Endothelin 3 induces skin pigmentation in a keratin-driven inducible mouse model

Roman Joel Garcia, Florida International University


Endothelin 3 (Edn3) is a ligand important to developing neural crest cells (NCC). Some NCC eventually migrate into the skin and give rise to the pigment-forming melanocytes found in hair follicles. Edn3's effects on NCC have been largely explored through spontaneous mutants and cell culture experiments. These studies have shown the Endothelin receptor B/Edn3 signaling pathway to be important in the proliferation/survival and differentiation of developing melanocytes. To supplement these investigations I have created doxycycline-responsive transgenic mice which conditionally over-express Edn3. These mice will help us clarify Edn3's role during the development of early embryonic melanoblasts, differentiating melanocyte precursors in the skin, and fully differentiated melanocytes in the hair follicle. The transgene mediated expression of Edn3 was predominantly confined to the roof plate of the neural tube and surface ectoderm in embryos and postnatally in the epidermal keratinocytes of the skin. Relative to littermate controls, transgenics develop increased pigmentation on most areas of the skin. My doxycycline-based temporal studies have shown that both embryonic and postnatal events are important for establishing and maintaining pigmented skin. The study of my Edn3 transgenic mice may offer some insight into the genetics behind benign dermal pigmentation and offer clues about the time periods important in establishing these conditions. This apparently abnormal development is echoed in a benign condition of human skin. Cases of dermal melanocytosis, such as common freckles, Mongolian spotting, and nevus of Ito demonstrate histological and etiological characteristics similar to those of the transgenic mice generated in this study.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Genetics|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Roman Joel, "Endothelin 3 induces skin pigmentation in a keratin-driven inducible mouse model" (2007). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3279224.