The pigment molecule, melanin, is produced from melanosomes of melanocytes through melanogenesis, which is a complex process involving a combination of chemical and enzymatically catalyzed reactions. The synthesis of melanin is primarily influenced by tyrosinase (TYR), which has attracted interest as a target molecule for the regulation of pigmentation or depigmentation in skin. Thus, direct inhibitors of TYR activity have been sought from various natural and synthetic materials. However, due to issues with these inhibitors, such as weak or permanent ability for depigmentation, allergy, irritant dermatitis and rapid oxidation, in vitro and in vivo, the development of new materials that inhibit melanin production is essential. A conditioned medium (CM) derived from stem cells contains many cell-secreted factors, such as cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and extracellular vesicles including exosomes. In addition, the secreted factors could negatively regulate melanin production through stimulation of a microenvironment of skin tissue in a paracrine manner, which allows the neural stem cell CM to be explored as a new material for skin depigmentation. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regulating depigmentation, and discuss the potential of neural stem cells and their derivatives, as a new material for skin depigmentation.
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