Molecular and cellular biochemistry

Nicotine impact on melanogenesis and antioxidant defense system in HEMn-DP melanocytes.

PMID 24942236


Nicotine is a compound of tobacco plants and is responsible for addictive properties of tobacco which is used by about one billion of smokers all over the world. Recently, nicotine has drawn even more attention due to its presumed neuroprotective and antioxidant features as far as common use in various forms of smoking cessation therapies. It is suggested that nicotine may be accumulated in human tissues containing melanin. This may in turn influence biochemical processes in human cells producing melanin. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of nicotine on melanogenesis and antioxidant defense system in cultured normal human melanocytes (HEMn-DP). Nicotine induced concentration-dependent loss in melanocytes viability. The value of EC50 was determined to be 2.52 mM. Nicotine modulated melanin biosynthesis in normal human melanocytes. Significant changes in hydrogen peroxide content and cellular antioxidant enzymes: SOD, CAT, and GPx activities were stated in melanocytes exposed to nicotine, which indicates alterations of antioxidant defense system. The results obtained in vitro may explain a potential influence of nicotine on biochemical processes in melanocytes in vivo during long-term exposition to nicotine.