Melanocytes are specialized cells derived from the fourth germ layer—the neural crest cells. They play an important role in human pigmentation through their ability to produce melanin. In addition to skin, melanocytes are also seen in eyes, ear, adipose tissue, brain, heart, and oral mucosa. Although melanin production is the chief function, melanocytes located in various other parts of the body have different roles. These dendritic cells identified in the oral mucosa are very much similar to epidermal melanocytes. The information on oral mucosal melanocytes is mainly from the research conducted on epidermal melanocytes. Hence, the knowledge on the development, morphology, and functions of oral mucosal melanocytes is very much limited. Therefore, this review is to provide more insights into the biophysiological aspects of oral mucosal melanocytes.
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