Re: melanocytes -Reply

From:Barry Rittman <>

Melanin is not only found in melanocytes but also in other cells such as
keratinocytes. Melanin is donated by the melanocytes to the surrounding
keratinocytes in the skin to from an "epidermal melanocyte unit". The
presence of melanin in a cell alone is therfore not conclusive evidence that
you have melanocytes. In the epidermis, melanocytes are also dendritic so
that the presence of melanin containing dendritic cells in the epidermis is
reasonably conclusive that they are melanocytes. The  DOPA reaction will let
you determine that there are active melanosomes present in the cells and
therefore these are melanocytes.
The S-100 antibody is not specific for melanocytes alone, it will also show
Langerhans cells in the epidermis and other cells in the dermis and lamina

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