volume 211, issue 2, P101-113 2001
DOI: 10.1006/jtbi.2001.2331
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Abstract: A biological issue that has not been satisfactorily resolved is the role of melanin in skin and other animal tissues. A hypothesis is outlined here to account for the evolution of black skin and the ubiquity of melanin in vertebrate tissues. Evidence is presented that melanization of skin and other tissues forms an important component of the innate immune defense system. A major function of melanocytes, melanosomes and melanin in skin is to inhibit the proliferation of bacterial, fungal and other parasitic inf…

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