Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 311, Issue 3, pp 249–250 | Cite as

Cytidine decreases melanin content in a reconstituted three-dimensional human epidermal model

  • Sudhir M. BaswanEmail author
  • Sunghan Yim
  • Jesse Leverett
  • Jeff Scholten
  • John Pawelek
Concise Communication


The process of melanin biosynthesis and its distribution throughout the skin is regulated by complex processes involving several enzymes in melanocytes. Recently, Diwakar et al. demonstrated that cytidine—a sialyltransferase inhibitor, 6′-sialyllactose (6′-SL) and 3′-sialyllactose (3′-SL) inhibited melanogenesis and melanosome transfer process. In this study, we have furthered this research, considering cytidine as a commercially viable and safe option over 6′-SL and 3′-SL. The efficacy of 2% w/v cytidine was studied in MelanoDerm™ skin equivalents in comparison with the positive control 1% w/v kojic acid and the vehicle control. Both the positive control and cytidine demonstrated a significant reduction in melanin content relative to the vehicle control. These experiments conclude that cytidine can effectively reduce melanin content in a skin equivalence assay and suggests that cytidine may be a good candidate for a skin lightening agent for human skin.


Cytidine MelanoDerm™ Skin lightening Melanin Pigmentation Reconstituted three-dimensional human skin equivalent 



The study was performed at Amway Corporation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors SMB, SY, JL, and JS are employees of Amway Corporation which has applied for patents for the commercial applications of cytidine.


  1. 1.
    Diwakar G, Klump V, Lazova R, Pawelek J (2015) Evidence for glycosylation as a regulator of the pigmentary system: key roles of sialyl(α2-6)gal/galnac-terminated glycans in melanin synthesis and transfer. Glycoconjugate 32:413–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ni-Komatsu L, Tong C, Chen G, Brindzei N, Orlow SJ (2018) Identification of quinolines that inhibit melanogenesis by altering tyrosinase family trafficking. Mol Pharm 74:1576–1586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fernandes B, Matama T, Guimaraes D, Gomes A, Cavaco-Paulo A (2016) Fluorescent quantification of melanin. Pigm cell Mel Res 29:707–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Costin GE, Hearing VJ (2007) Human skin pigmentation: melanocytes modulate skin color in response to stress. FASEB J 21:976–994CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Amway CorporationAdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations