WorldWideScience

Sample records for melanophores

  1. Role of cholinergic receptors in melanophore responses of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, A S; Peter, J; Ali, S A

    1995-01-01

    Responses of isolated skin melanophores of Rana tigerina and Bufo melanostictus to cholinergic drugs were studied using the Mean Melanophore Size Index assay to explore the nature and role of cellular receptors in melanophore regulation activity. Acetylcholine (Ach) in a concentration of 10(-7) to 6.4 x 10(-6) g/ml caused dispersion of the skin melanophores of R. tigerina and B. melanostictus. These effects were blocked by both atropine and hyoscine in a concentration of 8 x 10(-6) g/ml each. Eserine augmented the melanophore dispersal effects of Ach. This potentiation of the dispersal effect of Ach by eserine was also antagonised by hyoscine. Carbachol another specific cholinergic agonist significantly caused dispersion of the melanophores of both the amphibian species. The effects were also blocked by atropine and hyoscine. These data indicate that cholinergic receptors of muscarinic type are present on the melanophores of R. tigerina and B. melanostictus which mediate dispersion of integumental melanophores leading to darkening of the skin.

  2. Acoustic detection of melanosome transport in Xenopus laevis melanophores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Rickard; Norström, Elisabeth; Bodin, Lovisa; Langhammer, Christoph; Sturve, Joachim; Wallin, Margareta; Svedhem, Sofia

    2013-04-01

    Organelle transport studies are often performed using melanophores from lower vertebrates due to the ease of inducing movements of pigment granules (melanosomes) and visualizing them by optical microscopy. Here, we present a novel methodology to monitor melanosome translocation (which is a light-sensitive process) in the dark using the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) technique. This acoustic sensing method was used to study dispersion and aggregation of melanosomes in Xenopus laevis melanophores. Reversible sensor responses, correlated to optical reflectance measurements, were obtained by alternating addition and removal of melatonin (leading to melanosome aggregation) and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) (leading to melanosome dispersion). By confocal microscopy, it was shown that a vertical redistribution of melanosomes occurred during the dispersion/aggregation processes. Furthermore, the transport process was studied in the presence of cytoskeleton-perturbing agents disrupting either actin filaments (latrunculin) or microtubules (nocodazole). Taken together, these experiments suggest that the acoustic responses mainly originate from melanosome transport along actin filaments (located close to the cell membrane), as expected based on the penetration depth of the QCM-D technique. The results clearly indicate the potential of QCM-D for studies of intracellular transport processes in melanophores. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Berberine-induced pigment dispersion in Bufo melanostictus melanophores by stimulation of beta-2 adrenergic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Sharique A; Naaz, Ishrat; Choudhary, Ram Kumar

    2014-02-01

    Reduced production of melanin by decreased or the absence of melanocytes leads to various hypopigmentation disorders, and the development of melanogenetic agents for photoprotection and hypopigmentation disorders is one of the top priority areas of research. Hence, the present study was carried out to elucidate the ability of berberine, a principal active ingredient present in the roots of the herb Berberis vulgaris to stimulate pigment dispersion in the isolated skin melanophores of the toad Bufo melanostictus. In the present study, mean melanophore size index of the isolated skin melanophores of B. melanostictus was assayed after treating with various concentrations of berberine. A marked melanin dispersion response leading to skin darkening was observed in the isolated melanophores of toad in response to berberine, which was found to be mediated through beta-2 adrenergic receptors. The physiologically significant dose-related melanin dispersion effects of berberine per se were found to be completely abolished by propranolol, which is a specific beta-2 adrenergic receptor blocker. These per se melanin dispersal effects were also found to be markedly potentiated by isoprenaline, which is a specific beta-adrenoceptor agonist. The results indicate that berberine causes a tremendous, dose-dependent, physiologically significant pigment dispersing in the isolated skin melanophores of B. melanostictus.

  4. Low temperature stimulates alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone secretion and inhibits background adaptation in Xenopus laevis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tonosaki, Y; Cruijsen, P.M.; Nishiyama, K; Yaginuma, H; Roubos, E.W.

    2004-01-01

    It is well-known that alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) release from the amphibian pars intermedia (PI) depends on the light condition of the animal's background, permitting the animal to adapt the colour of its skin to background light intensity. In the present study, we carried out

  5. Nigella sativa seed extract and its bioactive compound thymoquinone: the new melanogens causing hyperpigmentation in the wall lizard melanophores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Sharique A; Meitei, Keisham V

    2011-05-01

    The effects of the lyophilized seed extract of Nigella sativa and its active ingredient, thymoquinone, were studied on the isolated melanophores of the wall lizard to find the mechanism of skin darkening at the cellular level. The integumental melanophores of the wall lizard, Hemidactylus flaviviridis, were assayed using the mean melanophore size index and their responses were recorded in the presence of various concentrations of the plant extract, thymoquinone, specific antagonists and potentiator. Significant skin darkening activity of the extract of N. sativa and thymoquinone was observed on the isolated melanophores of the wall lizard. The pigment cells responded by distinct dispersion leading to skin darkening. The effect was physiologically significant as re-immersion in physiological saline made the melanophores return to their normal intermediate state. These melanin dispersal effects were antagonized by atropine as well as hyoscine and were also found to be highly potentiated by neostigmine, an anticholinesterase agent. These findings suggest that the extract of N. sativa, as well as its active principle, mimic the action of acetylcholine in melanin dispersion leading to skin darkening via stimulation of cholinergic receptors of muscarinic nature within the melanophores of wall lizard. This study opens new vistas for the use of N. sativa active ingredient, thymoquinone, as a novel melanogen for its clinical application in skin disorders such as hypopigmentation or vitiligo. © 2011 The Authors. JPP © 2011 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

  6. PACAP system evolution and its role in melanophore function in teleost fish skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, João C R; Félix, Rute C; Martins, Rute S T; Trindade, Marlene; Fonseca, Vera G; Fuentes, Juan; Power, Deborah M

    2015-08-15

    Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) administered to tilapia melanophores ex-vivo causes significant pigment aggregation and this is a newly identified function for this peptide in fish. The G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), adcyap1r1a (encoding Pac1a) and vipr2a (encoding Vpac2a), are the only receptors in melanophores with appreciable levels of expression and are significantly (p skin and that the melanin aggregating effect of PACAP results from the interaction of Pac1a with Ramp that attenuates cAMP-dependent PKA activity and favours the Ca(2+)/Calmodulin dependent pathway. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The expression of melanopsin and clock genes in Xenopus laevis melanophores and their modulation by melatonin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bluhm, A.P.C.; Obeid, N.N.; Castrucci, A.M.L.; Visconti, M.A. [Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2012-05-25

    Vertebrates have a central clock and also several peripheral clocks. Light responses might result from the integration of light signals by these clocks. The dermal melanophores of Xenopus laevis have a photoreceptor molecule denominated melanopsin (OPN4x). The mechanisms of the circadian clock involve positive and negative feedback. We hypothesize that these dermal melanophores also present peripheral clock characteristics. Using quantitative PCR, we analyzed the pattern of temporal expression of Opn4x and the clock genes Per1, Per2, Bmal1, and Clock in these cells subjected to a 14-h light:10-h dark (14L:10D) regime or constant darkness (DD). Also, in view of the physiological role of melatonin in the dermal melanophores of X. laevis, we determined whether melatonin modulates the expression of these clock genes. These genes show a time-dependent expression pattern when these cells are exposed to 14L:10D, which differs from the pattern observed under DD. Cells kept in DD for 5 days exhibited overall increased mRNA expression for Opn4x and Clock, and a lower expression for Per1, Per2, and Bmal1. When the cells were kept in DD for 5 days and treated with melatonin for 1 h, 24 h before extraction, the mRNA levels tended to decrease for Opn4x and Clock, did not change for Bmal1, and increased for Per1 and Per2 at different Zeitgeber times (ZT). Although these data are limited to one-day data collection, and therefore preliminary, we suggest that the dermal melanophores of X. laevis might have some characteristics of a peripheral clock, and that melatonin modulates, to a certain extent, melanopsin and clock gene expression.

  8. The expression of melanopsin and clock genes in Xenopus laevis melanophores and their modulation by melatonin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bluhm, A.P.C.; Obeid, N.N.; Castrucci, A.M.L.; Visconti, M.A.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrates have a central clock and also several peripheral clocks. Light responses might result from the integration of light signals by these clocks. The dermal melanophores of Xenopus laevis have a photoreceptor molecule denominated melanopsin (OPN4x). The mechanisms of the circadian clock involve positive and negative feedback. We hypothesize that these dermal melanophores also present peripheral clock characteristics. Using quantitative PCR, we analyzed the pattern of temporal expression of Opn4x and the clock genes Per1, Per2, Bmal1, and Clock in these cells subjected to a 14-h light:10-h dark (14L:10D) regime or constant darkness (DD). Also, in view of the physiological role of melatonin in the dermal melanophores of X. laevis, we determined whether melatonin modulates the expression of these clock genes. These genes show a time-dependent expression pattern when these cells are exposed to 14L:10D, which differs from the pattern observed under DD. Cells kept in DD for 5 days exhibited overall increased mRNA expression for Opn4x and Clock, and a lower expression for Per1, Per2, and Bmal1. When the cells were kept in DD for 5 days and treated with melatonin for 1 h, 24 h before extraction, the mRNA levels tended to decrease for Opn4x and Clock, did not change for Bmal1, and increased for Per1 and Per2 at different Zeitgeber times (ZT). Although these data are limited to one-day data collection, and therefore preliminary, we suggest that the dermal melanophores of X. laevis might have some characteristics of a peripheral clock, and that melatonin modulates, to a certain extent, melanopsin and clock gene expression

  9. Mediation of cholino-piperine like receptors by extracts of Piper nigrum induces melanin dispersion in Rana tigerina tadpole melanophores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajid, Mohammed; Ali, Sharique A

    2011-08-01

    The present study was carried out to determine the effects of lyophilized dried fruit extracts of Piper nigrum and pure piperine on the tadpole melanophores of frog Rana tigerina which offer excellent in vitro opportunities for studying the effects of pharmacological and pharmaceutical agents. The nature of specific cellular receptors present on the neuro-melanophore junction and their involvement in pigmentary responses has been explored. Effects of lyophilized extracts of P. nigrum and pure piperine were studied on the isolated tail melanophores of tadpoles of the frog R. tigerina as per the modified method. The extract of P. nigrum and its active ingredient piperine caused significant melanin dispersal responses leading to darkening of the tail melanophores, which were completely antagonized by atropine and hyoscine. These per se melanin dispersal effects were also found to be markedly potentiated by neostigmine an anticholinesterase agent. It appears that the melanin dispersal effects of the extracts of P. nigrum and pure piperine leading to skin darkening are mediated by cholinergic muscarinic or piperine-like receptors having similar properties.

  10. Carbon ion induced DNA double-strand breaks in melanophore B{sub 16}

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei Zengquan; Zhou Guangming; Wang Jufang; He Jing; Li Qiang; Li Wenjian; Xie Hongmei; Cai Xichen; Tao Huang; Dang Bingrong; Han Guangwu [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou (China). Inst. of Modern Physics; Gao Qingxiang [Lanzhou Univ. (China)

    1997-09-01

    DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in melanophore B{sub 16} induced by plateau and extended Bragg peak of 75 MeV/u {sup 12}C{sup 6+} ions were studied by using a technique of inverse pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PIGE). DNA fragment lengths were distributed in two ranges: the larger in 1.4 Mbp-3.2 Mbp and the smaller in less than 1.2 Mbp. It indicates that distribution of DNA fragments induced by heavy ion irradiation is not stochastic and there probably are sensitive sites to heavy ions in DNA molecules of B{sub 16}. Percentage of DNA released from plug (PR) increased and trended towards a quasi-plateau {proportional_to}85% as dose increased. Content of the larger fragments decreased and flattened with increasing dose while content of the smaller ones increased and trended towards saturation. (orig.)

  11. Carbon ion induced DNA double-strand breaks in melanophore B16

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Zengquan; Zhou Guangming; Wang Jufang; He Jing; Li Qiang; Li Wenjian; Xie Hongmei; Cai Xichen; Tao Huang; Dang Bingrong; Han Guangwu

    1997-01-01

    DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in melanophore B 16 induced by plateau and extended Bragg peak of 75 MeV/u 12 C 6+ ions were studied by using a technique of inverse pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PIGE). DNA fragment lengths were distributed in two ranges: the larger in 1.4 Mbp-3.2 Mbp and the smaller in less than 1.2 Mbp. It indicates that distribution of DNA fragments induced by heavy ion irradiation is not stochastic and there probably are sensitive sites to heavy ions in DNA molecules of B 16 . Percentage of DNA released from plug (PR) increased and trended towards a quasi-plateau ∝85% as dose increased. Content of the larger fragments decreased and flattened with increasing dose while content of the smaller ones increased and trended towards saturation. (orig.)

  12. Effects of gamma-irradiation on the rejection of transplanted scale melanophores in the teleost, Oryzias latipes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kikuchi, S.; Egami, N.

    1983-01-01

    The effects of gamma-irradiation on allograft rejection in the teleost, Oryzias latipes, were examined at 25 degrees C. The survival of melanophores in the transplanted scale was observed as an index of rejection. Allografts were rejected in non-irradiated fish within 7 days. In the gamma-irradiated recipients (2kR), the grafts were rejected more slowly, but still within 20 days. The gamma-ray effects, however, disappeared almost completely within 25 days after the irradiation. If the same recipient again received transplants, the secondary response occurred clearly and the melanophores were rejected very rapidly. The secondary response was suppressed by gamma-rays if the fish was irradiated just before the second transplantation. Immunologic memory against the first transplants disappeared within 30 days, a period shorter than that of mammals

  13. Melanophore migration and survival during zebrafish adult pigment stripe development require the immunoglobulin superfamily adhesion molecule Igsf11.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dae Seok Eom

    Full Text Available The zebrafish adult pigment pattern has emerged as a useful model for understanding the development and evolution of adult form as well as pattern-forming mechanisms more generally. In this species, a series of horizontal melanophore stripes arises during the larval-to-adult transformation, but the genetic and cellular bases for stripe formation remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the seurat mutant phenotype, consisting of an irregular spotted pattern, arises from lesions in the gene encoding Immunoglobulin superfamily member 11 (Igsf11. We find that Igsf11 is expressed by melanophores and their precursors, and we demonstrate by cell transplantation and genetic rescue that igsf11 functions autonomously to this lineage in promoting adult stripe development. Further analyses of cell behaviors in vitro, in vivo, and in explant cultures ex vivo demonstrate that Igsf11 mediates adhesive interactions and that mutants for igsf11 exhibit defects in both the migration and survival of melanophores and their precursors. These findings identify the first in vivo requirements for igsf11 as well as the first instance of an immunoglobulin superfamily member functioning in pigment cell development and patterning. Our results provide new insights into adult pigment pattern morphogenesis and how cellular interactions mediate pattern formation.

  14. Regulation of Melanopsins and Per1 by α-MSH and Melatonin in Photosensitive Xenopus laevis Melanophores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Nathália de Carvalho Magalhães Moraes

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available α-MSH and light exert a dispersing effect on pigment granules of Xenopus laevis melanophores; however, the intracellular signaling pathways are different. Melatonin, a hormone that functions as an internal signal of darkness for the organism, has opposite effects, aggregating the melanin granules. Because light functions as an important synchronizing signal for circadian rhythms, we further investigated the effects of both hormones on genes related to the circadian system, namely, Per1 (one of the clock genes and the melanopsins, Opn4x and Opn4m (photopigments. Per1 showed temporal oscillations, regardless of the presence of melatonin or α-MSH, which slightly inhibited its expression. Melatonin effects on melanopsins depend on the time of application: if applied in the photophase it dramatically decreased Opn4x and Opn4m expressions, and abolished their temporal oscillations, opposite to α-MSH, which increased the melanopsins’ expressions. Our results demonstrate that unlike what has been reported for other peripheral clocks and cultured cells, medium changes or hormones do not play a major role in synchronizing the Xenopus melanophore population. This difference is probably due to the fact that X. laevis melanophores possess functional photopigments (melanopsins that enable these cells to primarily respond to light, which triggers melanin dispersion and modulates gene expression.

  15. Low temperature stimulates alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone secretion and inhibits background adaptation in Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonosaki, Y; Cruijsen, P M J M; Nishiyama, K; Yaginuma, H; Roubos, E W

    2004-11-01

    It is well-known that alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) release from the amphibian pars intermedia (PI) depends on the light condition of the animal's background, permitting the animal to adapt the colour of its skin to background light intensity. In the present study, we carried out nine experiments on the effect of low temperature on this skin adaptation process in the toad Xenopus laevis, using the skin melanophore index (MI) bioassay and a radioimmunoassay to measure skin colour adaptation and alpha-MSH secretion, respectively. We show that temperatures below 8 degrees C stimulate alpha-MSH secretion and skin darkening, with a maximum at 5 degrees C, independent of the illumination state of the background. No significant stimulatory effect of low temperature on the MI and alpha-MSH plasma contents was noted when the experiment was repeated with toads from which the neurointermediate lobe (NIL) had been surgically extirpated. This indicates that low temperature stimulates alpha-MSH release from melanotrope cells located in the PI. An in vitro superfusion study with the NIL demonstrated that low temperature does not act directly on the PI. A possible role of the central nervous system in cold-induced alpha-MSH release from the PI was tested by studying the hypothalamic expression of c-Fos (as an indicator for neuronal activity) and the coexistence of c-Fos with the regulators of melanotrope cell activity, neuropeptide Y (NPY) and thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH), using double fluorescence immunocytochemistry. Upon lowering temperature from 22 degrees C to 5 degrees C, in white-adapted animals c-Fos expression decreased in NPY-producing suprachiasmatic-melanotrope-inhibiting neurones (SMIN) in the ventrolateral area of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SC) but increased in TRH-containing neurones of the magnocellular nucleus. TRH is known to stimulate melanotrope alpha-MSH release. We conclude that temperatures around 5 degrees C inactivate the SMIN

  16. Study of the effects of the casein derived bitter tastant on the melanophores in milieu with the melatonin receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mubashshir, Md; Ahmed, Fraz; Ovais, Mohd

    2011-10-01

    The present study was undertaken to ascertain whether the casein derived bitter tastant Cyclo (Leu-Trp) [CLT] has an affinity or not for the particular receptors of the pineal hormone, melatonin, on the melanophores of a major carp Labeo rohita (Ham.). The bitter tastant CLT, in the dose range of 3.34×10(-16) M to 3.34×10(-4) M, has induced an aggregatory effect but not in a dose dependent manner. Binding of CLT with the receptors may vary at different concentrations. Denervation of the melanophores has shown a complete inhibition of the CLT mediated aggregation. Prazosin has partially inhibited the aggregatory effect of CLT. Moreover, the bitter tastant's response is mediated through the α2 adrenoceptors only at particular dose ranges. The MT1 and MT2 melatonin receptor antagonist luzindole and the MT2 specific antagonist K185 have perfectly blocked the aggregatory effects of CLT. We have found that the CLT mediated aggregatory effect is dependent upon the release of neurotransmitters and the two subtypes of melatonin (MT) receptors (MT1 and MT2) possess a perfect affinity towards the bitter tastant CLT. Our study demands a need to further make a clinical research on the effects of bitter tastants on the physiology of the biological rhythm maintaining hormone melatonin.

  17. A developmental analysis of periodic albinism in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagleson, Gerald W; van der Heijden, Roel A; Roubos, Eric W; Jenks, Bruce G

    2010-09-01

    The periodic albino of Xenopus laevis displays a transitory presence of black melanin pigment in the embryo but looses this during tadpole development. This mutation, involving a recessive allele, affects melanogenesis in dermal melanophore pigment cells. It has been suggested that the mutation is intrinsic to the melanophore cell itself or, alternatively, reflects malfunction in the neuroendocrine system that regulates melanophore cell function. This latter system, involving pituitary melanotrope cells which produces alpha-melanophore stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), is responsible for stimulating the production and dispersion of melanin pigment in dermal melanophores. The purpose of the present study was to determine to which degree the albinism is intrinsic to the melanophore or involves neuroendocrine malfunction. Experiments involved transplantation of presumptive melanophores from wild-type to albino embryos, and vice versa, immunocytochemical analysis of the albino neuroendocrine system and the creation of wild-type/albino parabiotic animals to determine if the neuroendocrine system of the albino can support melanotrope cell function. We show that the albino has a functional neuroendocrine system and conclude that the defect in the albino primarily affects the melanophore cell, possibly rendering it incapable of responding to alpha-MSH. It is also apparent from our results that in later stages of development the cellular environment of the melanotrope cell does become important to its development, but the nature of the critical cellular factors involved remains to be determined. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. In vitro analysis suggests that difference in cell movement during direct interaction can generate various pigment patterns in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Hiroaki; Kondo, Shigeru

    2014-02-04

    Pigment patterns of organisms have invoked strong interest from not only biologists but also, scientists in many other fields. Zebrafish is a useful model animal for studying the mechanism of pigment pattern formation. The zebrafish stripe pattern is primarily two types of pigment cells: melanophores and xanthophores. Previous studies have reported that interactions among these pigment cells are important for pattern formation. In the recent report, we found that the direct contact by xanthophores induces the membrane depolarization of melanophores. From analysis of jaguar mutants, it is suggested that the depolarization affects the movements of melanophores. To analyze the cell movement in detail, we established a unique in vitro system. It allowed us to find that WT xanthophores induced repulsive movement of melanophores through direct contact. The xanthophores also chased the melanophores. As a result, they showed run-and-chase movements. We also analyzed the cell movement of pigment cells from jaguar and leopard mutants, which have fuzzy stripes and spot patterns, respectively. jaguar cells showed inhibited run-and-chase movements, and leopard melanophores scarcely showed repulsive response. Furthermore, we paired mutant and WT cells and showed which of the melanophores and xanthophores have responsibility for the altered cell movements. These results suggested that there is a correspondence relationship between the cell movements and pigment patterns. The correspondence relationship highlighted the importance of the cell movements in the pattern formation and showed that our system is a quite useful system for future study in this field.

  19. Environment Sentinel Biomonitor Technology Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-01

    organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides . This was considered an essential capability for an ESB system because none of the other toxicity sensors were sensitive...optimized test tickets resulted in excellent detection of organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides through the use of a simple test procedure and...Company; Loveland, CO) toxicity test Melanophore Melanophore toxicity sensor Microtox and Deltatox Microtox and Deltatox (Modern Water; New Castle, DE

  20. Regeneration of neural crest derivatives in the Xenopus tadpole tail

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slack Jonathan MW

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background After amputation of the Xenopus tadpole tail, a functionally competent new tail is regenerated. It contains spinal cord, notochord and muscle, each of which has previously been shown to derive from the corresponding tissue in the stump. The regeneration of the neural crest derivatives has not previously been examined and is described in this paper. Results Labelling of the spinal cord by electroporation, or by orthotopic grafting of transgenic tissue expressing GFP, shows that no cells emigrate from the spinal cord in the course of regeneration. There is very limited regeneration of the spinal ganglia, but new neurons as well as fibre tracts do appear in the regenerated spinal cord and the regenerated tail also contains abundant peripheral innervation. The regenerated tail contains a normal density of melanophores. Cell labelling experiments show that melanophores do not arise from the spinal cord during regeneration, nor from the mesenchymal tissues of the skin, but they do arise by activation and proliferation of pre-existing melanophore precursors. If tails are prepared lacking melanophores, then the regenerates also lack them. Conclusion On regeneration there is no induction of a new neural crest similar to that seen in embryonic development. However there is some regeneration of neural crest derivatives. Abundant melanophores are regenerated from unpigmented precursors, and, although spinal ganglia are not regenerated, sufficient sensory systems are produced to enable essential functions to continue.

  1. Methionine enkephalin-induced changes in pigmentation of zebrafish (Cyprinidae, Brachydanio rerio) and related species and varieties, measured videodensitometrically. I. Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levina, S; Gordon, R

    1983-09-01

    The ability of MSH and of methionine enkephalin (met-E) to induce dispersion of pigment granules was examined in melanophores and in xanthophores of the zebrafish Brachydanio rerio using the melanophore index (MI) and videodensitometry. Both methods gave similar results. In B. rerio both MSH and met-E induced pigment dispersion in dermal melanophores, in fin and peritoneal melanophores, and in xanthophores. Darkening lasted a few hours. However, met-E-induced darkening developed 40-50 min later and faded more slowly than the effect of MSH. Both effects were dose related. Naloxone prevented met-E-induced darkening while it did not interfere with the MSH-induced effect. Epidermal melanophores did not react to either MSH or met-E. Thus met-E proved to induce changes of coloration when injected into a fish. Our data suggest a central mechanism involved in met-E-mediated change of coloration in zebrafish under the conditions examined. A new approach was suggested for objective measurement of the mean body darkness of the fish with the help of computational videodensitometry. Our fist results indicate a proportionality between the MI evaluation and videodensitometry.

