Efficacy of hydroquinone in the treatment of cutaneous hyperpigmentation in hairless descendants of Mexican hairless dogs (Xoloitzcuintli)

Lab Anim Sci. 1998 Oct;48(5):469-75.


The skin of adult hairless dogs is clinically nonpigmented, clinically lightly pigmented, or clinically hyperpigmented (spotty pigmented). The pigment noted clinically is attributable to melanin granules in the epidermis. Spotty pigmentation in the skin of adult hairless dogs was treated by administration of the depigmenting agent (3% hydroquinone, HQ) for 1 month. Depigmenting effects were examined by use of three methods: skin color, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA)-positive melanocyte count, and histologic evaluation. The treated skin of hairless dogs began to become depigmented after application of HQ for 1 week. After 1 month of treatment with HQ, depigmentation spread over a quarter of the body. The number of DOPA-positive melanocytes in the HQ-treated sites decreased to less than approximately a fifth of that before treatment. In HQ-treated skin, histologic staining by use of Fontana-Masson's (FM) method revealed complete absence of melanin pigment. These results suggested that hairless dogs should be a useful animal model for investigating the effects and cutaneous toxicity of depigmenting agents.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Count
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine / metabolism
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Dog Diseases / metabolism
  • Dog Diseases / pathology
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hydroquinones / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Melanins / metabolism
  • Melanocytes / metabolism
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Melanosis / drug therapy
  • Melanosis / metabolism
  • Melanosis / pathology
  • Melanosis / veterinary*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Pigmentation / drug effects


  • Hydroquinones
  • Melanins
  • Dihydroxyphenylalanine
  • hydroquinone