMed Central

    Glass, Keely; Ito, Shosuke; Wilby, Philip R.; Sota, Takayuki; Nakamura, Atsushi; Bowers, C. Russell; Vinther, Jakob; Dutta, Suryendu; Summons, Roger; Briggs, Derek E. G.; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Simon, John D.

    2012-01-01

    Melanin is a ubiquitous biological pigment found in bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. It has a diverse range of ecological and biochemical functions, including display, evasion, photoprotection, detoxification, and metal scavenging. To date, evidence of melanin in fossil organisms has relied entirely on indirect morphological and chemical analyses. Here, we apply direct chemical techniques to categorically demonstrate the preservation of eumelanin in two > 160 Ma Jurassic cephalopod ink sacs and to confirm its chemical similarity to the ink of the modern cephalopod, Sepia officinalis. Identification and characterization of degradation-resistant melanin may provide insights into its diverse roles in ancient organisms. PMID:22615359

  10. Dielectrophoretic separation of mouse melanoma clones

    PubMed Central

    Sabuncu, Ahmet C.; Liu, Jie A.; Beebe, Stephen J.; Beskok, Ali

    2010-01-01

    Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is employed to differentiate clones of mouse melanoma B16F10 cells. Five clones were tested on microelectrodes. At a specific excitation frequency, clone 1 showed a different DEP response than the other four. Growth rate, melanin content, recovery from cryopreservation, and in vitro invasive studies were performed. Clone 1 is shown to have significantly different melanin content and recovery rate from cryopreservation. This paper reports the ability of DEP to differentiate between two malignant cells of the same origin. Different DEP responses of the two clones could be linked to their melanin content. PMID:20697600

  11. Vitiligo, drug induced (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... this person's face have resulted from drug-induced vitiligo. Loss of melanin, the primary skin pigment, occasionally ... is the case with this individual. The typical vitiligo lesion is flat (macular) and depigmented, but maintains ...

  12. Trace Elements: What They Do and Where to Get Them

    MedlinePlus

    ... meats, brewer's yeast Copper Hemoglobin synthesis and function; production of collagen, elastin, neurotransmitters; melanin formation Organ meats, ... calcium in bones and teeth Fluoridated water Iodine Production of energy (as part of thyroid hormones) Seafood, ...

  13. Melanoma (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... tumor that involves the skin cells that produce pigment (melanin). The risk of melanoma increases with age, but frequently effects young, otherwise healthy people. Melanoma is an aggressive type of cancer that can spread very rapidly.

  14. Malignant melanoma (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... tumor that involves the skin cells that produce pigment (melanin). The risk of melanoma increases with age, but frequently affects young, otherwise healthy people. Melanoma is the number one cause of cancer death in women aged 25 to 30.

  15. Sunburn (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... source exceeds the ability of the body's protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. A serious sunburn is as serious as a thermal burn, and may have the same systemic effects such as blistering, edema and fever.

  16. Hydrolysates of citrus plants stimulate melanogenesis protecting against UV-induced dermal damage.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Hsiu-Mei; Lin, Jen-Wen; Hsiao, Pei-Ling; Tsai, Shang-Yuan; Wen, Kuo-Ching

    2011-04-01

    The sun-tanning process occurs as a spontaneous response to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. UV will induce tanning and DNA damage, processes that can lead to photoaging and skin disorders such as hyperpigmentation and cancer. The pigment melanin protects skin from UV damage; therefore, an efficient melanin-promoting suntan lotion could be highly beneficial. In this study, a process was developed to increase the content of naringenin in citrus extracts and to determine whether a higher naringenin content of citrus would induce melanogenesis. Melanin content and tyrosinase expression in mouse B16 melanoma cells were assayed after treatment with citrus plant extracts and their hydrolysates. The results indicate that hydrolysis increased the naringenin content in citrus extracts and that citrus preparations stimulated cellular melanogenesis and tyrosinase expression. It is suggested that this method is applicable to the industrial production of melanin-promoting suntan lotions with antiphotocarcinogenic properties derived from citrus rind and citrus products. PMID:20857432

  17. The emerging neurobiology of calorie addiction

    PubMed Central

    García-Cáceres, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    The response of the brain to sugar is determined by specific cell populations in the brain, including neurons that secrete melanin-concentrating hormone, and culminates in the release of dopamine. PMID:24399459

  18. 6'-O-Caffeoylarbutin inhibits melanogenesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Xu, Min; Lao, Qiao-Cong; Zhao, Ping; Zhu, Xiao-Yu; Zhu, Hong-Tao; Luo, Xu-Lu; Yang, Chong-Ren; He, Jian-Hui; Li, Chun-Qi; Zhang, Ying-Jun