  2. Positive Relationship between Abdominal Coloration and Dermal Melanin Density in Phrynosomatid Lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanessa S. Quinn; Diana K. Hews

    2003-01-01

    Phrynosomatid lizards show considerable variation among species in the occurrence of a secondary sexual trait, blue abdominal coloration. The production of blue skin may be controlled by at least two cellular components, melanin in melanophores, and guanine in iridophores. To examine the hypothesis that a mechanism producing variation in abdominal coloration is...

  3. Larval development of Gilchristella aestuaria (Gilchrist, 1914 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1992-06-04

    Jun 4, 1992 ... nae. C. aestuaria is the only species of this subfamily to occur in southern Africa and is endemic to the region. (Whitehead & Wongratana 1991). In G. aestuaria preflexion larvae lhe melanophores are ..... demonstration of cartilage. Slain technoJ. 52: 229-232. HARRISON, T.D. & WHITFIELD,A.K. 1990.

  4. Gene expression profiling of pituitary melanotrope cells during their physiological activation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuribara, M.; Bakel, N.H. van; Ramekers, D.; Gouw, D. de; Neijts, R.; Roubos, E.W.; Scheenen, W.J.; Martens, G.J.M.; Jenks, B.G.

    2012-01-01

    The pituitary melanotrope cells of the amphibian Xenopus laevis are responsible for the production of the pigment-dispersing peptide alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone, which allows the animal to adapt its skin color to its environment. During adaptation to a dark background the melanotrope cells

  5. Morphological differences in the skin of marble trout Salmo marmoratus and of brown trout Salmo trutta

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sivka, U.; Halačka, Karel; Sušnik Bajec, S.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 50, č. 2 (2012), s. 255-262 ISSN 0239-8508 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR 1QS500450513 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : melanophore * epidermis * dermis * colour pattern * pigmentation Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.101, year: 2012 http://czasopisma.viamedica.pl/fhc/article/view/14750

  6. A description of the early life history stages of the kob, Argyrosomus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Argyrosomus hololepidotus larvae are characterized by melanophores behind the head, at the anal fin base, on the caudal fin, on the abdomen, in the angle of the jaw and at the jaw isthmus. Medio-lateral pigmentation increases markedly in early juveniles. Osteological development is described from a series of cleared ...

  7. Background adaptation and water acidification affect pigmentation and stress physiology of tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salm, A.L. van der; Spanings, F.A.T.; Gresnigt, R.; Wendelaar Bonga, S.E.; Flik, G.

    2005-01-01

    The ability to adjust skin darkness to the background is a common phenomenon in fish. The hormone alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alphaMSH) enhances skin darkening. In Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus L., alphaMSH acts as a corticotropic hormone during adaptation to water with a

  8. Chromatophore distribution and inferior performance of albino Japanese flounder Paralichthys olivaceus with special reference to different chromatophore expression between albinism and pseudo-albinism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shikano, Takahito; Shimada, Yukinori; Nakamura, Aiko

    2007-05-01

    Albinism with a large variation in body color was found in a hatchery population of Japanese flounder. In addition to albinism, ambicoloration and pseudo-albinism were simultaneously observed in some individuals. Albinos had a remarkably lower number of melanophores on the scales of ocular side than wild-type individuals did, although no significant difference was observed in the numbers of xanthophores and iridophores. The intensity of body color significantly correlated with the number of melanophores among the albinos. No significant differences were observed in the intensity of body color and the number of melanophores between the ocular side and the ambicoloration area. Pseudo-albinism was accompanied by the reductions of melanophores and xanthophores, indicating the different expression patterns of chromatophores between albinism and pseudo-albinism. The combined effects of albinism and pseudo-albinism caused the disappearances of melanophores and xanthophores in the pseudo-albinism area of albinos. In addition to chromatophores, the different characteristics of several phenotypic traits were observed between albinos and wild-type individuals. Growth-related traits of the albinos were inferior to those of the wild-type individuals. Furthermore, the albinos had a larger pseudo-albinism area and a higher vertebral deformed rate than the wild-type individuals did. Individual multilocus heterozygosity and inbreeding coefficient measured by microsatellite loci did not show any indication that the albinos had higher inbreeding coefficient than the wild-type individuals did. This study demonstrated the expression patterns of chromatophores in the body color abnormalities of a flatfish species and the potential pleiotropic effects of an albinism gene on some phenotypic traits.

  9. Origins of adult pigmentation: diversity in pigment stem cell lineages and implications for pattern evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parichy, David M; Spiewak, Jessica E

    2015-01-01

    Teleosts comprise about half of all vertebrate species and exhibit an extraordinary diversity of adult pigment patterns that function in shoaling, camouflage, and mate choice and have played important roles in speciation. Here, we review studies that have identified several distinct neural crest lineages, with distinct genetic requirements, that give rise to adult pigment cells in fishes. These lineages include post-embryonic, peripheral nerve-associated stem cells that generate black melanophores and iridescent iridophores, cells derived directly from embryonic neural crest cells that generate yellow-orange xanthophores, and bipotent stem cells that generate both melanophores and xanthophores. This complexity in adult chromatophore lineages has implications for our understanding of adult traits, melanoma, and the evolutionary diversification of pigment cell lineages and patterns. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Morphological and molecular characterization of dietary-induced pseudo-albinism during post-embryonic development of Solea senegalensis (Kaup, 1858.

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    Maria J Darias

    Full Text Available The appearance of the pseudo-albino phenotype was investigated in developing Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis, Kaup 1858 larvae at morphological and molecular levels. In order to induce the development of pseudo-albinos, Senegalese sole larvae were fed Artemia enriched with high levels of arachidonic acid (ARA. The development of their skin pigmentation was compared to that of a control group fed Artemia enriched with a reference commercial product. The relative amount of skin melanophores, xanthophores and iridophores revealed that larval pigmentation developed similarly in both groups. However, results from different relative proportions, allocation patterns, shapes and sizes of skin chromatophores revealed changes in the pigmentation pattern between ARA and control groups from 33 days post hatching onwards. The new populations of chromatophores that should appear at post-metamorphosis were not formed in the ARA group. Further, spatial patterns of distribution between the already present larval xanthophores and melanophores were suggestive of short-range interaction that seemed to be implicated in the degradation of these chromatophores, leading to the appearance of the pseudo-albino phenotype. The expression profile of several key pigmentation-related genes revealed that melanophore development was promoted in pseudo-albinos without a sufficient degree of terminal differentiation, thus preventing melanogenesis. Present results suggest the potential roles of asip1 and slc24a5 genes on the down-regulation of trp1 expression, leading to defects in melanin production. Moreover, gene expression data supports the involvement of pax3, mitf and asip1 genes in the developmental disruption of the new post-metamorphic populations of melanophores, xanthophores and iridophores.

  11. Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Dietary-Induced Pseudo-Albinism during Post-Embryonic Development of Solea senegalensis (Kaup, 1858)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darias, Maria J.; Andree, Karl B.; Boglino, Anaïs; Rotllant, Josep; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel; Estévez, Alicia; Gisbert, Enric

    2013-01-01

    The appearance of the pseudo-albino phenotype was investigated in developing Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis, Kaup 1858) larvae at morphological and molecular levels. In order to induce the development of pseudo-albinos, Senegalese sole larvae were fed Artemia enriched with high levels of arachidonic acid (ARA). The development of their skin pigmentation was compared to that of a control group fed Artemia enriched with a reference commercial product. The relative amount of skin melanophores, xanthophores and iridophores revealed that larval pigmentation developed similarly in both groups. However, results from different relative proportions, allocation patterns, shapes and sizes of skin chromatophores revealed changes in the pigmentation pattern between ARA and control groups from 33 days post hatching onwards. The new populations of chromatophores that should appear at post-metamorphosis were not formed in the ARA group. Further, spatial patterns of distribution between the already present larval xanthophores and melanophores were suggestive of short-range interaction that seemed to be implicated in the degradation of these chromatophores, leading to the appearance of the pseudo-albino phenotype. The expression profile of several key pigmentation-related genes revealed that melanophore development was promoted in pseudo-albinos without a sufficient degree of terminal differentiation, thus preventing melanogenesis. Present results suggest the potential roles of asip1 and slc24a5 genes on the down-regulation of trp1 expression, leading to defects in melanin production. Moreover, gene expression data supports the involvement of pax3, mitf and asip1 genes in the developmental disruption of the new post-metamorphic populations of melanophores, xanthophores and iridophores. PMID:23874785

  12. Inductive differentiation of two neural lineages reconstituted in a microculture system from Xenopus early gastrula cells.

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    Mitani, S; Okamoto, H

    1991-05-01

    Neural induction of ectoderm cells has been reconstituted and examined in a microculture system derived from dissociated early gastrula cells of Xenopus laevis. We have used monoclonal antibodies as specific markers to monitor cellular differentiation from three distinct ectoderm lineages in culture (N1 for CNS neurons from neural tube, Me1 for melanophores from neural crest and E3 for skin epidermal cells from epidermal lineages). CNS neurons and melanophores differentiate when deep layer cells of the ventral ectoderm (VE, prospective epidermis region; 150 cells/culture) and an appropriate region of the marginal zone (MZ, prospective mesoderm region; 5-150 cells/culture) are co-cultured, but not in cultures of either cell type on their own; VE cells cultured alone yield epidermal cells as we have previously reported. The extent of inductive neural differentiation in the co-culture system strongly depends on the origin and number of MZ cells initially added to culture wells. The potency to induce CNS neurons is highest for dorsal MZ cells and sharply decreases as more ventrally located cells are used. The same dorsoventral distribution of potency is seen in the ability of MZ cells to inhibit epidermal differentiation. In contrast, the ability of MZ cells to induce melanophores shows the reverse polarity, ventral to dorsal. These data indicate that separate developmental mechanisms are used for the induction of neural tube and neural crest lineages. Co-differentiation of CNS neurons or melanophores with epidermal cells can be obtained in a single well of co-cultures of VE cells (150) and a wide range of numbers of MZ cells (5 to 100). Further, reproducible differentiation of both neural lineages requires intimate association between cells from the two gastrula regions; virtually no differentiation is obtained when cells from the VE and MZ are separated in a culture well. These results indicate that the inducing signals from MZ cells for both neural tube and neural

  13. Does MCH play a role on establishment or maintenance of social hierarchy in Nile tilapia?

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    Ramanzini, Guilherme Corrêa; Volpato, Gilson Luiz; Visconti, Maria Aparecida

    2018-01-01

    Body coloration has a fundamental role in animal communication by signaling sex, age, reproductive behavior, aggression, etc. Nile-tilapia exhibits dominance hierarchy and the dominants are paler than subordinates. During social interactions in these animals, these color changes occur rapidly, and normally the subordinates become dark. In teleosteans, from the great number of hormones and neurotransmitters involved in color changes, melanocyte hormone stimulates (α-MSH) and melanin concentrates hormone (MCH) are the most remarkable. The aim of this project was to investigate the role of MCH in the establishment of hierarchical dominance of the Nile-tilapia. We analyzed the effect of background coloration in the dominance hierarchy. It was then compared to the melanophore sensibility of dominants and subordinates' fishes to MCH; finally, it was checked if the social rank affects the number of these pigment cells in dominants and subordinated fishes. Fishes which have a social hierarchy established and adjusted individually to the background exhibits paler body coloration when a visual contact was possible, independently of previous social rank and background color. Probably, even recognizing each other, fishes could be defending their new territory. Melanophores of the subordinate fishes were more sensible to MCH than dominants. It suggests that dominants fishes, which are paler than subordinates, could be under a chronic effect of MCH, which could be due a desensitization of melanophores to this hormone. The opposite effect seems to be occurring on subordinate fishes. It was not observed a significant change in the number of melanophores when the fishes were exposed to a prolonged period of agonistic interaction. It is possible that the exposure time for this interaction might not have been sufficient to have any change in the number of these cells of dominants and subordinate fishes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. New species of miniature fish from Marajó Island, Pará, Brazil, with comments on its relationships (Characiformes: Characidae

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    Manoela M. F. Marinho

    Full Text Available A new miniature species of the family Characidae from Marajó Island, Pará State, Brazil is described and assigned to the genus Tyttobrycon. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners primarily by having multicuspid teeth on jaws, and additionally by having the combination of 5-7 premaxillary teeth, dorsal fin only with scattered melanophores and the presence of an adipose fin.

