Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.535, 19-24, 2021
Expression of histidine decarboxylase in melanocytes of the human skin
Histamine-producing cells include storage-type cells (e.g., mast cells and basophils), which store histamine intracellularly, and inducible-type cells (e.g., keratinocytes and macrophages), which induce histidine decarboxylase (HDC, a key enzyme for histamine biosynthesis) activity but do not have a storage pool of histamine. Most of the studies focused on identifying HDC-expressing cells by using cultured cells, and few on investigating the localization of HDC by using skin tissues. Hence, this study conducted immunohistochemical studies using human healthy skin samples. HDC-positive and cytokeratin 14 (a marker of basal keratinocytes)-negative cells were present around the basal layer of the epidermis. These cells did not immunohistochemically react with mast cell tryptase but expressed tyrosinase (a key enzyme for melanin biosynthesis) and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITE, a transcription factor controlling the expression of tyrosinase genes). Melanin granules were clearly observed around HDC-positive and MITF-positive cells. Moreover, HDC mRNA and protein were both detected in cultured normal human epidermal melanocytes. In conclusion, HDC-positive and cytokeratin 14-negative cells around the basal layer of the epidermis are melanocytes. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.