Melasma is a common disorder of hyperpigmentation, characterized by symmetric brown patches on skin exposed to sun. It's more frequent in the face, forehead and temples. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR), genetic influence and endocrine factors such as pregnancy, oral contraceptives, thyroid dysfunction and some medications and cosmetics are some of etiological factors. However none of them can be considered solely responsible for the development of the disease. The affected skin with melasma has some histological differences of healthy skin, such as increased melanogenic activity. The melasma pathogenesis is still unknown, while requiring a better characterization of the different behaviors of skin lesions and the adjacent, once they receive similar influences. The complexity of the skin, their intercellular interaction and presence of a small number of melanocytes per histologic section, hinder conclusions about what cell is the effector of disorder and their behavior. This study proposes a morphologic and functional evaluation of melanocytes primary culture from biopsies of patients with a facial melasma by transmission electron microscopy and genomics by PCR-array, and also the development a model that allows the investigation and determination of the effector cell of melasma, independently of other skin cells, allowing the progression of knowledge on melasma physiopathology. Additionally, we will investigate semiquantitatively the expression of peptides linked to melanogenesis in melasma (MC1-R, ±-MSH, COX-2, nuclear receptors of progesterone e estrogen-²) by double labeling immunofluorescence.
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