The mouse pink-eyed dilution (p) locus is known to control eumelanin synthesis, melanosome morphology, and tyrosinase activity in melanocytes. However, it has not been fully determined whether the mutant allele, p affects pheomelanin synthesis. Effects of the p allele on eumelanin and phemelanin synthesis were investigated by chemical analysis of dorsal hairs of 5-week-old mice obtained from the F(2) generations (black, pink-eyed black, recessive yellow, pink-eyed recessive yellow, agouti, and pink-eyed agouti) between C57BL/10JHir (B10)-congenic pink-eyed black mice (B10-p/p) and recessive yellow (B10-Mc1r(e)/Mc1r(e)) or agouti (B10-A/A) mice. The eumelanin content was dramatically (>20-fold) decreased in pink-eyed black and pink-eyed agouti mice, whereas the pheomelanin content did not decrease in pink-eyed black, pink-eyed recessive yellow, or pink-eyed agouti mice compared to the corresponding P/- mice. These results suggest that the pink-eyed dilution allele greatly inhibits eumelanin synthesis, but not pheomelanin synthesis.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.