The population is increasingly lighter pigmented moving in a northward direction in Europe until reaching the Arctic Circle, where the Samis (Lapps) are clearly more pigmented.
In 1966-1970, we investigated a total of 689 subjects in the villages of Sevettijärvi and Nellim, including persons with mixed Sami and Finnish heritage; of these, 487 (242 males, 245 females) had both parents classified as Skolt Sami. For estimation of the colour of the iris and hair, international scales were used. For translucency of the iris, pigmentation of the fundus was estimated in 3 different shades. The length and type of eyelashes were classified into 3 categories. To our knowledge, a simultaneous study of the pigmentation of eyebrows, eyelashes and eye fundus at different ages has not previously been published.
The age differences of iris colour were highly significant. Iris colour in children varied markedly, and they generally had lighter colours than later in life. Age and sex effects on the translucency of irises were found. Male irises were more translucent. Fundus pigmentation was scanty in the youngest age groups, with full pigmentation being reached at 20 years. Among young individuals hair colour darkens with increasing age. Eyebrow colour was slightly lighter for both sexes in the youngest age groups that in older cohorts. Women had longer eyelashes than males.
The main factor of the lighter skin is a higher ability to synthesize vitamin D, providing superior protection against rickets. The Skolt Samis are more pigmented than other Nordic people. In earlier times they had problems with rickets but our studies did not show any essential symptoms of rickets today. Visual acuity among Skolt Samis was good. They had lower prevalence of myopia compared to Finns. The stronger pigmentation of Skolt Samis is probably due to their origin from darker Eastern populations. Since our investigations were made, the Skolt Samis have been to a great part mixed with neighbouring populations and scattered throughout Finland. Even their old language is nowadays used mainly for traditional purposes. Therefore similar studies could not be performed anymore.
This study was performed to assess the contribution of systemic and external uptake to nicotine accumulation in hair. The systemic nicotine uptake in hair was determined in pigmented rats (Brown Norway) and albino rats (Sprague-Dawley) after subcutaneous administration of 3 doses of nicotine with osmotic minipumps [5, 10, and 20 mg/(kg x day) for 3 weeks], the highest dose also following metabolic enzyme induction. The external nicotine uptake was determined in cut hair of both strains after exposure to room-aged cigarette sidestream smoke, a surrogate for environmental tobacco smoke (nicotine concentration: 5 micrograms/liter for 1, 2, and 3 weeks). Nicotine and its metabolite cotinine were determined using capillary GC after complete alkaline digestion of the hair sample and solvent extraction. Systemic uptake: Nicotine and cotinine concentrations in hair were dose-dependent and correlated with plasma concentrations. The nicotine concentration was approximately 20 times higher in pigmented than in unpigmented hair. The cotinine concentration was approximately 10 times lower than the nicotine concentration in pigmented hair. After enzyme induction before administration, nicotine and cotinine concentrations in hair were significantly reduced in parallel to the reduced plasma concentrations, showing the influence of metabolism. External uptake: Nicotine was found in the hair of both strains, the concentration in pigmented hair being a factor of 1.5 higher than in unpigmented hair. Thus, hair pigmentation had a major influence on systemic uptake in hair and a minor influence on external uptake in hair.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)