  15. Alpha-MSH, the melanocortin-1 receptor and background adaptation in the Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Salm, A L; Metz, J R; Bonga, S E Wendelaar; Flik, G

    2005-11-01

    The regulation of skin darkness in vertebrates is mediated by alpha-melanophore-stimulating-hormone (alphaMSH). For this action, alphaMSH binds to the melanocortin (MC)-1 receptor, a 7-transmembrane receptor located in melanophore cell membranes. The Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus, can change the hue of its body in response to a change in background, a process that may involve alphaMSH and the MC1R. Scale melanophores were isolated from tilapia that were acclimatised for 25 days to a black, control grey or white background and then tested for their sensitivity to des-, mono-, and di-acetylated alphaMSH. On all backgrounds, mono-acetylated alphaMSH was the dominant isoform present in pituitary homogenates. Mono-acetylated alphaMSH also had the highest potency to disperse melanosomes. Black background adapted fish showed the highest dispersing response to alphaMSH, independent of the isoform applied. We elucidated the nucleotide and amino acid sequence of the tilapia MC1R. We show that its expression in skin does not change when tilapia are acclimatised for 25 days to a black, grey or white background, while a clear change in hue is visible. This finding, combined with the absence of differential MC1R gene expression following background acclimation indicates that the increased sensitivity to alphaMSH is most likely a result of changes in the intracellular signalling system in melanophores of black background adapted fish, rather than up-regulation of the MC1R.

  16. Histology and ultrastructure of the integumental chromatophores in tokay gecko (Gekko gecko) (Linnaeus, 1758) skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szydłowski, Paweł; Madej, Jan Paweł; Mazurkiewicz-Kania, Marta

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes the relationship between the arrangement of dermal chromatophores in tokay gecko ( Gekko gecko ) skin and the formation of wild-type colouration, with emphasis on the ultrastructure of chromatophores. The samples of the tokay gecko skin were collected from wild-type colouration adult specimens. Morphology and distribution of chromatophores was determined by using light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The present study revealed that orange/red coloured skin of G. gecko contained erythrophores, which were located under basement membrane, and usually comprised deeper situated iridophores and melanophores which were form single layer with iridophores or were occupying the deepest region of dermis. In orange/red coloured skin, erythrophores were the predominant chromatophores. However in blue areas these cells occurred in small numbers or were not noticed at all. In blue pigmented areas predominated iridophores and melanophores. Iridophores were found just under basement membrane, but this superficial location of iridophores occured only in areas without erythrophores. Distribution of erythrophores, melanophores, and iridophores determines the characteristic blue colour of the tokay gecko skin with orange/red dots on the whole body.

  17. Post-embryonic nerve-associated precursors to adult pigment cells: genetic requirements and dynamics of morphogenesis and differentiation.

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    Erine H Budi

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The pigment cells of vertebrates serve a variety of functions and generate a stunning variety of patterns. These cells are also implicated in human pathologies including melanoma. Whereas the events of pigment cell development have been studied extensively in the embryo, much less is known about morphogenesis and differentiation of these cells during post-embryonic stages. Previous studies of zebrafish revealed genetically distinct populations of embryonic and adult melanophores, the ectotherm homologue of amniote melanocytes. Here, we use molecular markers, vital labeling, time-lapse imaging, mutational analyses, and transgenesis to identify peripheral nerves as a niche for precursors to adult melanophores that subsequently migrate to the skin to form the adult pigment pattern. We further identify genetic requirements for establishing, maintaining, and recruiting precursors to the adult melanophore lineage and demonstrate novel compensatory behaviors during pattern regulation in mutant backgrounds. Finally, we show that distinct populations of latent precursors having differential regenerative capabilities persist into the adult. These findings provide a foundation for future studies of post-embryonic pigment cell precursors in development, evolution, and neoplasia.

  18. Pigment Pattern Formation in the Guppy, Poecilia reticulata, Involves the Kita and Csf1ra Receptor Tyrosine Kinases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kottler, Verena A.; Fadeev, Andrey; Weigel, Detlef; Dreyer, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Males of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) vary tremendously in their ornamental patterns, which are thought to have evolved in response to a complex interplay between natural and sexual selection. Although the selection pressures acting on the color patterns of the guppy have been extensively studied, little is known about the genes that control their ontogeny. Over 50 years ago, two autosomal color loci, blue and golden, were described, both of which play a decisive role in the formation of the guppy color pattern. Orange pigmentation is absent in the skin of guppies with a lesion in blue, suggesting a defect in xanthophore development. In golden mutants, the development of the melanophore pattern during embryogenesis and after birth is affected. Here, we show that blue and golden correspond to guppy orthologs of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor a (csf1ra; previously called fms) and kita. Most excitingly, we found that both genes are required for the development of the black ornaments of guppy males, which in the case of csf1ra might be mediated by xanthophore–melanophore interactions. Furthermore, we provide evidence that two temporally and genetically distinct melanophore populations contribute to the adult camouflage pattern expressed in both sexes: one early appearing and kita-dependent and the other late-developing and kita-independent. The identification of csf1ra and kita mutants provides the first molecular insights into pigment pattern formation in this important model species for ecological and evolutionary genetics. PMID:23666934

  19. Comparison of pigment cell ultrastructure and organisation in the dermis of marble trout and brown trout, and first description of erythrophore ultrastructure in salmonids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djurdjevič, Ida; Kreft, Mateja Erdani; Sušnik Bajec, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Skin pigmentation in animals is an important trait with many functions. The present study focused on two closely related salmonid species, marble trout (Salmo marmoratus) and brown trout (S. trutta), which display an uncommon labyrinthine (marble-like) and spot skin pattern, respectively. To determine the role of chromatophore type in the different formation of skin pigment patterns in the two species, the distribution and ultrastructure of chromatophores was examined with light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The presence of three types of chromatophores in trout skin was confirmed: melanophores; xanthophores; and iridophores. In addition, using correlative microscopy, erythrophore ultrastructure in salmonids was described for the first time. Two types of erythrophores are distinguished, both located exclusively in the skin of brown trout: type 1 in black spot skin sections similar to xanthophores; and type 2 with a unique ultrastructure, located only in red spot skin sections. Morphologically, the difference between the light and dark pigmentation of trout skin depends primarily on the position and density of melanophores, in the dark region covering other chromatophores, and in the light region with the iridophores and xanthophores usually exposed. With larger amounts of melanophores, absence of xanthophores and presence of erythrophores type 1 and type L iridophores in the black spot compared with the light regions and the presence of erythrophores type 2 in the red spot, a higher level of pigment cell organisation in the skin of brown trout compared with that of marble trout was demonstrated. Even though the skin regions with chromatophores were well defined, not all the chromatophores were in direct contact, either homophilically or heterophilically, with each other. In addition to short-range interactions, an important role of the cellular environment and long-range interactions between chromatophores in promoting adult pigment pattern

  20. Polyglutamylation of atlantic cod tubulin: immunochemical localization and possible role in pigment granule transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klotz, A; Rutberg, M; Denoulet, P; Wallin, M

    1999-12-01

    In higher organisms, there is a large variety of tubulin isoforms, due to multiple tubulin genes and extensive post-translational modification. The properties of microtubules may be modulated by their tubulin isoform composition. Polyglutamylation is a post-translational modification that is thought to influence binding of both structural microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) and mechano-chemical motors to tubulin. The present study investigates the role of tubulin polyglutamylation in a vesicle transporting system, cod (Gadus morhua) melanophores. We did this by microinjecting an antibody against polyglutamylated tubulin into these cells. To put our results into perspective, and to be able to judge their universal application, we characterized cod tubulin polyglutamylation by Western blotting technique, and compared it to what is known from mammals. We found high levels of polyglutamylation in tissues and cell types whose functions are highly dependent on interactions between microtubules and motor proteins. Microinjection of the anti-polyglutamylation antibody GT335 into cultured melanophores interfered with pigment granule dispersion, while dynein-dependent aggregation was unaffected. Additional experiments showed that GT335-injected cells were able to aggregate pigment even when actin filaments were depolymerized, indicating that the maintained ability of pigment aggregation in these cells was indeed microtubule-based and did not depend upon actin filaments. The results indicate that dynein and the kinesin-like dispersing motor protein in cod melanophores bind to tubulin on slightly different sites, and perhaps depend differentially on polyglutamylation for their interaction with microtubules. The binding site of the dispersing motor may bind directly to the polyglutamate chain, or more closely than dynein. Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. [A new species of frog of the genus Hyalinobatrachium (Anura: Centrolenidae) of the Delta of the Orinoco River, Venezuela].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celsa Señaris, J; Ayarzagüena, J

    2001-01-01

    A new species of Hyalinobatrachium of the fleischmanni group, H. mondolfii, is described from the Orinoco delta floodplains in Venezuela. This new species can be distinguished from other congeners by the following combination of characters: parietal peritoneum clear, pericardium white, visceral and hepatic peritoneum white, color in life pale green with diminute yellow spots and, in preservative, cream with small dark melanophores (visible only under magnification), bones white in life, extense webbing, snout round in dorsal view and inclinate in lateral view, dorsal skin granulate and a advertisement call with a fundamental frequency greater than 5000 Hz.

  2. Cultures of skin fragments of Salamandra salamandra salamandra (L.) larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pederzoli, A; Restani, C

    1998-04-01

    As part of a study on the pigmentary system of Salamandra salamandra salamandra (L.), we cultured skin fragments of 7-10-day-old larvae in order to examine the expression of molecules implicated in cellular adhesion and migration and in regulating cell-cell relationships. Keratinocytes, fibroblasts, Leydig cells, xanthophores, and melanophores migrated from the fragments and were observed in the outgrowth. Keratinocytes and fibroblasts organized into an epidermal layer and an underlying "dermal portion." The chromatophores were always located below the epithelial cells, often with fibroblasts. We examined by immunocytochemistry the expression of fibronectin, beta1-integrin, L-CAM, and A-CAM in the cultures. Many keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and Leydig cells expressed all the signal molecules tested. Xanthophores and melanophores were only immunoreactive to the anti-adhesion molecules antisera. Since the molecules tested are known to play a role in cell adhesion, growth, and spreading, as well as in regulating tissue differentiation and in maintaining normal tissue morphology, we may hypothesize that in Salamandra salamandra salamandra fibronectin, beta1-integrin, L-, and A-CAMs concertedly act to stabilize the architecture of the outgrowth and regulate the relationships between chromatophores and those between chromatophores and the other elements of the skin culture.

  3. A new species of Coryogalops (Perciformes: Gobiidae) and the first adult record of Feia nympha from the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovačić, Marcelo; Bogorodsky, Sergey V; Mal, Ahmad O

    2016-03-31

    A new species of the gobiid genus Coryogalops, C. nanus sp. nov. is described from the Red Sea. Coryogalops nanus sp. nov. is distinguished from congeners in having dorsal-fin rays VI + I,10; anal-fin rays I,9; pectoral-fin rays 12-14 (lowest count known for the genus), two upper rays with free tips; pelvic fins I,5, joined to form an emarginate disc, no pelvic frenum; predorsal area and narrow area at base of first dorsal fin naked; longitudinal scale series 26-29; transverse scale rows counted forward 6-7; transverse scale rows counted backward 7-8; circumpeduncular scale rows 11-12; seven transverse suborbital rows of sensory papillae; no tentacle above upper eye margin; anterior nostril tubular, without flap at its tip, posterior nostril pore-like; body semitranslucent, covered with small scattered orange-yellow spots and speckles, those in predorsal area contain black dots; an internal row of white spots along ventral part of body above anal-fin base and on caudal peduncle; head with small scattered orange to yellowish brown spots; first dorsal fin with two broad white bands at base of fin and distally, and with hyaline area densely dotted with melanophores in the middle of fin; preserved specimens opaque white to yellowish with sparse melanophores. An adult specimen of Feia nympha is recorded for the first time in the Red Sea and the lateral line system of this species is described.

