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March 1997

Use of Human Skin Reconstructs in the Study of Pigment Modifiers

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratoire de Dermatologie, Université Victor Ségalen, Bordeaux, France.

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(3):331-336. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890390069009

Objective:  To assay drugs that modify pigmentation (ie, agents that either enhance or decrease pigmentation) in a predictive in vitro model, as such drugs have been previously studied in vivo on human and animal skin.

Design:  An epidermis was reconstructed with human keratinocytes and melanocytes. Epidermal reconstructs with melanocytes were made according to a variant of the model of Pruniéras and colleagues. Reagents that alter melanogenesis such as isobutyl methylxanthine, 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol, kojic acid, and mequinol were introduced in the culture medium or used topically after 8 days of culture at the air-liquid interface.

Main Outcome Measures:  Macroscopic, colorimetric, histological (Fontana-Masson stain and dopa reaction), and biochemical studies were performed.

Results:  The effect of pigment modifiers was demonstrated ex vivo as expected from in vivo data on skin color, numbers of melanocytes, melanosome transfer, and melanin content.

Conclusion:  These results will permit other investigators to use this model to assess the efficacy of novel molecules that alter pigmentation.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:331-336