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Age-related changes in skin color and histologic features of hairless descendants of Mexican Hairless dogs were investigated and compared with those of haired descendants of Mexican Hairless dogs and Beagles. According to age, dogs studied were allotted to 4 groups: 0 to 2 weeks, 4 to 5 months, 1 to 1.5 years, and 3 to 4 years old. Skin color, histologic features, and numbers of dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa)-positive melanocytes were examined. The luminance values measured, using a spectrophotometer, decreased with advancing age up to 1.5 years, but they increased again at 3 to 4 years in hairless dogs. The number of dopa-positive melanocytes in hairless dogs decreased with advancing age, whereas there were no dopa-positive melanocytes in haired dogs and Beagles. Histologically, the epidermis of newborn hairless pups was thick. The border between the epidermis and dermis was wavy, and epidermal ingrowths were found projecting into the dermis. As hairless dogs grew older, the epidermis became thinner and flatter. Although numbers of hair follicles and sebaceous and apocrine sweat glands were apparently fewer in hairless dogs than in haired dogs and Beagles, these structures were detected at least up to 4 years of age. On the other hand, haired dogs and Beagles had a thin epidermis at birth and aging had little effect on their epidermal structures. The dermis of hairless dogs contained fewer mast cells than did that of haired dogs and Beagles.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research