  4. On the novel action of melanolysis by a leaf extract of Aloe vera and its active ingredient aloin, potent skin depigmenting agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Sharique A; Galgut, Jyoti M; Choudhary, Ram K

    2012-05-01

    The present study was carried out to investigate the effects of an Aloe vera leaf extract, along with its standard active ingredient aloin, on the isolated tail melanophores of Bufo melanostictus tadpoles, which are a type of disguised smooth muscle cells offering excellent in vitro opportunities for studying the effects of pharmacological and pharmaceutical agents. It was found that the leaf extract of A. vera and its active ingredient aloin induced powerful, dose-dependent, physiologically significant melanin aggregating effects in the isolated tail melanophores of B. melanostictus similar to those of adrenaline per se. These preliminary findings clearly demonstrate that the extract of A. vera and its active ingredient aloin cause melanin aggregation leading to skin lightening via alpha adrenergic receptor stimulation. The present study opens new vistas for the use of A. vera regarding its clinical application as a new nontoxic melanolytic agent for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  5. Fish pigmentation and the melanocortin system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cal, Laura; Suarez-Bregua, Paula; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel; Braasch, Ingo; Rotllant, Josep

    2017-09-01

    The melanocortin system is a complex neuroendocrine signaling mechanism involved in numerous physiological processes in vertebrates, including pigmentation, steroidogenesis and metabolic control. This review focuses at one of its most fascinating function in fish, its regulatory role in the control of pigmentation, in which the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r), its agonist α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-Msh), and the endogenous antagonist agouti signaling protein (Asip1) are the main players. Functional control of Mc1r, which is highly expressed in fish skin and whose activation stimulates melanin production and melanosome dispersion in fish melanophores, is considered a key mechanism for vertebrate pigment phenotypes. The α-Msh peptide, the most documented Mc1r agonist involved in pigmentation, is produced in the pituitary gland, activating melanin synthesis by binding to Mc1r in fish melanophores. Finally, Asip1 is the putative factor for establishing the evolutionarily conserved dorso-ventral pigment pattern found across vertebrates. However, we are just starting to understand how other melanocortin system components are acting in this complex regulatory network. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Transitory colour-change mechanism in a fresh-water teleost, Clarias batrachus (L).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, A K; Bhargava, H N

    1978-01-01

    The rate of colour change in the fish Clarias batrachus (L.) has been studied as a response from black to white background and vice versa. The 'Derived Ostwald Index (D.O.I.)' method proposed by Healey (1967) has been used to measure the melanophore responses of the fish. Observations show that the fish is quite sensitive to background responses. The rate of colour change is fast. The colour change is quite rapid in both, the paling and the darkening experiments in the beginning as compared to the later stages which are slow and gradual. The results indicate that the process of colour change is mainly under nervous control in the initial stages while in the later stages the chromatic response seems to be regulated mainly by hormone(s). The fish is better adapted on a white background (maximum paling 1.7 grades of D.O.I. scale in 10 hours) than on a black background (maximum darkening 6.35 grades of D.O.I. scale in 20 hours). It is suggested that chromatic control mechanisms in the fish include the sympathetic pigment-aggregating fibres constituting the nervous control and at least a pituitary principle, the melanophore-aggregating hormone (MAH) constituting the hormonal control.

  7. Three new species of Hemibrycon (Characiformes: Characidae from the Magdalena River Basin, Colombia

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    César Román-Valencia

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Fish biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems is highly threatened by different economic activities driven by human populations, and its description is increasingly a priority. For the Cauca-Magdalena River system we have described 14 species, and the purpose of this paper was to describe three new species belonging to the same genus Hemibrycon from the Nare and Guatapé River drainages of the middle Magdalena River, Colombia. The description was based on a series of 200 specimens, and the use of morphometric, meristic and osteological characters, as well as fish distribution and morphogeometric analytical methods. We have found that Hemibrycon fasciatus n. sp. (n=54 differs from other species of Hemibrycon (that also have a vertical humeral spot in having: melanophores outlining the posterior margins of the scales along sides of body; humeral spot extending onto posterior margin of opercle; a dark lateral stripe, formed by deep pigment that is continuous with the peduncular spot; the toothed portion of the maxilla not reaching the dorsal margin of the dentary (vs. toothed portion of maxilla extending beyond dorsal margin of dentary; all maxillary teeth tricuspid (vs. some unicuspid teeth present on maxilla. H. cardalensis n. sp. (n=64 differs in having: a vertically elongate humeral spot that extends one or two scales below the lateral line canal. H. cardalensis n. sp. differs from all congeners in having the pigment of the caudal spot restricted to the ventral half of the caudal peduncle, and in having melanophores around the anterior scales of the lateral line. Hemibrycon antioquiae n. sp. (n=82 differs in having a circular humeral spot. It differs from the other species with a circular humeral spot, like H. mikrostiktos, in having a projection of disperse melanophores extending from the dorsal margin of the humeral spot to below the lateral stripe. Habitat data and environmental impacts caused by the construction of reservoirs for hydroelectric

  8. Pigmentary system of the adult alpine salamander Salamandra atra atra (Laur., 1768).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trevisan, P; Pederzoli, A; Barozzi, G

    1991-10-01

    The pigmentary system of the skin from adult specimens of the black alpine salamander Salamandra atra atra was investigated by light microscope, electron microscope, and biochemical studies. Results were compared with those obtained in previous study of the subspecies Salamandra atra aurorae. Unlike Salamandra atra aurorae, which presents epidermal xanthophores and iridophores, Salamandra atra atra is completely melanized, presenting only epidermal and dermal melanophores. The melanosomes in both the epidermis and the dermis appear to derive from a multivesicular premelanosome similar to that in the goldfish, and the epidermal melanosomes are smaller than those in the dermis. Premelanosomes with an internal lamellar matrix were not observed. The biochemical results have shown that in the ethanol extracts obtained from the skin in toto and from the melanosomes, pteridines and flavins are always present and are the same as those extracted from the black skin areas of Salamandra atra aurorae.

  9. New Record of Sillago sinica (Pisces: Sillaginidae in Korean Waters, and Re-identification of Sillago parvisquamis Previously Reported from Korea as S. sinica

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    Seung Eun Bae

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A single specimen of the genus Sillago, collected from Gwangyang, Korea, in May 2009, is characterized by XI first dorsal fin spines, 3 or 4 rows of melanophore pattern along the second dorsal fin membrane, and a darkish posterior margin of the caudal fin. Our specimen was identified as Sillago sinica reported as a new species; this identification is confirmed by mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit I sequences, which show that our specimen corresponds to S. sinica (d=0.000 and differs from the congeneric species Sillago parvisquamis (d=0.170. Comparisons of Korean specimens previously reported as S. parvisquamis with specimens of S. sinica show that the S. parvisquamis specimens are actually S. sinica. We propose the new Korean name “buk-bang-jeom-bo-ri-myeol” for S. sinica.

  10. Pigment cell interactions and differential xanthophore recruitment underlying zebrafish stripe reiteration and Danio pattern evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Larissa B; Bain, Emily J; Parichy, David M

    2014-11-06

    Fishes have diverse pigment patterns, yet mechanisms of pattern evolution remain poorly understood. In zebrafish, Danio rerio, pigment-cell autonomous interactions generate dark stripes of melanophores that alternate with light interstripes of xanthophores and iridophores. Here, we identify mechanisms underlying the evolution of a uniform pattern in D. albolineatus in which all three pigment cell classes are intermingled. We show that in this species xanthophores differentiate precociously over a wider area, and that cis regulatory evolution has increased expression of xanthogenic Colony Stimulating Factor-1 (Csf1). Expressing Csf1 similarly in D. rerio has cascading effects, driving the intermingling of all three pigment cell classes and resulting in the loss of stripes, as in D. albolineatus. Our results identify novel mechanisms of pattern development and illustrate how pattern diversity can be generated when a core network of pigment-cell autonomous interactions is coupled with changes in pigment cell differentiation.

  11. Early development of Thyrsitops lepidopoides (Pisces: Gempylidae

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    Sato Gosuke

    1986-01-01

    Full Text Available Thyrsitops lepidopoides larvae were caught with Bongo nets in the upper 200 m of the ocean from the coast of southern Brazil during 1975-1978. Based on a serie of 271 specimens ranging from 2.5 to 24.0 mm body lenght, morphological and osteological development of the larvae and juveniles is described. Small larvae (2.5-12.0 mm NL can be distinguished from all known gempylid larvae by the presence of a distinct melanophore at the base of the dorsal and anal fins. The larvae have well developed dorsal and ventral spines. It is the only gempylid with six preopercular spines and non-serrated dorsal and ventral spines during the larval stage.

  12. Physiologically-induced changes in proopiomelanocortin mRNA levels in the pituitary gland of the amphibian Xenopus laevis.

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    Martens, G J; Weterings, K A; van Zoest, I D; Jenks, B G

    1987-03-13

    In the pars intermedia of the pituitary gland of the amphibian Xenopus laevis the level of mRNA encoding proopiomelanocortin (POMC), the precursor protein for alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), is shown to be dependent on physiological parameters. POMC mRNA levels in the pars intermedia of black-background-adapted Xenopus are much higher than those of white-adapted animals. These physiological changes in POMC mRNA levels are tissue-specific because they were not found in the pars distalis of the pituitary gland. Background transfer experiments revealed that modulation of POMC gene activity is much slower than changes in the secretion of alpha-MSH.

  13. Serotonin and MSH secretion: effect of parachlorophenylalanine on the pituitary cytology of the eel.

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    Olivereau, M

    1978-07-13

    Parachlorophenylalanine (pCPA), an inhibitor of tryptophan hydroxylase which depletes brain serotonin in higher vertebrates, was injected into freshwater eels. After 4 or 6 injections (200 mg/kg/day) or 10 injections (100 and 140 mg/kg/day), the animals are paler, with a low melanophore index. In the pituitary gland, granules tend to accumulate in the basal part of the MSH cells and in the perinuclear area. Cells appear smaller with a decreased nuclear area (P less than 0.001). In the neurohypophysis, the amount of neurosecretory material is often reduced. Conversely, injections of 5-hydroxytryptophan induce a strong darkening, a result similar to that previously reported in some amphibian species and in one lacertilian species. These data substantiate the hypothesis of a stimulatory influence of 5-hydroxytryptamine on MSH release and possibly its synthesis in the eel and other lower vertebrates.

  14. BAC Recombineering of the Agouti Loci from Spotted Gar and Zebrafish Reveals the Evolutionary Ancestry of Dorsal-Ventral Pigment Asymmetry in Fish.

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    Cal, Laura; MegÍas, Manuel; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel; Postlethwait, John H; Braasch, Ingo; Rotllant, Josep

    2017-11-01

    Dorsoventral pigment patterning, characterized by a light ventrum and a dark dorsum, is one of the most widespread chromatic adaptations in vertebrate body coloration. In mammals, this countershading depends on differential expression of agouti-signaling protein (ASIP), which drives a switch of synthesis of one type of melanin to another within melanocytes. Teleost fish share countershading, but the pattern results from a differential distribution of multiple types of chromatophores, with black-brown melanophores most abundant in the dorsal body and reflective iridophores most abundant in the ventral body. We previously showed that Asip1 (a fish ortholog of mammalian ASIP) plays a role in patterning melanophores. This observation leads to the surprising hypothesis that agouti may control an evolutionarily conserved pigment pattern by regulating different mechanisms in mammals and fish. To test this hypothesis, we compared two ray-finned fishes: the teleost zebrafish and the nonteleost spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus). By examining the endogenous pattern of asip1 expression in gar, we demonstrate a dorsoventral-graded distribution of asip1 expression that is highest ventrally, similar to teleosts. Additionally, in the first reported experiments to generate zebrafish transgenic lines carrying a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) from spotted gar, we show that both transgenic zebrafish lines embryos replicate the endogenous asip1 expression pattern in adult zebrafish, showing that BAC transgenes from both species contain all of the regulatory elements required for regular asip1 expression within adult ray-finned fishes. These experiments provide evidence that the mechanism leading to an environmentally important pigment pattern was likely in place before the origin of teleosts. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Continuous illumination through larval development suppresses dopamine synthesis in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, causing activation of α-MSH synthesis in the pituitary and abnormal metamorphic skin pigmentation in flounder.

