The University of Cincinnati and Tokyo Medical University have recently made an important new research for vitiligo treatment toward the manipulating skin tone and color, in the quest of, a timeless healthier and younger looking skin.
The research of these universities has shown that, “The Melanocytes skin cells are not the only cells; those are responsible for skin coloration. Instead, there are some more basic cells in the skin’s surface that influence on the pigment production and help in regulating the skin coloration. This experimental study was made by a dermatologist Raymond Boissy, Ph.D, and his team.
They found that, these cells have certain characteristics that could control skin pigmentation. They named these cells as Keratinocytes; and proved that, these cells are surface skin cells that make up about 96 percent of the skin’s outer layer (epidermis). Where as, melanocytes (the body’s melanin-producing cells) are only 2% of pigment producing material of epidermis. These cells also give the skin structural integrity and protect the body from infection.
The UC-let its research to published in the issue of The FASEB Journal, This was the step first to identify a specific model for manipulating melanin production in the body by using keratinocytes.
Boissy believed that his team’s this finding could help scientists to develop a new drugs that can alter the physiological processes that usually cause pigmentation disorders such as vitiligo. He said that,
“We’ve isolated specific physiological properties that regulate the melanocytes functional abilities; it is an important discovery because many pigment diseases are the result of deregulation of the melanocytes”.
Boissy and his team had also developed a human skin substitute model by using a combination of keratinocytes and melanocytes derived from light and dark skin. These mixed cells were transplanted into a mouse model and allowed to grow into the skin substitute for about three months. After that they observed that, the keratinocytes from light-skinned individuals had a lightening effect on the bioengineered skin graft, while keratinocytes from dark-skinned individuals produce a darkening effect on the skin. Hence, this was a significant finding which showed a very conclusive link between keratinocytes and melanocytes and proved that keratinocytes are much easier to manipulate than melanocytes.
Boissy said; his study could help in improving the quality of life for people with pigment diseases such as vitiligo, melasma and age spotting; by making their skin healthier. Thus, this study has also opened the door to new types of cosmetics, based on our understanding of how and why ‘skin-deep differences in appearance evolved over millions of years.