Is there any difference in the photobiological properties of melanins isolated from human blue and brown eyes?
Investigations were carried out to determine whether the melanin present in the blue and brown eyes were eumelanin, the melanin present in black hair and dark skin, or pheomelanin, the melanin present in red hair and the skin of people with red hair. Our results showed that UV-visible irradiation of blue or brown eye melanin did not produce any superoxide. Irradiation of 51Cr-labelled Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells in the presence of blue or brown eye melanin did not produce significant cell lysis. The electron spin resonance (ESR) signals of blue and brown eye melanins were very similar to those of eumelanin. Comparison of these findings with our previous results indicated that the blue and brown eye melanins are essentially eumelanin. The ESR signals further suggested that in the case of both blue and brown eye melanins the iris, ciliary body, choroid, and retinal pigment epithelium did not differ.