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    Itoh, Kae; Washio, Youhei; Fujinami, Yuichiro; Shimizu, Daisuke; Uji, Susumu; Yokoi, Hayato; Suzuki, Tohru

    2012-04-01

    In order to better understand the endocrine aberrations related to abnormal metamorphic pigmentation that appear in flounder larvae reared in tanks, this study examined the effects of continuous 24-h illumination (LL) through larval development on the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase-1 (th1), proopiomelanocortin (pomc), α-melanophore-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and melanin concentrating hormone (MCH), which are known to participate in the control of background adaptation of body color. We observed two conspicuous deviations in the endocrine system under LL when compared with natural light conditions (LD). First, LL severely suppressed th1 expression in the dopaminergic neurons in the anterior diencephalon, including the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Second, pomc and α-MSH expression in the pars intermedia melanotrophs was enhanced by LL. Skin color was paler under LL than LD before metamorphic pigmentation, and abnormal metamorphic pigmentation occurred at a higher ratio in LL. We therefore hypothesize that continuous LL inhibited dopamine synthesis in the SCN, which resulted in up-regulation of pomc mRNA expression in the melanotrophs. In spite of the up-regulation of pomc in the melanotrophs, larval skin was adjusted to be pale by MCH which was not affected by LL. Accumulation of α-MSH in the melanotrophs is caused by uncoupling of α-MSH synthesis and secretion due to inhibitory role of MCH on α-MSH secretion, which results in abnormal metamorphic pigmentation by affecting differentiation of adult-type melanophores. Our data demonstrate that continuous illumination at the post-embryonic stage has negative effects on the neuroendocrine system and pituitary in flounder. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Zebrafish neurofibromatosis type 1 genes have redundant functions in tumorigenesis and embryonic development

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    Jimann Shin

    2012-11-01

    Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1 is a common, dominantly inherited genetic disorder that results from mutations in the neurofibromin 1 (NF1 gene. Affected individuals demonstrate abnormalities in neural-crest-derived tissues that include hyperpigmented skin lesions and benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors. NF1 patients also have a predisposition to malignancies including juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML, optic glioma, glioblastoma, schwannoma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs. In an effort to better define the molecular and cellular determinants of NF1 disease pathogenesis in vivo, we employed targeted mutagenesis strategies to generate zebrafish harboring stable germline mutations in nf1a and nf1b, orthologues of NF1. Animals homozygous for loss-of-function alleles of nf1a or nf1b alone are phenotypically normal and viable. Homozygous loss of both alleles in combination generates larval phenotypes that resemble aspects of the human disease and results in larval lethality between 7 and 10 days post fertilization. nf1-null larvae demonstrate significant central and peripheral nervous system defects. These include aberrant proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs, dysmorphic myelin sheaths and hyperplasia of Schwann cells. Loss of nf1 contributes to tumorigenesis as demonstrated by an accelerated onset and increased penetrance of high-grade gliomas and MPNSTs in adult nf1a+/−; nf1b−/−; p53e7/e7 animals. nf1-null larvae also demonstrate significant motor and learning defects. Importantly, we identify and quantitatively analyze a novel melanophore phenotype in nf1-null larvae, providing the first animal model of the pathognomonic pigmentation lesions of NF1. Together, these findings support a role for nf1a and nf1b as potent tumor suppressor genes that also function in the development of both central and peripheral glial cells as well as melanophores in zebrafish.

  17. A hyperactive sleeping beauty transposase enhances transgenesis in zebrafish embryos

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    Lardelli Michael

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transposons are useful molecular tools for transgenesis. The 'sleeping beauty' transposon is a synthetic member of the Tc1/mariner transposon family. Davidson et al. (2003 previously described a vector for zebrafish transgenesis consisting of the inverted repeats of 'sleeping beauty' flanking the gene to be transposed. Subsequently, there have been attempts to enhance the transpositional activity of 'sleeping beauty' by increasing the activity of its transposase. Recently, Mates et al. (2009 generated a hyperactive transposase giving a 100-fold increased transposition rate in mouse embryos. Findings The aim of this experiment was to determine whether this novel hyperactive transposase enhances transgenesis in zebrafish embryos. Using our previously characterised mitfa-amyloidβ-GFP transgene, we observed an eight-fold enhancement in transient transgenesis following detection of transgene expression in melanophores by whole mount in-situ hybridisation. However, high rates of defective embryogenesis were also observed. Conclusion The novel hyperactive 'sleeping beauty' transposase enhances the rate of transgenesis in zebrafish embryos.

  18. Mechanical properties of organelles driven by microtubule-dependent molecular motors in living cells.

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    Luciana Bruno

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The organization of the cytoplasm is regulated by molecular motors which transport organelles and other cargoes along cytoskeleton tracks. Melanophores have pigment organelles or melanosomes that move along microtubules toward their minus and plus end by the action of cytoplasmic dynein and kinesin-2, respectively. In this work, we used single particle tracking to characterize the mechanical properties of motor-driven organelles during transport along microtubules. We tracked organelles with high temporal and spatial resolutions and characterized their dynamics perpendicular to the cytoskeleton track. The quantitative analysis of these data showed that the dynamics is due to a spring-like interaction between melanosomes and microtubules in a viscoelastic microenvironment. A model based on a generalized Langevin equation explained these observations and predicted that the stiffness measured for the motor complex acting as a linker between organelles and microtubules is ∼ one order smaller than that determined for motor proteins in vitro. This result suggests that other biomolecules involved in the interaction between motors and organelles contribute to the mechanical properties of the motor complex. We hypothesise that the high flexibility observed for the motor linker may be required to improve the efficiency of the transport driven by multiple copies of motor molecules.

  19. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone selectively stimulates human hair follicle pigmentation.

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    Gáspár, Erzsébet; Nguyen-Thi, Kim T; Hardenbicker, Celine; Tiede, Stephan; Plate, Christian; Bodó, Eniko; Knuever, Jana; Funk, Wolfgang; Bíró, Tamás; Paus, Ralf

    2011-12-01

    In amphibians, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulates skin melanophores by inducing secretion of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone in the pituitary gland. However, it is unknown whether this tripeptide neurohormone exerts any direct effects on pigment cells, namely, on human melanocytes, under physiological conditions. Therefore, we have investigated whether TRH stimulates pigment production in organ-cultured human hair follicles (HFs), the epithelium of which expresses both TRH and its receptor, and/or in full-thickness human skin in situ. TRH stimulated melanin synthesis, tyrosinase transcription and activity, melanosome formation, melanocyte dendricity, gp100 immunoreactivity, and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor expression in human HFs in a pituitary gland-independent manner. TRH also stimulated proliferation, gp100 expression, tyrosinase activity, and dendricity of isolated human HF melanocytes. However, intraepidermal melanogenesis was unaffected. As TRH upregulated the intrafollicular production of "pituitary" neurohormones (proopiomelanocortin transcription and ACTH immunoreactivity) and as agouti-signaling protein counteracted TRH-induced HF pigmentation, these pigmentary TRH effects may be mediated in part by locally generated melanocortins and/or by MC-1 signaling. Our study introduces TRH as a novel, potent, selective, and evolutionarily highly conserved neuroendocrine factor controlling human pigmentation in situ. This physiologically relevant and melanocyte sub-population-specific neuroendocrine control of human pigmentation deserves clinical exploration, e.g., for preventing or reversing hair graying.

  20. Skin Histology and Microtopography of Papuan White Snake (Micropechis ikaheka in Relation to Their Zoogeographical Distribution

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    ACHMAD FARAJALLAH

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Papuan white snake (Micropechis ikaheka is endemic to New Guinea (the region of the Papua and Papua New Guinea. Internal histology of skin layer and the microtopography structure on the surface scales of M. ikaheka were the aims of the study. This study also related to zoogeographical of the snake in Papua. Geographical skin color variation of M. ikaheka can be described in three groups, i.e. brown, yellow and black group. The three groups of the snake have specific zoogeography in the mainland of Papua and satellite islands to Papua New Guinea. Paraffin method used in this work showed approximately five layers i.e. oberhautchen, the beta (-layer, the mesos layer, the alpha (-layer, and the dermis in the snake skin. Although the paraffin method cannot explain the arrangement of pigment cells, however, the dark color on the dermis might contain melanophores that might cause dark color of the snake body. Overlapping scales formed the hinge region were flexible to assist the snakes when they moved across substrate. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM of the oberhautchen of all of M. ikaheka revealed no microornamentation. However, dorsal and ventral scales showed many follicles on the entire surface of the boundary scales.

  1. Cloning of a novel G-protein-coupled receptor GPR 51 resembling GABAB receptors expressed predominantly in nervous tissues and mapped proximal to the hereditary sensory neuropathy type 1 locus on chromosome 9.

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    Ng, G Y; McDonald, T; Bonnert, T; Rigby, M; Heavens, R; Whiting, P; Chateauneuf, A; Coulombe, N; Kargman, S; Caskey, T; Evans, J; O'neill, G P; Liu, Q

    1999-03-15

    Query of the expressed sequence tag database with the rat metabotropic GABABR1A receptor amino acid sequence using the TFASTA algorithm revealed two partial cDNA fragments whose sequence information was then used to isolate by PCR a novel full-length human cDNA encoding a putative G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), termed GPR 51. Sequence analysis revealed that it encoded a protein of 941 amino acids, similar in size and homology to GABAB receptors followed by metabotropic glutamate receptors but not other GPCRs. GPR 51 expressed in COS-1 cells showed no specific binding for [3H](+)baclofen and when expressed in Xenopus oocyte and Xenopus melanophore functional assays showed no activity to GABA, (-)baclofen, and glutamic acid. Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization revealed that GPR 51 transcripts were predominantly expressed in the central nervous system with highest abundance in the cortex, thalamus, hippocampus, amygdala, cerebellum, and spinal cord. In contrast, GPR 51 receptor transcripts were almost not detected in the peripheral tissues. Gene GPR 51 was localized by radiation hybrid mapping to chromosome 9, 4.81 cR from the WI-8684 marker, and proximal to the hereditary sensory neuropathy type 1 locus. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  2. Light reflection from crystal platelets in iridophores determines green or brown skin coloration in Takydromus lizards.

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    Kuriyama, Takeo; Esashi, Jyunko; Hasegawa, Masami

    2017-04-01

    Brown and green are the most commonly imitated colors in prey animals because both colors occur in a range of habitats. Many researchers have evaluated survival with respect to background color matching, but the pigment cell mechanisms underlying such coloration are not known. Dorsal coloration of East Asian Takydromus lizards has shifted from green to brown or from brown to green on multiple occasions during the diversification of the genus, thus giving us an opportunity to examine the cellular mechanisms of background color matching. Brown and green skin were found to differ with respect to the morphological characteristics of iridophores, with different thicknesses of the reflecting platelets and the cytoplasmic spacing between platelets, despite a shared vertical arrangement of pigment cells, i.e., xanthophores in the upper layer, iridophores in the middle layer, and melanophores at the bottom of the dermal layer, among the different Takydromus lizards. Iridophores of brown skin reflected longer wavelengths of light than those of green skin, which may be attributed to the thicker platelets and longer distances between platelets in brown skin. We discuss the potential role of genetic and intracellular mechanisms explaining the thickness and orientation of the light-reflecting platelets of iridophores in Takydromus lizards. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Vitiligo: How do oxidative stress-induced autoantigens trigger autoimmunity?

