Chapter 1. Introduction to the Pigmentary System

  1. M. Lynn Lamoreux1,
  2. Véronique Delmas2,
  3. Lionel Larue2 and
  4. Dorothy C. Bennett3

Published Online: 6 MAY 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444319651.ch1

The Colors of Mice: A Model Genetic Network

The Colors of Mice: A Model Genetic Network

How to Cite

Lamoreux, M. L., Delmas, V., Larue, L. and Bennett, D. C. (2010) Introduction to the Pigmentary System, in The Colors of Mice: A Model Genetic Network, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444319651.ch1

Author Information

  1. 1

    Bryan, Texas, USA

  2. 2

    Developmental Genetics of Melanocytes, Institut Curie, Orsay, France

  3. 3

    Molecular and Metabolic Signalling Centre, St. George's, University of London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 MAY 2010
  2. Published Print: 16 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405179546

Online ISBN: 9781444319651



  • introduction to the pigmentary system;
  • colors of vertebrate animals - melanocytes function;
  • other pigment cells - chromatophores or chromatocytes;
  • epidermal melanin unit (EMU) of human skin - epidermal tissue subunit;
  • mammalian hair - pigment phenotype as reflection of hair;
  • melanosome biogenesis and translocation - dendritic epidermal melanocyte;
  • hair growth - melanosomes carried to outer perimeter of pigment cell;
  • hair growth cycles - first hairs around time of birth;
  • pigment cell lineage embryonic development;
  • pigment cells in culture - normal development in tissue environment


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Colors of vertebrate animals

  • Other pigment cells

  • The epidermal melanin unit

  • Mammalian hair

  • Melanosome biogenesis and translocation

  • Melanin

  • Hair growth

  • Hair growth cycles

  • Embryonic development of the pigment cell lineage

  • Pigment cells in culture

  • Conclusion

  • Appendix: color loci of the mouse