Inhibition of basal and ultraviolet B-induced melanogenesis by cannabinoid CB(1) receptors: a keratinocyte-dependent effect.

“Ultraviolet radiation is the major environmental insult to the skin and stimulates the synthesis of melanin in melanocytes, which then distribute it to the neighboring keratinocytes where it confers photo-protection. Skin color results from the paracrine interaction between these two cell types. Recent studies suggest that endocannabinoids are potential mediators in the skin. Here, we investigated whether cannabinoid drugs play a role in melanogenesis and if ultraviolet radiation modifies the cutaneous endocannabinoid system.

We provide evidence that human melanoma cells (SK-mel-1) express CB(1) receptors… 

Furthermore, ultraviolet-B radiation increased endocannabinoids levels only in keratinocytes, whereas CB(1) cannabinoid receptor expression was up-regulated only in melanoma cells.

Our results collectively suggest that ultraviolet radiation activates paracrine CB(1)-mediated endocannabinoid signaling to negatively regulate melanin synthesis.

The endocannabinoid system in the skin may be a possible target for future therapies in pigmentary disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21298280

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