Articles by Jillian C. Vanover in JoVE
Pharmacologic Induction of Epidermal Melanin and Protection Against Sunburn in a Humanized Mouse Model Alexandra Amaro-Ortiz1,2, Jillian C. Vanover1,3, Timothy L. Scott1,2, John A. D'Orazio1,2,3,4 1The Markey Cancer Center, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 2Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 3Department of Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 4Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky College of Medicine Epidermal melanin is induced by topical application of forskolin in a murine model of the fair-skinned UV-sensitive human. Pharmacologic manipulation of cAMP levels in the skin and epidermal darkening strongly protect against UV-mediated inflammation (sunburn) as measured by the minimum erythematous dose (MED) assay.
Other articles by Jillian C. Vanover on PubMed
Prolonged Treatment of Fair-skinned Mice with Topical Forskolin Causes Persistent Tanning and UV Protection Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19087231 We previously reported that topical application of forskolin to the skin of fair-skinned MC1R-defective mice with epidermal melanocytes resulted in accumulation of eumelanin in the epidermis and was highly protective against UV-mediated cutaneous injury. In this report, we describe the long-term effects of chronic topical forskolin treatment in this animal model. Forskolin-induced eumelanin production persisted through 3 months of daily applications, and forskolin-induced eumelanin remained protective against UV damage as assessed by minimal erythematous dose (MED). No obvious toxic changes were noted in the skin or overall health of animals exposed to prolonged forskolin therapy. Body weights were maintained throughout the course of topical forskolin application. Topical application of forskolin was associated with an increase in the number of melanocytes in the epidermis and thickening of the epidermis due, at least in part, to an accumulation of nucleated keratinocytes. Together, these data suggest in this animal model, short-term topical regular application of forskolin promotes eumelanin induction and that over time, topical forskolin treatment is associated with persistent melanization, epidermal cell accumulation, and skin thickening.
Stem Cell Factor Rescues Tyrosinase Expression and Pigmentation in Discreet Anatomic Locations in Albino Mice Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research. Dec, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19682281 The K14-SCF transgenic murine model of variant pigmentation is based on epidermal expression of stem cell factor (SCF) on the C57BL/6J background. In this system, constitutive expression of SCF by epidermal keratinocytes results in retention of melanocytes in the interfollicular basal layer and pigmentation of the epidermis itself. Here, we extend this animal model by developing a compound mutant transgenic amelanotic animal defective at both the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r) and tyrosinase (Tyr) loci. In the presence of K14-Scf, tyrosinase-mutant animals (previously thought incapable of synthesizing melanin) exhibited progressive robust epidermal pigmentation with age in the ears and tails. Furthermore, K14-SCF Tyr(c2j/c2j) animals demonstrated tyrosinase expression and enzymatic activity, suggesting that the c2j Tyr defect can be rescued in part by SCF in the ears and tail. Lastly, UV sensitivity of K14-Scf congenic animals depended mainly on the amount of eumelanin present in the skin. These findings suggest that c-kit signaling can overcome the c2j Tyr mutation in the ears and tails of aging animals and that UV resistance depends on accumulation of epidermal eumelanin.
An Ultraviolet-radiation-independent Pathway to Melanoma Carcinogenesis in the Red Hair/fair Skin Background Nature. Nov, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 23123854 People with pale skin, red hair, freckles and an inability to tan--the 'red hair/fair skin' phenotype--are at highest risk of developing melanoma, compared to all other pigmentation types. Genetically, this phenotype is frequently the product of inactivating polymorphisms in the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) gene. MC1R encodes a cyclic AMP-stimulating G-protein-coupled receptor that controls pigment production. Minimal receptor activity, as in red hair/fair skin polymorphisms, produces the red/yellow pheomelanin pigment, whereas increasing MC1R activity stimulates the production of black/brown eumelanin. Pheomelanin has weak shielding capacity against ultraviolet radiation relative to eumelanin, and has been shown to amplify ultraviolet-A-induced reactive oxygen species. Several observations, however, complicate the assumption that melanoma risk is completely ultraviolet-radiation-dependent. For example, unlike non-melanoma skin cancers, melanoma is not restricted to sun-exposed skin and ultraviolet radiation signature mutations are infrequently oncogenic drivers. Although linkage of melanoma risk to ultraviolet radiation exposure is beyond doubt, ultraviolet-radiation-independent events are likely to have a significant role. Here we introduce a conditional, melanocyte-targeted allele of the most common melanoma oncoprotein, BRAF(V600E), into mice carrying an inactivating mutation in the Mc1r gene (these mice have a phenotype analogous to red hair/fair skin humans). We observed a high incidence of invasive melanomas without providing additional gene aberrations or ultraviolet radiation exposure. To investigate the mechanism of ultraviolet-radiation-independent carcinogenesis, we introduced an albino allele, which ablates all pigment production on the Mc1r(e/e) background. Selective absence of pheomelanin synthesis was protective against melanoma development. In addition, normal Mc1r(e/e) mouse skin was found to have significantly greater oxidative DNA and lipid damage than albino-Mc1r(e/e) mouse skin. These data suggest that the pheomelanin pigment pathway produces ultraviolet-radiation-independent carcinogenic contributions to melanomagenesis by a mechanism of oxidative damage. Although protection from ultraviolet radiation remains important, additional strategies may be required for optimal melanoma prevention.