Coat colour changes in polar animals are related to seasonal variation in photic inputs. The present work was performed to study the photoresponses of hair follicular melanocytes in human skin. The melanocytes, being photosensitive cells, can function as UV biosensors, since dendrites extend towards the source of UV light. Fifty-one skin biopsies from the margin of vitiligo were subjected to whole skin organ cultures. These were exposed to a pulse of UV light to study hair bulb melanocytes in vitiligo. It is observed that the melanocytes are seen within the anagen matrix. These melanocytes are poorly dendritic in control and dark-incubated cultures. On UV exposure, they become highly dendritic, the dendrites extending towards the hair shaft in 93.5%. They show prominent catechol oxidase and noradrenaline positivity, all features of UV responsiveness. The melanocytes within the hair follicle are not directly exposed to UV light. The melanocyte dendricity and the alignment of dendrites towards the shaft on UV exposure indicate that the columns of the cells in the hair shaft act as an efficient fibre-optic system, transmitting UV light. Morphologically, the keratinocytes in the hair shaft are arranged in compressed linear columns which resemble the coaxial bundles of commercial fibre-optic strands as is observed in plants. Keratinocytes in the inner and outer sheaths do not show this arrangement. Thus the hair follicle functions as a specialised UV receptor in the skin responding to nuances of photic inputs in human skin. This is reflected in coat colour changes in animals exposed to large variations in day-night cycles.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.