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Keywords:

  • ebselen;
  • hydrogen peroxide;
  • keratinocytes;
  • melanocytes;
  • pigmentation

Abstract:  We assessed the ability of ebselen, a glutathione peroxidase mimic, to reduce pigmentation in various models. In murine B16 melanocytes, 25 μm ebselen inhibited melanogenesis and induced a depolymerisation of actin filaments. In co-cultures of B16 melanocytes with BDVII keratinocytes, a pretreatment of melanocytes with ebselen resulted in a strong inhibition of melanosome transfer to keratinocytes, as shown under optical and electron microscopy. In reconstructed epidermis, topical 0.5% ebselen led to a twofold decrease of melanin without affecting the density of active melanocytes. A similar result was obtained with topical 0.5% ebselen in black guinea pig ears. Ebselen induced a decrease of epidermal melanin parallel to a localisation of melanin and melanosomes in the basal layer. Ebselen appears as a new depigmenting compound that inhibits melanin synthesis and melanosome transfer to keratinocytes.