Penicillin and streptomycin, the most widely used antibiotics in mammalian cell cultures, caused a moderate stimulation in dopa oxidase and tyrosine hydroxylase activities, but a slight inactivation in the dopachrome tautomerase activity of B16/F10 melanoma cells at the routine concentration (100 units/ml penicillin and 100 micrograms/ml streptomycin) used for preventing bacterial growth in cultured animal cells. At these concentrations, tyrosinase activities and melanin content augmented with time during the first 24-48 hr. The opposite effect acted on cell viability. After withdrawal of the antibiotics from the culture medium, the recovery of melanogenic parameters to normal values was fully reached after few hours (around 10), and it was already noticeable as soon as 4 hr after removal. Other antibiotics used in cell culture, like kanamycin, gentamicin, and the antimicotic nystatin, exerted similar low effects at the recommended concentrations, always lower than two-fold and thus lower than those reported for amphotericin B. Taking into account these relatively low effects, and the high risk of contamination of mammalian cells culture without antibiotics, penicillin and streptomycin may still be routinely used in experiments leading to explore the melanogenic activity of malignant melanocytes in culture, unless very precise studies and strict conditions were needed.