Fibroblasts produce many types of extracellular matrix (ECM) in skin such as collagen, laminin, elastin etc. Though melanocytes are not directly in contact with fibroblasts in skin, ECM components from fibroblasts are found to have significant impact on melanocyte biology. In vitiligo, it is known that melanocytes are either absent or dysfunctional. As one of the treatments strategy, non-lesional skin punches or isolated melanocytes are often auto grafted to the lesional skin. But the outcome is often unsatisfactory due to known or unknown reasons. Altered microenvironment at the lesioned site could be one of the reasons which inhibit the survival and function of melanocytes. Present study is designed to evaluate the influence of ECM produced by fibroblasts isolated from the normal and vitiligo skin on survival and function of normal melanocytes. After obtaining the institutional ethical committee approval, fibroblasts were isolated from the foreskin from children, healthy adult’s skin, nonlesional skin and lesional skin of vitiligo patients. Melanocytes were isolated from foreskin from children. ECM layers were prepared from confluent monolayers of fibroblasts of different origin. Melanocytes were cultured on these ECM layers and melanin content, tyrosinase content and activity, melanocyte survival and apoptosis were analyzed. Lower survival rate, increased tyrosinase content, increased melanin content and increased apoptosis was observed in melanocytes grown on ECM derived from vitiligo lesional skin compared to the melanocytes grown on ECM derived from other sources of skin. This preliminary in vitro study showed that ECM components produced by fibroblasts isolated from lesional skin of the vitiligo patients creates the unfavorable microenvironment to the melanocyte survival and function. Further, studies involving more number of samples and clinical association would reveal further details which may help in designing more efficient treatment strategies to treat the vitiligo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science(all)
- Health(social science)
- Environmental Science(all)