Café-au-lait spots in neurofibromatosis type 1 and in healthy control individuals: hyperpigmentation of a different kind?

Sofie De Schepper, Joachim Boucneau, Yves Vander Haeghen, Ludwine Messiaen, Jean-Marie Naeyaert, Jo Lambert
Archives of Dermatological Research 2006, 297 (10): 439-49
Solitary café-au-lait spots are quite common in the general population but multiple café-au-lait macules (CALM) are often indicative of an underlying genetic disorder. The frequency of having more than five CALM is rare in normal individuals and is therefore considered as a cut-off for the diagnosis of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The etiopathogenesis of these macules is still very obscure. In this study we compared epidermal melanocyte and dermal mast cell numbers between four groups: control normal and control CALM skin, and NF1 normal and NF1 CALM skin and elaborated a possible role for stem cell factor (SCF) in CALM formation. The groups were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for numerical analysis of the melanocyte and mast cell population and by ELISA, western blot analysis and real-time quantitative PCR for further determination of the role of SCF. We found a significant increase in melanocyte density in NF1 CALM skin compared with the isolated CALM in control individuals. However, both groups displayed a similar increase in mast cell density. In addition, we found increased levels of soluble SCF in NF1 CALM and in NF1 normal fibroblast supernatant. We conclude that SCF is an important cytokine in NF1 skin, but that additional (growth) factors and/or genetic mechanisms are needed to induce NF1-specific CALM hyperpigmentation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.