Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) stimulated the sustained proliferation of mouse epidermal melanoblasts derived from epidermal cell suspensions in a serum-free medium supplemented with dibutyryl adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (DBcAMP). The melanoblasts could be subcultured in the serum-free medium supplemented with the two factors in the presence of keratinocytes, but not in the absence of keratinocytes. In these conditions, some melanoblasts proliferated without differentiating for more than 20 days including a subculture. This is the first report of a successful culture of melanoblasts from mammalian skin. This culture system is expected to clarify further markers for melanoblasts and requirements for their proliferation and differentiation.

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