Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skin's Pigment Cells Can Be Formed From Completely Different Cells Than Previously Thought

Date:
October 16, 2009
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
The skin's pigment cells can be formed from completely different cells than has hitherto been thought, a new study from Sweden shows. The results also mean the discovery of a new kind of stem cell.

The skin's pigment cells can be formed from completely different cells than has hitherto been thought, a new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows. The results, which are published in the journal Cell, also mean the discovery of a new kind of stem cell.

Related Articles


The body's pigment gives essential protection against UV radiation. It is made up of a substance called melanin, which is produced by pigment cells in the skin called melanocytes. According to the established theory of body pigmentation, these melanocytes bud off from the spinal cord at an early foetal stage and then migrate to the skin where they remain for the rest of their lives.

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm have now shown that most melanocytes actually appear later on in foetal development from an immature cell type that exists in the skin's nerve fibres. These cells, called Schwann cell precursors (SCPs), can also be found in adults. In addition to this, the scientists have demonstrated how neuronal damage in adults can excite the maturation of melanocytes to form hyperpigmentation around the affected nerves.

"Our findings can provide new knowledge of how changes in skin pigmentation occur, not least of the links that have been observed between neurological disease and changes in pigmentation," says Professor Patrik Ernfors, who led the study.

Their results also shed new light on SCP cells, which were previously seen as an immature form of supportive cells the nervous system. The researchers describe how a change in cell signalling can make the SCP cells in the skin develop into pigment cells instead, and argue that SCP cells are really a kind of stem cell.

"This can help science to understand the development of diseases such as melanoma," says Professor Ernfors. "We ve always believed that it develops from melanocytes, but maybe it actually originates in the SCP cells."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Igor Adameyko, Francois Lallemend, Jorge B Aquino, Piotr Topilko, Jorge A Pereira, Thomas Mόller, Nicolas Fritz, Anna Beljajeva, Makoto Mochii, Isabel Liste, Dmitry Usoskin, Ueli Suter, Carmen Birchmeier and Patrik Ernfors. Schwann Cell Precursors from Nerve Innervation Are a Cellular Origin of Melanocytes in Skin. Cell, 2009; 139 (2): 366 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2009.07.049

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Skin's Pigment Cells Can Be Formed From Completely Different Cells Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016121825.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2009, October 16). Skin's Pigment Cells Can Be Formed From Completely Different Cells Than Previously Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016121825.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Skin's Pigment Cells Can Be Formed From Completely Different Cells Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016121825.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins