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Drugs Fut 2010, 35(5): 365
ISSN 0377-8282
e-ISSN 2013-0368
Copyright 2010 Clarivate
CCC: 0377-8282
DOI: 10.1358/dof.2010.035.05.1484387
Minder, E.I.
Artificial tanning or induction of skin pigmentation may protect individuals with light-induced skin diseases. The paracrine skin hormone a-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH), acting locally at epidermal melanocytes, is a key player in the tanning response after light-induced stress. The first-in-class synthetic analogue of MSH studied in humans is afamelanotide, which has been shown to activate skin pigmentation or tanning after systemic application. Initially, afamelanotide was administered as a saline solution. Later, a slow-release formulation was used that enabled a marked reduction of the dose and side effects. It has been reported that afamelanotide reduced symptoms in different photodermatoses, including polymorphic light eruption (phase II and III), erythropoietic protoporphyria (phase II and III), phototoxicity of the skin during photodynamic therapy (phase II) and solar urticaria (phase II). However, only a few of these reports have been published. A study aimed at testing the efficacy of afamelanotide in the prevention of actinic keratosis in renal transplant patients is in progress. Reported side effects are minor, including mainly nausea and headache, and notably, no melanoma has been reported. Safety tests showed no toxic effects in mice, rats and minipigs.

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