Human epidermal keratinocytes differentiate in vitro into a stratified epithelium suitable for grafting on burned patients. In this paper, we show that differentiated melanocytes are present in the cultured epithelium. In particular, we have found that i) melanocytes proliferate in the same culture conditions that allow keratinocyte growth, ii) during the culture the ratio between keratinocytes and melanocytes tends to remain constant, iii) melanocytes organize into the basal layer of the cultured epithelium independently of the presence of dermis, develop dendritic arborizations with melanosome-containing processes and transfer melanosomes into keratinocyte cytoplasm.
Co-culture of human keratinocytes and melanocytes: differentiated melanocytes are physiologically organized in the basal layer of the cultured epithelium / DE LUCA, Michele; Franzi, A. T.; D'Anna, F.; Zicca, A.; Albanese, E.; Bondanza, S.; Cancedda, R.. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CELL BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0171-9335. - STAMPA. - 46:(1988), pp. 176-180.