An immortal line of pigmented melanocytes, “melan-a”, has been derived from normal epidermal melanoblasts from embryos of inbred C57BL mice. The conditions favouring proliferation of these cells largely resemble those for normal, non-established mouse melanoblasts and melanocytes, and include a low extracellular pH and the presence of a tumour promoter, tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA) or teleocidin. Melan-a cells have the diploid chromosome number and do not form tumours in syngeneic or nude mice. They are therefore the first known line of non-tumorigenic mouse melanocytes, although an aneuploid melanocyte line of untested tumorigenicity has been reported (Sato et al., 1985). Melan-a cells are syngeneic with the B16 melanoma and its sublines, and provide an excellent parallel non-tumorigenic line for studies of the cellular and molecular basis of melanoma malignancy.