What is Melanocyte and what is its role?

Melanocytes are neural crest-derived cells that produce melanin and are the dark pigment chiefly accountable for skin colour.

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These melanin-producing cells, also known as Melanocytes, are found in the brain, inner ear, eyes, and heart. The protective pigment they impart to the skin and hair, as well as the moles and dangerous melanomas they can contain, is what makes them most well-known. It can be impacted by a number of things, including exposure to UV light, hormonal changes, specific drugs, illness, and lasers. Read this article to learn more about it.

What is Melanocyte?

Melanocytes are neural crest-derived cells that produce melanin and are the dark pigment chiefly accountable for skin colour. They are found in the inner ear, vaginal epithelium, meninges, bones, the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis (the stratum basale), the middle layer of the eye (the uvea), and the bottom layer of the heart. Melanin is housed in unique organelles known as melanosomes once it has been produced. To promote pigmentation, melanosomes can be delivered to neighbouring keratinocytes. More melanosomes are present in darker skin tones than in lighter skin tones, and melanin functions as UV protection.

What is its role?

Although the exact mechanisms governing the arrangement and number of melanocytes in the epidermis are unknown, melanocytes, keratinocytes, and dermal fibroblasts are able to communicate with one another through secreted molecules, cell-to-cell connections, and other means. Through a network of paracrine growth factors and cell adhesion molecules, keratinocytes regulate the development and activity of melanocytes. Together, keratinocytes and melanocytes make up the epidermal complex network, which is essential for maintaining skin homeostasis. Melanocytes and keratinocytes are also the local sources of the various hormones that control melanocyte proliferation, melanogenesis, and the formation of melanocytic dendrites.