REVIEWImmunosuppression and melanocyte proliferationZattra, Edoardo; Fortina, Anna Belloni; Bordignon, Matteo; Piaserico, Stefano; Alaibac, MauroAuthor Information Unit of Dermatology, University of Padua, Padova, Italy Correspondence to Prof Mauro Alaibac, MD, PhD, Unit of Dermatology, University of Padua, Via Cesare Battisti 206, Padova 35121, Italy Tel: +39 49 8212924; fax: +39 49 8211756; e-mail: [email protected] Received 14 January 2008 Accepted 7 November 2008 Melanoma Research: April 2009 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 63-68 doi: 10.1097/CMR.0b013e328322fc20 Buy Metrics Abstract Melanocytes are pigmented cells derived from the neural crest; their proliferation is restrained by immune system. The eruption of nevi after an immunosuppressive condition is a peculiar phenomenon indicating that the immune system may play a major role in limiting proliferation of melanocytes. In this review, we analyze the role of immunosuppressive regimens on melanocyte proliferation. In particular, we discuss the eruptive nevi phenomenon, which is determined by the inability of the immune system to inhibit melanocyte proliferation. These clinical observations indicate that the immune system has a pivotal role in restraining melanocyte proliferation. However, although the role of the immune system in the development of nonmelanoma skin cancer has been shown clearly in several studies involving organ transplant patients, the role of immunosuppression in melanoma genesis has not yet been established. Further investigations are required to establish the real immunogenicity of melanoma, particularly in the light of the dichotomy between the eruptive nevi phenomenon in immunosuppressed patients and the low incidence of melanoma in transplanted patients. © 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.