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    Xie, Heng; Zhou, Fubo; Liu, Ling; Zhu, Guannan; Li, Qiang; Li, Chunying; Gao, Tianwen

    2016-01-01

    Vitiligo is a common depigmentation disorder characterized by a loss of functional melanocytes and melanin from epidermis, in which the autoantigens and subsequent autoimmunity caused by oxidative stress play significant roles according to hypotheses. Various factors lead to reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction in the melanocytes of vitiligo: the exogenous and endogenous stimuli that cause ROS production, low levels of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, disturbed antioxidant pathways and polymorphisms of ROS-associated genes. These factors synergistically contribute to the accumulation of ROS in melanocytes, finally leading to melanocyte damage and the production of autoantigens through the following ways: apoptosis, accumulation of misfolded peptides and cytokines induced by endoplasmic reticulum stress as well as the sustained unfolded protein response, and an 'eat me' signal for phagocytic cells triggered by calreticulin. Subsequently, autoantigens presentation and dendritic cells maturation occurred mediated by the release of antigen-containing exosomes, adenosine triphosphate and melanosomal autophagy. With the involvement of inducible heat shock protein 70, cellular immunity targeting autoantigens takes the essential place in the destruction of melanocytes, which eventually results in vitiligo. Several treatments, such as narrow band ultraviolet, quercetin and α-melanophore-stimulating hormone, are reported to be able to lower ROS thereby achieving repigmentation in vitiligo. In therapies targeting autoimmunity, restore of regulatory T cells is absorbing attention, in which narrow band ultraviolet also plays a role. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

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    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Una nueva especie de rana de cristal del género Hyalinobatrachium (Anura: Centrolenidae del Delta del Río Orinoco, Venezuela

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    J. Celsa Señaris

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Se describe una nueva especie de Hyalinobatrachium del grupo fleischmanni, H. mondolfii, de las planicies inundables del delta del río Orinoco, Venezuela. Hyalinobatrachium mondolfii se distingue del resto de las especies del grupo por la siguiente combinación de caracteres: peritoneo parietal translúcido, pericardio y peritoneos visceral y hepático blancos, coloración dorsal en vida verde claro con diminutos puntos amarillos y en preservativo crema uniforme con diminutos melanóforos oscuros (visibles solo bajo magnificación, huesos blancos en vida, palmeadura de manos y pies extensa, cabeza redondeada en vista dorsal e inclinada en vista lateral, piel dorsal granular y un canto con frecuencia fundamental superior a los 5 000 HzA new species of Hyalinobatrachium of the fleischmanni group, H. mondolfii, is described from the Orinoco delta floodplains in Venezuela. This new species can be distinguished from other congeners by the following combination of characters: parietal peritoneum clear, pericardium white, visceral and hepatic peritoneum white, color in life pale green with diminute yellow spots and, in preservative, cream with small dark melanophores (visible only under magnification, bones white in life, extense webbing, snout round in dorsal view and inclinate in lateral view, dorsal skin granulate and a advertisement call with a fundamental frequency greater than 5000 Hz

  6. Sox5 functions as a fate switch in medaka pigment cell development.

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    Yusuke Nagao

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms generating diverse cell types from multipotent progenitors are crucial for normal development. Neural crest cells (NCCs are multipotent stem cells that give rise to numerous cell-types, including pigment cells. Medaka has four types of NCC-derived pigment cells (xanthophores, leucophores, melanophores and iridophores, making medaka pigment cell development an excellent model for studying the mechanisms controlling specification of distinct cell types from a multipotent progenitor. Medaka many leucophores-3 (ml-3 mutant embryos exhibit a unique phenotype characterized by excessive formation of leucophores and absence of xanthophores. We show that ml-3 encodes sox5, which is expressed in premigratory NCCs and differentiating xanthophores. Cell transplantation studies reveal a cell-autonomous role of sox5 in the xanthophore lineage. pax7a is expressed in NCCs and required for both xanthophore and leucophore lineages; we demonstrate that Sox5 functions downstream of Pax7a. We propose a model in which multipotent NCCs first give rise to pax7a-positive partially fate-restricted intermediate progenitors for xanthophores and leucophores; some of these progenitors then express sox5, and as a result of Sox5 action develop into xanthophores. Our results provide the first demonstration that Sox5 can function as a molecular switch driving specification of a specific cell-fate (xanthophore from a partially-restricted, but still multipotent, progenitor (the shared xanthophore-leucophore progenitor.

  7. Thyroid Hormones Regulate Zebrafish Melanogenesis in a Gender-Specific Manner.

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    Raúl Guillot

    Full Text Available Zebrafish embryos are treated with anti-thyroidal compounds, such as phenylthiourea, to inhibit melanogenesis. However, the mechanism whereby the thyroidal system controls melanin synthesis has not been assessed in detail. In this work, we tested the effect of the administration of diets supplemented with T3 (500μg/g food on the pigment pattern of adult zebrafish. Oral T3 induced a pronounced skin paling in both adult female and male zebrafish that was reversible upon cessation of treatment. The number of visible melanophores was significantly reduced in treated fish. Accordingly, treatment down-regulated expression of tyrosinase-related protein 1 in both sexes. We also found sexually dimorphic regulation of some melanogenic genes, such as Dct/Tyrp2 that was dramatically up-regulated in females after T3 treatment. Thus, we demonstrated that melanogenesis is reversibly inhibited by thyroid hormones in adult zebrafish and make the discovery of gender-specific differences in the response of melanogenic gene expression. Thus, fish gender is now shown to be an important variable that should be controlled in future studies of fish melanogenesis.

  8. The genetic basis of divergent pigment patterns in juvenile threespine sticklebacks.

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    Greenwood, A K; Jones, F C; Chan, Y F; Brady, S D; Absher, D M; Grimwood, J; Schmutz, J; Myers, R M; Kingsley, D M; Peichel, C L

    2011-08-01

    Animal pigment patterns are important for a range of functions, including camouflage and communication. Repeating pigment patterns, such as stripes, bars and spots have been of particular interest to developmental and theoretical biologists, but the genetic basis of natural variation in such patterns is largely unexplored. In this study, we identify a difference in a periodic pigment pattern among juvenile threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) from different environments. Freshwater sticklebacks exhibit prominent vertical bars that visually break up the body shape, but sticklebacks from marine populations do not. We hypothesize that these distinct pigment patterns are tuned to provide crypsis in different habitats. This phenotypic difference is widespread and appears in most of the freshwater populations that we sampled. We used quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in freshwater-marine F2 hybrids to elucidate the genetic architecture underlying divergence in this pigmentation pattern. We identified two QTL that were significantly associated with variation in barring. Interestingly, these QTL were associated with two distinct aspects of the pigment pattern: melanophore number and overall pigment level. We compared the QTL locations with positions of known pigment candidate genes in the stickleback genome. We also identified two major QTL for juvenile body size, providing new insights into the genetic basis of juvenile growth rates in natural populations. In summary, although there is a growing literature describing simple genetic bases for adaptive coloration differences, this study emphasizes that pigment patterns can also possess a more complex genetic architecture.

  9. Pigment Cell Progenitors in Zebrafish Remain Multipotent through Metamorphosis.

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    Singh, Ajeet Pratap; Dinwiddie, April; Mahalwar, Prateek; Schach, Ursula; Linker, Claudia; Irion, Uwe; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2016-08-08

    The neural crest is a transient, multipotent embryonic cell population in vertebrates giving rise to diverse cell types in adults via intermediate progenitors. The in vivo cell-fate potential and lineage segregation of these postembryonic progenitors is poorly understood, and it is unknown if and when the progenitors become fate restricted. We investigate the fate restriction in the neural crest-derived stem cells and intermediate progenitors in zebrafish, which give rise to three distinct adult pigment cell types: melanophores, iridophores, and xanthophores. By inducing clones in sox10-expressing cells, we trace and quantitatively compare the pigment cell progenitors at four stages, from embryogenesis to metamorphosis. At all stages, a large fraction of the progenitors are multipotent. These multipotent progenitors have a high proliferation ability, which diminishes with fate restriction. We suggest that multipotency of the nerve-associated progenitors lasting into metamorphosis may have facilitated the evolution of adult-specific traits in vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Posttranslational modifications of proopiomelanocortin in vertebrates and their biological significance

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    Akiyoshi eTakahashi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Proopiomelanocortin (POMC is the precursor of several peptide hormones generated in the pituitary gland. After biosynthesis, POMC undergoes several posttranslational modifications, including proteolytic cleavage, acetylation, amidation, phosphorylation, glycosylation, and disulfide linkage formation, which generate mature POMC-derived peptides. Therefore, POMC is a useful model for the investigation of posttranslational modifications. These processes have been extensively investigated in mammals, primarily in rodents. In addition, over the last decade, much information has been obtained about the posttranslational processing of POMC in non-mammalian animals such as fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds through sequencing and peptide identification by mass spectrometry. One POMC modification, acetylation, is known to modulate the biological activities of POMC-derived alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH having an acetyl group at N-terminal through potentiation or inhibition. This bidirectional regulation depends on its intrinsic roles in the tissue or cell; for example, alpha-MSH, as well as desacety-alpha-MSH, stimulates pigment dispersion in the xanthophores of a flounder. In contrast, alpha-MSH does not stimulate pigment dispersion in the melanophores of the same species, whereas desacetyl-alpha-MSH does. Regulation of pigment-dispersing activities may be associated with the subtle balance in the expression of receptor genes. In this review, we consider the posttranslational modifications of POMC in vertebrates from an evolutionary aspect, with a focus on the relationship between acetylation and the biological activities of alpha-MSH as an important consequence of posttranslational modification.

  11. The description of Austroglossus pectoralis (Teleostei: Soleidae larvae from the South-east coast of South Africa

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    Aidan D. Wood

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available Preflexion and flexion larval stages of the East coast sole Austroglossus pectoralis are described. Larval morphology was consistent with that of other soleids. The yolk-sac was evident in larvae up to 2.9 mm BL. Flexion is evident in some 3.5 mm BL larvae and in all larvae > 3.8 mm BL. Larvae have 50 to 58 (8-10 + 40-49 myomeres and a large protruding gut. The head profile is rounded initially and becomes convex after flexion. Teeth are present at 4.0 mm BL and are initially robust, becoming elongate and incisor-shaped after flexion. Pectoral fins are present but no rays have developed in the largest specimen. The sequence of fin anlagen development is caudal, dorsal and anal. Eye migration is not evident in the largest (8.8 mm BL specimen examined. Pigment is evident over the fore- and mid-brain, snout and lower jaw, and along the ventral and dorsal midline of the trunk and tail. The ventral and lateral walls of the gut also bear melanophores. The larvae of A. pectoralis are compared with previously described soleid species which are found in southern African waters, including its congeneric A. microlepis.

  12. A new mechanochemical model: coupled Ginzburg-Landau and Swift-Hohenberg equations in biological patterns of marine animals.

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    Morales, M A; Rojas, J F; Oliveros, J; Hernández S, A A

    2015-03-07

    In this work the skin coating of some vertebrate marine animals is modeled considering only dermis, epidermis and basal layers. The biological process takes into account: cellular diffusion of the epidermis, diffusion inhibition and long-range spatial interaction (nonlocal effect on diffusive dispersal) for cells of dermal tissue. The chemical and physical interactions between dermis and epidermis are represented by coupling quadratic terms and nonlinear terms additional. The model presents an interesting property associated with their gradient form: a connection between some physical, chemical and biological systems. The model equations proposed are solved with numerical methods to study the spatially stable emergent configurations. The spatiotemporal dynamic obtained of the numerical solution of these equations, present similarity with biological behaviors that have been found recently in the cellular movement of chromatophores (as contact-dependent depolarization and repulsion movement between melanophores, xanthophores and iridophores). The numerical solution of the model shows a great variety of beautiful patterns that are robust to changes of boundary condition. The resultant patterns are very similar to the pigmentation of some fish. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Morphological Characters and Transcriptome Profiles Associated with Black Skin and Red Skin in Crimson Snapper (Lutjanus erythropterus

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    Yan-Ping Zhang

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study, morphology observation and illumina sequencing were performed on two different coloration skins of crimson snapper (Lutjanus erythropterus, the black zone and the red zone. Three types of chromatophores, melanophores, iridophores and xanthophores, were organized in the skins. The main differences between the two colorations were in the amount and distribution of the three chromatophores. After comparing the two transcriptomes, 9200 unigenes with significantly different expressions (ratio change ≥ 2 and q-value ≤ 0.05 were found, of which 5972 were up-regulated in black skin and 3228 were up-regulated in red skin. Through the function annotation, Gene Ontology (GO and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathway analysis of the differentially transcribed genes, we excavated a number of uncharacterized candidate pigment genes as well as found the conserved genes affecting pigmentation in crimson snapper. The patterns of expression of 14 pigment genes were confirmed by the Quantitative real-time PCR analysis between the two color skins. Overall, this study shows a global survey of the morphological characters and transcriptome analysis of the different coloration skins in crimson snapper, and provides valuable cellular and genetic information to uncover the mechanism of the formation of pigment patterns in snappers.

