Pigmentation Effect of Rice Bran Extract in Hair Follicle-Like Tissue and Organ Culture Models

  • Yu-Mi Kim
  • Han-Moi Lim
  • Eun-Cheol Lee
  • Young-Kwon SeoEmail author
Original Article



Melanogenesis is a biological process resulting in the production of melanin pigment, which plays an important role in the prevention of sun-induced skin injury and determines the hair and skin color. Melanin has the ability to block ultraviolet radiation and scavenge free oxygen radicals, thus protecting the skin from their harmful effects. Agents that increase melanin synthesis in melanocytes may reduce the risk of photodamage and skin cancer. Hence, various approaches have been proposed to increase the synthesis of melanin.


The current study aimed to develop a three-dimensional hair follicle-like tissue (HFLT) model with human dermal papilla, melanocytes, and outer root sheaths cells. This model showed enhanced melanogenesis-related protein expression after rice bran ash extract (RBE) treatment. Next, we investigated the melanogenic effect of RBE in the HFLT and compared the results to those of hair follicle (HF) organ culture model.


RBE was found to significantly increase the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, a key transcription factor involved in melanin production, in both HFLT and organ culture models. Results showed that melanogenesis-related protein expression levels were higher in the RBE group compared to those in the control group. Similar results were obtained by immunohistochemistry.


Our data suggested that RBE promotes melanin biosynthesis. Taken together, this simple in vitro HFLT model system has the potential to provide significant insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms of HF melanogenesis, and hence can be used for controlled evaluation of the efficacy of new materials for melanogenesis.


Melanogenesis Pigmentation Hair follicle Skin injury Melanin 



This work was supported by the Dongguk University Research Fund, 2018 and a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HN14C0086).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no financial conflicts of interest.

Ethical statement

This study was approved by the Institutional Research Board of the Dongguk University (DUIRB Approval No. 20151127-011).


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Copyright information

© The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Biotechnology (BK21 Plus Team)Dongguk UniversityGoyang-siRepublic of Korea

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