Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
J Histochem Cytochem. 2002 Jun;50(6):751-66.

Migration of melanoblasts into the developing murine hair follicle is accompanied by transient c-Kit expression.

Author information

  • 1Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Eppendorf, University of Hamburg, Germany.


Disruption of the c-Kit/stem cell factor (SCF) signaling pathway interferes with the survival, migration, and differentiation of melanocytes during generation of the hair follicle pigmentary unit. We examined c-Kit, SCF, and S100 (a marker for precursor melanocytic cells) expression, as well as melanoblast/melanocyte ultrastructure, in perinatal C57BL/6 mouse skin. Before the onset of hair bulb melanogenesis (i.e., stages 0-4 of hair follicle morphogenesis), strong c-Kit immunoreactivity (IR) was seen in selected non-melanogenic cells in the developing hair placode and hair plug. Many of these cells were S100-IR and were ultrastructurally identified as melanoblasts with migratory appearance. During the subsequent stages (5 and 6), increasingly dendritic c-Kit-IR cells successively invaded the hair bulb, while S100-IR gradually disappeared from these cells. Towards the completion of hair follicle morphogenesis (stages 7 and 8), several distinct follicular melanocytic cell populations could be defined and consisted broadly of (a) undifferentiated, non-pigmented c-Kit-negative melanoblasts in the outer root sheath and bulge and (b) highly differentiated melanocytes adjacent to the hair follicle dermal papilla above Auber's line. Widespread epithelial SCF-IR was seen throughout hair follicle morphogenesis. These findings suggest that melanoblasts express c-Kit as a prerequisite for migration into the SCF-supplying hair follicle epithelium. In addition, differentiated c-Kit-IR melanocytes target the bulb, while non-c-Kit-IR melanoblasts invade the outer root sheath and bulge in fully developed hair follicles.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

Molecular Biology Databases


PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk