Send to

Choose Destination
Tissue Cell. 2009 Aug;41(4):239-48. doi: 10.1016/j.tice.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Jan 10.

Melanogenesis in dermal melanocytes of Japanese Silky chicken embryos.

Author information

Laboratório de Biologia do Desenvolvimento, Departamento de Biologia Celular, UFPR, Centro Politécnico, Curitiba, Paraná CEP 81531-990, Brazil.


The Japanese Silky chicken (SK) shows dermal and visceral hyperpigmentation. This study characterizes ultrastructurally the melanin granules developing in dermal melanocytes of the dorsal skin of SK, in an attempt to better understand the processes of melanogenesis in these permanently ectopic cells. The steps of melanogenesis are similar to those described for epidermal melanocytes, with melanosomes going from stage I to IV but, in SK, the maturation occurs in the cell body, as well as in the cytoplasmic processes. At stage III, the deposition of melanin is cumulative and can aggregate in rounded structures, which combine to turn into the mature granule. The final destiny of mature melanosomes is still unclear, although it was observed that dermal macrophages can accumulate melanin granules in their phagosomes. Even with the close proximity between melanocytes and other dermal cells, the transference of melanosomes was not observed. Our findings indicate that melanogenesis in dermal melanocytes in SK has the same morphological characteristics found in epidermal melanocytes, but the functional aspect still remains to be elucidated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center