Melanophores, Melanocytes and Melanin: Endocrinology and Pharmacology

  • A. J. Thody
  • S. Shuster
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


Many animals undergo changes in skin colour. In lower vertebrates these changes can occur rapidly, involving the movement of pigment granules within specialised cells known as chromatophores. Such physiological or chromomotor colour changes are normally transitory and allow the animal to adapt to its environment. Morphological or chromogenic colour change are much slower and longer lasting processes since they depend upon amount of pigment synthesised or number of pigment cells. This is the most important type of colour change in homoiotherms and is the main determinant of skin and hair colour in mammals.


Melanoma Cell Adenylate Cyclase Pigment Cell Tyrosinase Activity Gonadal Steroid 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Thody
  • S. Shuster

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