Effects of nitric oxide on the adhesion of human melanocytes to extracellular matrix components

Krassimira Ivanova, Isabel Caroline Le Poole, Rupert Gerzer, Wiete Westerhof, Pranab Kummar Das*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to explore whether nitric oxide (NO) interferes with the attachment of human melanocytes to the extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Consequently, the effects have been investigated of the NO-releasing compounds 3-morpholino-sydnonimine (SIN-1) and S-nitroso- glutathione (GSNO) on the in vitro adhesion of human melanocytic cells to fibronectin. The NO donors induced a concentration-dependent reduction in the adhesion of both 51CrO42- -labelled melanocytes and melanoma cells to fibronectin: Pigmented M14 melanoma cells were more susceptible to the effect of SIN-1 (half-maximal inhibiting effect at about 0.5 mM) than normal human melanocytes and also than the non-pigmented melanoma cells Mel57 (half- maximal inhibiting effects between 0.9 and 2 mM). This effect of SIN-1 also appeared to be related to the melanin content of normal melanocytes, whereas GSNO was significantly less active. Both flow cytometric analysis and immunocytochemical staining showed expression of neuronal NO synthase in all cell lines. The results of this study suggest that aberrant in vivo production of NO during infection and inflammation may contribute to loss of melanocytes in, for example, vitiligo, by reducing de novo attachment of melanocytes to the ECM. These findings could also be important for understanding the process of metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1997


  • Adhesion
  • Extracellular matrix (ECM)
  • Fibronectin
  • Melanocytic cells
  • Nitric oxide (NO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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