Melanocytes are neural crest derivatives that exhibit a ubiquitous presence in the epidermis. They determine the complexion of an individual and most importantly, provide a barrier against ultraviolet radiations from the sun. Their presence in the oral cavity is a consistent finding, especially in the gingiva and buccal mucosa of the dark complexioned. Melanocytes occasionally form a part of the histology of a variety of odontogenic cysts and tumors. How these cells make their way into the lesional tissue and the diagnostic relevance of their presence remains elusive. This write up attempts to trace the path melanocytes take to find themselves within odontogenic tumors and also offer possible explanations for the same.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine