Endothelin signalling in the development of neural crest-derived melanocytes Article

Opdecamp, K, Kos, L, Arnheiter, H et al. (1998). Endothelin signalling in the development of neural crest-derived melanocytes . BIOCHEMISTRY AND CELL BIOLOGY-BIOCHIMIE ET BIOLOGIE CELLULAIRE, 76(6), 1093-1099. 10.1139/o99-006

cited authors

  • Opdecamp, K; Kos, L; Arnheiter, H; Pavan, WJ



  • In both mice and humans, mutations in the genes encoding the endothelin B receptor and its ligand endothelin 3 lead to deficiencies in neural crest- derived melanocytes and enteric neurons. The discrete steps at which endothelins exert their functions in melanocyte development were examined in mouse neural crest cell cultures. Such cultures, kept in the presence of fetal calf serum, gave rise to cells expressing the early melanoblast marker Dct+ even in the absence of the phorbol ester tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA) or endothelins. However, these early Dct+ cells did not proliferate and pigmented cells never formed unless TPA or endothelins were added. In fact, endothelin 2 was as potent as TPA in promoting the generation of both Dct+ melanoblasts and pigmented cells, and endothelin 1 or endothelin 3 stimulated the generation of melanoblasts and of pigmented cells to an even greater extent. The inhibition of this stimulation by the selective endothelin B receptor antagonist BQ-788 (N-cis-2,6- dimethylpiperidinocarbonyl-L-α-methylleucyl-D-1-methoxycarbonyltryptophanyl- D-norleucine) suggested that the three endothelins all signal through the endothelin B receptor. This receptor was indeed expressed in Dct+ melanoblasts, in addition to cells lacking Dct expression. The results demonstrate that endothelins are potent stimulators of melanoblast proliferation and differentiation.

publication date

  • January 1, 1998

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 1093

end page

  • 1099


  • 76


  • 6