Ann Dermatol.  2010 Nov;22(4):486-489. 10.5021/ad.2010.22.4.486.

Activation of Toll-like Receptors 1, 2, 4, 5, and 7 on Human Melanocytes Modulate Pigmentation

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Center for Cell Death Regulating Biodrugs, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. hykang@ajou.ac.kr

Abstract

Human melanocytes are not simply pigment-producing cells. It may be part of the inflammatory response, during which the pigmentary system may produce more melanin or suppress melanization. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been implicated in both innate host defense against pathogens and inflammatory response. Therefore, it may be possible that activation of TLRs in melanocytes may play a role in the modulation of melanogenesis. In this study, we investigated whether normal human melanocytes expressed TLRs and analyzed pigmentation changes upon TLR stimulation. The expression of TLR1~10 mRNA in cultured human melanocyte was analyzed using RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunocytochemistry. Human melanocytes constitutively express mRNA and protein for TLR2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10. Stimulation of TLR1/2 and 4 with Pam3CSK4 and lipopolysaccharide induced pigmentation of melanocytes. Activation of TLR5 and 7 with flagellin and imiquimod treatments reduced pigmentation of melanocytes and zebrafish. In summary, the results provided evidence for TLRs expression in normal human melanocytes. It is speculated that a response of melanocyte to TLR ligands may play a role in the pigmentary change in the skin.

Keyword

Melanocytes; Pigmentation; Toll-like receptors

MeSH Terms

Aminoquinolines
Blotting, Western
Flagellin
Humans
Immunohistochemistry
Ligands
Melanins
Melanocytes
Pigmentation
RNA, Messenger
Skin
Toll-Like Receptors
Zebrafish
Aminoquinolines
Flagellin
Ligands
Melanins
RNA, Messenger
Toll-Like Receptors
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