Melanin Pigmentation: An in vivo Model for Studies of Melanosome Kinetics within Keratinocytes

Science  03 Dec 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4013, pp. 1034-1035
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4013.1034


The phagocytosis of latex beads by epidermal cells is proposed as a model for stludies on melanosome kinetics within the epidermis. Large latex beads (0.8 micrometer) are ingested singly, whereas, small beads (0.1 micrometer) are taken up in groups, results showing that the uptake mechanism depends on the size of thze indlividual particles. This size-dependency may explain the different distribution patterns of melanosomes and thus the differences of skin color in the Caucasoid and Negroid races.