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Home › Melanocyte-stimulating hormone › Function of melanin › What exactly are melanocytes › Melanocytes function. What exactly are the functions of melanocytes? The classic melanocytes function is melanin pigment synthesis. The non-classical, non-cutaneous melanocytes dispersed over the body to perform a variety of functions depending on the locations. They could keep common lineage signature function of melanin pigment synthesis.

The type of melanin pigment (eumelanin or pheomelanin) produced and their relative proportion in your skin decides one’s skin color. Melanocyte precursors cells differentiate and migrate from the neural crest via the mesenchyme into the locks and epidermis follicles. Classical melanocytes are pigment-producing cells, which are located in the dermis, hair, and epidermis follicles.

During development they follow the dorsolateral migratory pathway. Nonclassical melanocytes migrate to many non-cutaneous sites. Interacting with the surrounding tissues continuously, they makeup local populations having different functions. The non-cutaneous sites include eye, inner hearing, brain, leptomeninges, and heart. In lots of species of animals the melanocytes have evolved to provide camouflage from predators and prey.

In humans, security against UV rays has evolved among the main functions of the pigment-producing cells. Skin pigmentation being the most obvious display of human polymorphic traits, defines race and ethnicity. UV rays cause cellular DNA and damage. The cap-like melanin pigment accumulation above the nucleus of the keratinocyte protects the nucleus from the DNA damage. The antioxidative and redox signaling activity during of the melanogenesis process neutralizes the harmful free radicals in the skin. The locks color is because of the pigment deposit in the hair shaft also. Gray hair appears when the melanocytes in the hair follicle stop depositing and producing melanin.

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The highly reactive quinone intermediates produced during melanogenesis have antibacterial and antifungal properties. The post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation by the melanocytes dampens the inflammatory response and suppresses swelling. They connect to Langerhans cells and regulate pores and skin immune system response as well. The existence of the melanocytes and melanin is necessary for the proper functioning of the inner ear, eyes, heart, and brain.

Pigment cells are found in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and uveal tract in the eyes. RPE melanin is vital for the introduction of the neural retina. RPE cells are believed to produce melanosomes only during the prenatal period. RPE melanin defends the neural retina from reactive oxygen varieties and macular degeneration. RPE also provides visible acuity.

The uvea, the middle layer of eyes, is split into choroid, ciliary body, and iris. All the three parts of pigment cells. The pigment cells of the iris impart the attention color to an individual. The pigment in the choroid is thought to protect the cells from oxidative damage by free radicals.

The pigment-producing cells are located in the cochlea and the vestibular organ. The lack of these cells or lack of internal hearing melanocyte function can lead to deafness. Cochlear melanocytes can be found within the stria vascularis and the modiolus. They are essential for the proper development and function of the cochlea.

The vestibular labyrinth of the inner ear also has pigment cells. It really is thought that they might be associated with balance understanding. These bands of cells are located in the valves and septa of the heart. Cardiac pigment cells appear not needed for heart activity though, are located to trigger atrial arrhythmia.

They may be regulating Ca levels and redox signaling. These cells are located in the sympathetic cephalic ganglia and leptomeninges. The melanocytes are also found along cerebral capillaries. The ventrolateral surface of the medulla oblongata are included in the pigment cells. Redox and Endocrine activity are related to these cells. The pigment present is brain-specific neuromelanin. 1.Tsatmali M, Ancans J, Thody AJ. Melanocyte function and its own control by melanocortin peptides. J Histochem Cytochem. 2002 Feb; 50(2): 125-33. 2.Gertrude-E. Costin, Vincent J. Hearing. Human skin pigmentation: melanocytes modulate pores and skin in response to stress. The FASEB Journal vol. Stages of hair regrowth.

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