Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 281, Issue 3, pp 178–184 | Cite as

Growth defects of melanocytes in culture from vitiligo subjects are spontaneously corrected in vivo in repigmenting subjects and can be partially corrected by the addition of fibroblast-derived growth factors in vitro

  • N. Puri
  • M. Mojamdar
  • A. Ramaiah
Original Contributions


Melanocytes cultured from uninvolved skin of untreated vitiligo subjects have decreased initial seeding capacities, manifest a lag period for the onset of the growth phase, and cannot be passaged. In contrast, melanocytes obtained from uninvolved and perilesional skin of vitiligo subjects actively repigmenting under 8-methoxy psoralen plus sunlight (PUVA) therapy have higher initial seeding capacities, grow faster without a lag period, and can be passaged to more than 12 passages. Extracts of a fetal lung fibroblast cell line (PMR-GF) that promote the growth rates and passage capacities of melanocytes from normal adult donors have been found also to promote the growth rates and passage capacities of melanocytes from the uninvolved skin of vitiligo subjects. Extracts of a fetal lung fibroblast cell line (PMR-GF), however, did not have any further stimulatory effect on the growth of melanocytes obtained from repigmenting vitiligo subjects. Melanocytes cultured from normal and untreated vitiligo subjects grew individually dispersed in the absence of PMR-GF, but tended to grow in clusters in its presence. Melanocytes from the repigmenting vitiligo subjects, however, tended to grow in clusters even in the absence of PMR-GF. These results indicate that the defective in vitro growth characteristics of melanocytes from vitiligo subjects may be related to the pathogenesis of this disease. It is possible that growth factors may be involved in the process of repigmentation in vitiligo subjects.

Key words

Melanocyte culture Vitiligo Growth factor PUVA treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Puri
    • 1
  • M. Mojamdar
    • 1
  • A. Ramaiah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia

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