J Korean Soc Plast Reconstr Surg.  2011 Nov;38(6):725-732.

Animal Skin Pigmentation Model Using Full Thickness Skin Graft in C57BL/6 Mouse

  • 1Image Plastic Surgery Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Banobagi Plastic and Aesthetic Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. kimsw@snu.ac.kr


Skin grafting is one of the most commonly used methods in reconstructive plastic surgery field, but complications such as color change, contracture or hypertrophy are common problems. However, pathophysiology of the color change after skin graft is not yet determined and no animal model is established.
Full thickness skin grafts were performed on the dorsum of C57BL/6 mice. Serial chronological gross inspection for color change and pigmentation were examined. Melanin pigments were traced by Fontana-Masson staining and semi-quantitative analysis was performed. In addition, immunohistochemical staining of S-100, Micropthalmia related Transcription Factor(MITF) and Melan-A antibodies were also performed to observe melanocytes and their changes.
After skin graft, color change and pigment spots were observed in the graft. Fontana-Masson staining showed melanin pigments in the epidermal and dermal layers in all mice. Immunohistochemistry staining to S-100, MITF, Melan-A antibodies showed melanocytes at the basal layer of epidermis and dermis.
In conclusion, we have established an animal model for skin pigmentation after skin graft. We believe this study may be useful in understanding of the behavior of melanocytes after skin graft.


C57BL/6 mouse; Skin graft; Pigmentation; Melanocyte; Premature melanocyte
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