Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 310, Issue 6, pp 529–532 | Cite as

Ultraviolet radiation induces Melan-A-expressing cells in interfollicular epidermis in wild-type mice

  • David A. De LucaEmail author
  • Barbara Sterniczky
  • Susanne Kimeswenger
  • Dagmar Födinger
  • Agatha Schwarz
  • Thomas Schwarz
  • Christian Jantschitsch
Concise Communication


Adult wild-type mice are not supposed to be proper models for ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced melanoma since melanocytes are confined to hair follicles and cannot be sufficiently reached by UVR. On the other hand, in mutated mouse models used for melanoma research limitations, including an altered immune system and selection of affected pathways, lead to tumors phenotypically quite different from naturally occurring melanomas. We compared the distribution of epidermal melanocytes in UVR and not-UVR-exposed wild-type C57BL/6 mice. Starting at the age of 8 weeks, mice were exposed to physiologic doses of UVR three times weekly over 16 weeks. Back skin biopsies were taken 4, 8, 12 and 16 weeks after initiation of exposure, and stained for Melan-A, representing a highly selective marker for melanocytes. Surprisingly, after exposure to UVR, Melan-A positive cells were detected also in the interfollicular epidermis of C57BL/6 mice. We conclude that UVR is capable of inducing interfollicular epidermal melanocytes in wild-type mice.


Melanocyte Ultraviolet radiation Melan-A Wild-type C57BL/6N mice 



The research was supported by the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (StSch 4491).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyHospital Italiano de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyVienna General HospitalViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyChristian-Albrechts-University KielKielGermany

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