    2014-01-01

    6'-O-Caffeoylarbutin, an arbutin derivative, is a naturally occurring glucoside of hydroquinone from Vaccinium dunalianum. On anti-melanogenic effect assay, 6'-O-caffeoylarbutin expressed a stronger anti-melanin activity in a dose-dependent manner with about a two-fold more than that of arbutin, but with less toxicity about a two-fold lower than that of arbutin. In addition, melanin synthesis could be fully recovered after the removal of 6'-O-caffeoylarbutin. The result suggested that 6'-O-caffeoylarbutin could be a candidate natural product to serve as a skin-whitening ingredient with the merits of potent melanin inhibition, less toxicity and reversible melanin synthesis after stopping use. PMID:24498931

  19. Enhancement of cancer specific delivery using ultrasound active bio-originated particles.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Young Il; Ju, Kook Yun; Cho, Hee-Sang; Yu, Kyeong Nam; Lee, Jae Jun; Ahn, Gook Jun; Lee, Soo-Hong; Cho, Myung Haing; Lee, Hak Jong; Lee, Jin-Kyu; Yoon, Tae-Jong

    2015-06-11

    A hybrid multifunctional particle comprising of a microbbule (MB), liposome (Lipo), and an Fe ion chelated melanin nanoparticle (MNP(Fe)) was applied for ultrasound mediated cancer targeting as a theranostic agent. PMID:25959983

  20. Multimodal-Imaging-Guided Cancer Phototherapy by Versatile Biomimetic Theranostics with UV and γ-Irradiation Protection.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jing; Wang, Min; Hu, Hao; Yang, Xiangyu; Wen, Bronte; Wang, Zhantong; Jacobson, Orit; Song, Jibin; Zhang, Guofeng; Niu, Gang; Huang, Peng; Chen, Xiaoyuan

    2016-05-01

    A versatile biomimetic theranostic agent based on magnetic melanin nanoparticles is developed for positron-emission tomography/magnetic resonance/photoacoustic/photothermal multimodal-imaging-guided cancer photothermal therapy and UV and γ-irradiation protection. PMID:26928972

  1. Sunburn (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... sun or other ultraviolet light source exceeds the ability of the body's protective pigment, melanin, to protect the skin. A serious sunburn is as serious as a thermal burn, and may have the same systemic effects such ...

  2. Sun’s effect on skin

    MedlinePlus Videos and Cool Tools

    The skin uses sunlight to help manufacture vitamin D, which is important for normal bone formation. But sometimes its ultraviolet light can be ... to age prematurely. Suntanning occurs because exposure to sunlight causes the skin to produce more melanin and ...

  3. Inhibition of melanogenesis by Xanthium strumarium L.

    PubMed

    Li, Hailan; Min, Young Sil; Park, Kyoung-Chan; Kim, Dong-Seok

    2012-01-01

    Xanthium strumarium L. (Asteraceae) is traditionally used in Korea to treat skin diseases. In this study, we investigated the effects of a X. strumarium stem extract on melanin synthesis. It inhibited melanin synthesis in a concentration-dependent manner, but it did not directly inhibit tyrosinase, the rate-limiting melanogenic enzyme, and instead downregulated microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase expression. MITF, the master regulator of pigmentation, is a target of the Wnt signaling pathway, which includes glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and β-catenin. Hence, the influence of X. strumarium stem extract on GSK3β and β-catenin was further investigated. X. strumarium induced GSK3β phosphorylation (inactivation), but the level of β-catenin did not change. Moreover, a specific GSK3β inhibitor restored X. strumarium-induced melanin reduction. Hence, we suggest that X. strumarium inhibits melanin synthesis through downregulation of tyrosinase via GSK3β phosphorylation. PMID:22484949

  4. Vitiligo, drug induced (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... drug-induced vitiligo. Loss of melanin, the primary skin pigment, occasionally occurs as a result of medications, as is the case with this individual. The typical vitiligo lesion is flat (macular) and depigmented, but maintains the normal skin texture.

  5. Vitiligo on the face (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... the face. Complete loss of melanin, the primary skin pigment, occurs for unknown reasons. The resulting lesions are white in comparison to the surrounding skin. Vitiligo may occur in the same areas on ...

  6. Components of skin

    MedlinePlus Videos and Cool Tools

    ... skin layers from the outside environment and contains cells that make keratin, a substance that waterproofs and strengthens the skin. The epidermis also has cells that contain melanin, the dark pigment that gives ...

