Skin pigmentation in mammals involves the interaction of epidermal melanocytes and keratinocytes in the structural and functional unit known as the Epidermal Melanin Unit. Melanocytes(M) synthesize melanin within specialized membrane-bound organelles, the melanosome or pigment granule. These are subsequently transferred by way of M dendrites to keratinocytes(K) by a mechanism still to be clearly defined. Three different, though not necessarily mutually exclusive, mechanisms of melanosome transfer have been proposed: cytophagocytosis by K of M dendrite tips containing melanosomes, direct injection of melanosomes into the K cytoplasm through a cell-to-cell pore or communicating channel formed by localized fusion of M and K cell membranes, release of melanosomes into the extracellular space(ECS) by exocytosis followed by K uptake using conventional phagocytosis. Variability in methods of transfer has been noted both in vivo and in vitro and there is evidence in support of each transfer mechanism. We Have previously studied M-K interactions in vitro using time-lapse cinemicrography and in vivo at the ultrastructural level using lanthanum tracer and freeze-fracture.
At present, skin cancer is a widespread malignancy in human beings. Among diverse population types, Caucasian
populations are much more prone in comparison to darker skin populations due to the comparative lack of skin pigmentation. Skin cancer is divided into malignant and non-melanoma skin cancer, which is additionally categorized as basal and
squamous cell carcinoma. The exposure to ultraviolet radiation, chemical carcinogen (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, arsenic, tar, etc.), and viruses (herpes virus, human papillomavirus, and human T-cell leukemia virus type-1) are major contributing factors of skin cancer. There are distinct pathways available through which skin cancer develops, such as the JAKSTAT pathway, Akt pathway, MAPKs signaling pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, to name a few. Currently, several targeted treatments are available, such as monoclonal antibodies, which have dramatically changed the line of treatment of this
disease but possess major therapeutic limitations. Thus, recently many phytochemicals have been evaluated either alone or
in combination with the existing synthetic drugs to overcome their limitations and have found to play a promising role in the
prevention and treatment. In this review, complete tracery of skin cancer, starting from the signaling pathways involved,
newer developed drugs with their targets and limitations along with the emerging role of natural products alone or in combination as potent anticancer agents and their molecular mechanism involved has been discussed. Apart from this, various
nanocargos have also been mentioned here, which can play a significant role in the management and treatment of different
types of skin cancer.
This clinical study was performed to evaluate the effects of continuous apple polyphenol (AP) administration on facial skin conditions and pigmentation induced by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation in healthy women participants. Participants (n = 65, age 20–39 years) were randomized to receive tablets containing AP (300 or 600 mg/day) or placebo in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Continuous administration of AP for 12 weeks significantly prevented UV irradiation induced skin pigmentation (erythema value, melanin value, L value), although a dose-dependent relationship was not clearly observed. In contrast, no significant differences were detected between the groups with regard to water content and trans-epidermal water loss. Our study demonstrated that APs and their major active compounds, procyanidins, have several health benefits. Here, we report that continuous administration of AP for 12 weeks alleviated UV irradiation induced skin pigmentation, when compared with placebo, in healthy women.
The epidermis is located in the outermost layer of the living body and is the place where external stimuli such as ultraviolet rays and microorganisms first come into contact. Melanocytes and melanin play a wide range of roles such as adsorption of metals, thermoregulation, and protection from foreign enemies by camouflage. Pigmentary disorders are observed in diseases associated with immunodeficiency such as Griscelli syndrome, indicating molecular sharing between immune systems and the machineries of pigment formation. Melanocytes express functional toll-like receptors (TLRs), and innate immune stimulation via TLRs affects melanin synthesis and melanosome transport to modulate skin pigmentation. TLR2 enhances melanogenetic gene expression to augment melanogenesis. In contrast, TLR3 increases melanosome transport to transfer to keratinocytes through Rab27A, the responsible molecule of Griscelli syndrome. TLR4 and TLR9 enhance tyrosinase expression and melanogenesis through p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) and NFκB signaling pathway, respectively. TLR7 suppresses microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), and MITF reduction leads to melanocyte apoptosis. Accumulating knowledge of the TLRs function of melanocytes has enlightened the link between melanogenesis and innate immune system.
<b><i>Background and Objectives:</i></b> Gene mutations within the leptin-melanocortin signaling pathway lead to severe early-onset obesity. Recently, a phase 2 trial evaluated new pharmacological treatment options with the MC4R agonist <i>setmelanotide</i> in patients with mutations in the genes encoding proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and leptin receptor (LEPR). During treatment with <i>setmelanotide,</i> changes in skin pigmentation were observed, probably due to off-target effects on the closely related melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R). Here, we describe in detail the findings of dermatological examinations and measurements of skin pigmentation during this treatment over time and discuss the impact of these changes on patient safety. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> In an investigator-initiated, phase 2, open-label pilot study, 2 patients with loss-of-function POMC gene mutations and 3 patients with loss-of-function variants in LEPR were treated with the MC4R agonist <i>setmelanotide</i>. Dermatological examination, dermoscopy, whole body photographic documentation, and spectrophotometric measurements were performed at screening visit and approximately every 3 months during the course of the study. <b><i>Results:</i></b> We report the results of a maximum treatment duration of 46 months. Skin pigmentation increased in all treated patients, as confirmed by spectrophotometry. During continuous treatment, the current results indicate that elevated tanning intensity levels may stabilize over time. Lips and nevi also darkened. In red-haired study participants, hair color changed to brown after initiation of <i>setmelanotide</i> treatment. <b><i>Discussion:</i></b> <i>Setmelanotide</i> treatment leads to skin tanning and occasionally hair color darkening in both POMC- and LEPR-deficient patients. No malignant skin changes were observed in the patients of this study. However, the results highlight the importance of regular skin examinations before and during MC4R agonist treatment.