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    A direct link between MITF, innate immunity, and hair graying


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    Join date : 2014-08-14

    A direct link between MITF, innate immunity, and hair graying

    Post by yoly on Fri May 04 2018, 11:50

    A direct link between MITF, innate immunity, and hair graying

    Author summary

    Hair pigmentation over the course of a lifetime depends on melanocyte stem cells that reside in the hair follicle. As old hairs fall out and new hairs grow in, melanocyte stem cells serve as a reservoir for the melanocytes that produce the pigment that gives hair its visible color. The loss of these stem cells leads to the growth of nonpigmented, or gray, hairs. Evaluating mouse models of hair graying can reveal key aspects of melanocyte stem cell biology. Using this approach, we discovered a novel role for the melanogenesis associated transcription factor, MITF, in repressing the expression of innate immune genes within cells of the melanocyte lineage. The importance of this repression is revealed in animals that have a predisposition for hair graying. In these animals, artificial elevation of the innate immune response, either through a genetic mechanism or via exposure to viral mimic, results in significant melanocyte and melanocyte stem cell loss and leads to the production of an increased number of gray hairs. These observations highlight the negative effects of innate immune activation on melanocyte and melanocyte stem cell physiology and suggest a connection between viral infection and hair graying.

      Current date/time is Wed Nov 14 2018, 00:06