  7. Pyomelanin is produced by Shewanella algae BrY and affected by exogenous iron.

    PubMed

    Turick, Charles E; Caccavo, Frank; Tisa, Louis S

    2008-04-01

    Melanin production by Shewanella algae BrY occurred during late- and (or) post-exponential growth in lactate basal salts liquid medium supplemented with tyrosine or phenylalanine. The antioxidant ascorbate inhibited melanin production but not production of the melanin precursor homogentisic acid. In the absence of ascorbate, melanin production was inhibited by the 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase inhibitor sulcotrione and by concentrations of Fe >or= 0.38 mmol L(-1). These data support the hypothesis that pigment production by S. algae BrY was a result of the conversion of tyrosine or phenylalanine to homogentisic acid, which was excreted, auto-oxidized, and self-polymerized to form pyomelanin. Pyomelanin production by S. algae BrY may play an important role in the biogeochemical cycling of Fe in the environment. PMID:18389008

  8. Hyperpigmentation

    MedlinePlus

    ... occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in ... pregnancy. If one is really bothered by the pigment, the birth control pills should be stopped. Changes ...

  9. Genetics Home Reference: piebaldism

    MedlinePlus

    ... of the skin and hair. Melanocytes produce the pigment melanin, which contributes to hair, eye, and skin ... skin and hair, causing the patchy loss of pigment. Piebaldism is sometimes mistaken for another condition called ...

  10. Moles

    MedlinePlus

    ... sizes and shapes. Special cells that contain the pigment melanin cause the brown color. Facial moles are ... They also leave nevus cells behind and the pigment often seems to reappear. Back to Index The ...

  11. What Does Melanoma Look Like?

    MedlinePlus

    ... that begins in melanocytes ( cells that make the pigment melanin ). Below are photos of melanoma that formed ... often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin. Color that ...

  12. What Is Melanoma Skin Cancer?

    MedlinePlus

    ... that can become melanoma. They make a brown pigment called melanin , which gives the skin its tan ... to the sun, melanocytes make more of the pigment, causing the skin to tan or darken. Melanoma ...

  13. PYOMELANIN IS PRODUCED BY SHEWANELLA ALGAE BRY AND EFFECTED BY EXOGENOUS IRON

    SciTech Connect

    Turick, C; Frank Caccavo, F; Jr., J; Louis S. Tisa, L

    2006-11-29

    Melanin production by S. algae BrY occurred during late/post-exponential growth in lactate-basal-salts liquid medium supplemented with tyrosine or phenylalanine. The antioxidant ascorbate inhibited melanin production, but not production of the melanin precursor, homogentisic acid. In the absence of ascorbate, melanin production was inhibited by the 4-hydroxyplenylpyruvate dioxygenase inhibitor, sulcotrione and Fe(II) (>0.2mM). These data support the hypothesis that pigment production by S. algae BrY was a result the conversion of tyrosine or phenylalanine to homogentisic acid which was excreted, auto-oxidized and self-polymerized to form pyomelanin. The inverse relationship between Fe(II) concentration and pyomelanin production has implications that pyomelanin may play a role in iron assimilation under Fe(II) limiting conditions.

  14. Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Each hair follicle contains a certain number of pigment cells. These pigment cells continuously produce a chemical called melanin (say: ... each hair contains. As we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die. When ...

  15. Vitiligo

    MedlinePlus

    ... Is Vitiligo? Vitiligo is a loss of skin pigment that causes white spots or patches to appear ... determined by cells called melanocytes. They produce a pigment called melanin , which gives skin its color and ...

  16. Aging changes in hair and nails

    MedlinePlus

    ... of aging. Hair color is due to a pigment called melanin , which hair follicles produce. Follicles are ... slows. Hair strands become smaller and have less pigment. So the thick, coarse hair of a young ...

  17. Skin, Hair, and Nails

    MedlinePlus

    ... special types of cells: Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. All people have ... the epidermis). Hair also contains a yellow-red pigment; people who have blonde or red hair have ...

  18. Genetics Home Reference: oculocutaneous albinism

    MedlinePlus

    ... with oculocutaneous albinism are involved in producing a pigment called melanin , which is the substance that gives ... oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2), and melanosomal pH. Pigment Cell Res. 2001 Apr;14(2):86-93. ...

  19. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

    MedlinePlus

    ... an acute rash can be followed by chronic pigment that is slow to resolve, as seen here. ... of prior injury or skin disorder from increased pigment (melanin) left from the healing process. Sometimes the ...

  20. Genetics Home Reference: Dowling-Degos disease

    MedlinePlus

    ... melanosomes , which are cellular structures that produce a pigment called melanin. The transport of these structures into ... in keratin 5 may disrupt the movement of pigment-carrying melanosomes into keratinocytes, where they are needed ...