  14. Comparative analysis of the integument of different tree frog species from Ololygon and Scinax genera (Anura: Hylidae

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    Henrique Alencar Meira da Silva

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The integuments of ten treefrog species of two genera from Scinaxnae - O. angrensis (Lutz, 1973, O. flavoguttata (Lutz & Lutz, 1939, O. humilis (Lutz & Lutz, 1954, O. perpusilla (Lutz & Lutz, 1939, O. v-signata (Lutz, 1968, Scinax hayii (Barbour, 1909, S. similis (Cochran, 1952, O. trapicheroi (Lutz & Lutz, 1954 and S. x-signatus (Spix, 1824 - were investigated using conventional and histochemical techniques of light microscopy, and polarized light microscopy. All integuments showed the basic structure of the anuran integument. Moreover, the secretory portions of exocrine glands, such as serous merocrine and apocrine glands, were found to be restricted to the spongious dermis. Lipid content occurred together with the heterogeneous secretory material of the glands with an apocrine secretion mechanism. In addition, clusters of these apocrine glands were present in the ventrolateral integument of some species. Melanophores were also visualized in all examined hylids. However, the occurrence of iridophores, detected through polarized light microscopy, varied according to the species. The Eberth-Katschenko layer occurred in the dorsal integument from both genera, but it was only present in the ventral integument of O. albicans, O. angrensis, O. flavoguttata, O. perpusilla and O. v-signata. Although the integument of all treefrogs showed the same basic structure, some characteristics were genus-specific; however, these features alone may not be used to distinguish both genera.

  15. Skin Histology and Microtopography of Papuan White Snake (Micropechis ikaheka in Relation to Their Zoogeographical Distribution

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    KELIOPAS KREY

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Papuan white snake (Micropechis ikaheka is endemic to New Guinea (the region of the Papua and Papua New Guinea. Internal histology of skin layer and the microtopography structure on the surface scales of M. ikaheka were the aims of the study. This study also related to zoogeographical of the snake in Papua. Geographical skin color variation of M. ikaheka can be described in three groups, i.e. brown, yellow and black group. The three groups of the snake have specific zoogeography in the mainland of Papua and satellite islands to Papua New Guinea. Paraffin method used in this work showed approximately five layers i.e. oberhautchen, the beta (β-layer, the mesos layer, the alpha (α-layer, and the dermis in the snake skin. Although the paraffin method cannot explain the arrangement of pigment cells, however, the dark color on the dermis might contain melanophores that might cause dark color of the snake body. Overlapping scales formed the hinge region were flexible to assist the snakes when they moved across substrate. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM of the oberhautchen of all of M. ikaheka revealed no microornamentation. However, dorsal and ventral scales showed many follicles on the entire surface of the boundary scales.

  16. Melanocortin MC(4) receptor-mediated feeding and grooming in rodents.

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    Mul, Joram D; Spruijt, Berry M; Brakkee, Jan H; Adan, Roger A H

    2013-11-05

    Decades ago it was recognized that the pharmacological profile of melanocortin ligands that stimulated grooming behavior in rats was strikingly similar to that of Xenopus laevis melanophore pigment dispersion. After cloning of the melanocortin MC1 receptor, expressed in melanocytes, and the melanocortin MC4 receptor, expressed mainly in brain, the pharmacological profiles of these receptors appeared to be very similar and it was demonstrated that these receptors mediate melanocortin-induced pigmentation and grooming respectively. Grooming is a low priority behavior that is concerned with care of body surface. Activation of central melanocortin MC4 receptors is also associated with meal termination, and continued postprandial stimulation of melanocortin MC4 receptors may stimulate natural postprandial grooming behavior as part of the behavioral satiety sequence. Indeed, melanocortins fail to suppress food intake or induce grooming behavior in melanocortin MC4 receptor-deficient rats. This review will focus on how melanocortins affect grooming behavior through the melanocortin MC4 receptor, and how melanocortin MC4 receptors mediate feeding behavior. This review also illustrates how melanocortins were the most likely candidates to mediate grooming and feeding based on the natural behaviors they induced. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. EMBRYONIC AND LARVAL DEVELOPMENT OF A RED STRAIN OF THE EGYPTIAN AFRICAN CATFISH (Clarias gariepinus Burchell, 1822

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    Bambang Iswanto

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Egyptian African catfish is one of several African catfish (Clarias gariepinus strains introduced to Indonesia. Several breeding activities using that strain in Sukamandi resulted in some individuals with redish-yellow body colour (a red strain. Biological informations related to aquacultural aspects of that red strain were still scarce. The present study aimed to elucidate the embryonic and larval developments of the red strain compared to those of the black (normal coloured one, using the progenies obtained from artificial spawning of each red and black coloured brooders. Results of the present study revealed that embryonic developments of the red and black strains were similar. Their larval development were also quite similar, however, both larvae could be distinguished based on the pigmentation. The red strain larvae were golden-red-yellowish in colour, while the black strain larvae were greyish covered with dense melanophores. Total length of the red strain larvae tended to be lower than those of the black strain.

  18. Control of luminescence from pygmy shark (Squaliolus aliae) photophores.

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    Claes, Julien M; Ho, Hsuan-Ching; Mallefet, Jérôme

    2012-05-15

    The smalleye pygmy shark (Squaliolus aliae) is a dwarf pelagic shark from the Dalatiidae family that harbours thousands of tiny photophores. In this work, we studied the organisation and physiological control of these photogenic organs. Results show that they are mainly situated on the ventral side of the shark, forming a homogeneous ventral photogenic area that appears well suited for counterillumination, a well-known camouflage technique of pelagic organisms. Isolated ventral skin patches containing photophores did not respond to classical neurotransmitters and nitric oxide but produced light after melatonin (MT) application. Prolactin and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone inhibited this hormonally induced luminescence as well as the spontaneous luminescence from the photogenic tissue. The action of MT seems to be mediated by binding to the MT(2) receptor subtype, as the MT(2) receptor agonist 4P-PDOT inhibited the luminescence induced by this hormone. Binding to this receptor probably decreases the intracellular cAMP concentration because forskolin inhibited spontaneous and MT-induced luminescence. In addition, a GABA inhibitory tonus seems to be present in the photogenic tissue as well, as GABA inhibited MT-induced luminescence and the application of bicuculline provoked luminescence from S. aliae photophores. Similarly to what has been found in Etmopteridae, the other luminous shark family, the main target of the luminescence control appears to be the melanophores covering the photocytes. Results suggest that bioluminescence first appeared in Dalatiidae when they adopted a pelagic style at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, and was modified by Etmopteridae when they started to colonize deep-water niches and rely on this light for intraspecific behaviours.

  19. Sequence-Based Mapping and Genome Editing Reveal Mutations in Stickleback Hps5 Cause Oculocutaneous Albinism and the casper Phenotype

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    James C. Hart

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Here, we present and characterize the spontaneous X-linked recessive mutation casper, which causes oculocutaneous albinism in threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus. In humans, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome results in pigmentation defects due to disrupted formation of the melanin-containing lysosomal-related organelle (LRO, the melanosome. casper mutants display not only reduced pigmentation of melanosomes in melanophores, but also reductions in the iridescent silver color from iridophores, while the yellow pigmentation from xanthophores appears unaffected. We mapped casper using high-throughput sequencing of genomic DNA from bulked casper mutants to a region of the stickleback X chromosome (chromosome 19 near the stickleback ortholog of Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 5 (Hps5. casper mutants have an insertion of a single nucleotide in the sixth exon of Hps5, predicted to generate an early frameshift. Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 induced lesions in Hps5 and phenocopied the casper mutation. Injecting single or paired Hps5 guide RNAs revealed higher incidences of genomic deletions from paired guide RNAs compared to single gRNAs. Stickleback Hps5 provides a genetic system where a hemizygous locus in XY males and a diploid locus in XX females can be used to generate an easily scored visible phenotype, facilitating quantitative studies of different genome editing approaches. Lastly, we show the ability to better visualize patterns of fluorescent transgenic reporters in Hps5 mutant fish. Thus, Hps5 mutations present an opportunity to study pigmented LROs in the emerging stickleback model system, as well as a tool to aid in assaying genome editing and visualizing enhancer activity in transgenic fish.

  20. Sequence-Based Mapping and Genome Editing Reveal Mutations in SticklebackHps5Cause Oculocutaneous Albinism and thecasperPhenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, James C; Miller, Craig T

    2017-09-07

    Here, we present and characterize the spontaneous X-linked recessive mutation casper , which causes oculocutaneous albinism in threespine sticklebacks ( Gasterosteus aculeatus ). In humans, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome results in pigmentation defects due to disrupted formation of the melanin-containing lysosomal-related organelle (LRO), the melanosome. casper mutants display not only reduced pigmentation of melanosomes in melanophores, but also reductions in the iridescent silver color from iridophores, while the yellow pigmentation from xanthophores appears unaffected. We mapped casper using high-throughput sequencing of genomic DNA from bulked casper mutants to a region of the stickleback X chromosome (chromosome 19) near the stickleback ortholog of Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 5 ( Hps5 ). casper mutants have an insertion of a single nucleotide in the sixth exon of Hps5 , predicted to generate an early frameshift. Genome editing using CRISPR/Cas9 induced lesions in Hps5 and phenocopied the casper mutation. Injecting single or paired Hps5 guide RNAs revealed higher incidences of genomic deletions from paired guide RNAs compared to single gRNAs. Stickleback Hps5 provides a genetic system where a hemizygous locus in XY males and a diploid locus in XX females can be used to generate an easily scored visible phenotype, facilitating quantitative studies of different genome editing approaches. Lastly, we show the ability to better visualize patterns of fluorescent transgenic reporters in Hps5 mutant fish. Thus, Hps5 mutations present an opportunity to study pigmented LROs in the emerging stickleback model system, as well as a tool to aid in assaying genome editing and visualizing enhancer activity in transgenic fish. Copyright © 2017 Hart and Milller.

  1. A novel role for Mc1r in the parallel evolution of depigmentation in independent populations of the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus.

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    Gross, Joshua B; Borowsky, Richard; Tabin, Clifford J

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of degenerate characteristics remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Only recently has the identification of mutations underlying regressive phenotypes become accessible through the use of genetic analyses. Focusing on the Mexican cave tetra Astyanax mexicanus, we describe, here, an analysis of the brown mutation, which was first described in the literature nearly 40 years ago. This phenotype causes reduced melanin content, decreased melanophore number, and brownish eyes in convergent cave forms of A. mexicanus. Crosses demonstrate non-complementation of the brown phenotype in F(2) individuals derived from two independent cave populations: Pachón and the linked Yerbaniz and Japonés caves, indicating the same locus is responsible for reduced pigmentation in these fish. While the brown mutant phenotype arose prior to the fixation of albinism in Pachón cave individuals, it is unclear whether the brown mutation arose before or after the fixation of albinism in the linked Yerbaniz/Japonés caves. Using a QTL approach combined with sequence and functional analyses, we have discovered that two distinct genetic alterations in the coding sequence of the gene Mc1r cause reduced pigmentation associated with the brown mutant phenotype in these caves. Our analysis identifies a novel role for Mc1r in the evolution of degenerative phenotypes in blind Mexican cavefish. Further, the brown phenotype has arisen independently in geographically separate caves, mediated through different mutations of the same gene. This example of parallelism indicates that certain genes are frequent targets of mutation in the repeated evolution of regressive phenotypes in cave-adapted species.

  2. Description of a new species of Priolepis (Perciformes: Gobiidae) from the Red Sea, a new record of Priolepis compita, and a distributional range extension of Trimma fishelsoni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogorodsky, Sergey V; Suzuki, Toshiyuki; Mal, Ahmad O

    2016-08-11

    A new species of Reefgoby, Priolepis melanops, is described from Al Lith, central Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea, on the basis of a single adult specimen. It is a distinctive species, and can distinguish from its congeners by the following characters: dorsal-fin rays VI + I,9, no elongate spines in first dorsal fin; anal-fin rays I,8; pectoral-fin rays 14-15, all unbranched; longitudinal scale series 25; no scales on the head or predorsal midline, sides of the nape scaled; a developed transverse pattern of the sensory papillae below the eye; fifth pelvic-fin ray unbranched, its length 47% length of fourth ray; body and most of head brownish orange, densely covered with melanophores; snout, lips, chin and chest black; iris black; fins translucent with narrow black stripe along base of each dorsal fin. Placement of the new species in Priolepis is based on the presence of characteristics currently associated with Priolepis rather than with Trimma. An individual of Priolepis compita Winterbottom was photographed in very shallow water on a reef flat at Sharm el Sheikh, at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba, and represents a new record for the Red Sea. The endemic Red Sea species Trimma filamentosus Winterbottom and T. fishelsoni Goren, previously know as far south as Jeddah, were collected at Al Lith, central Saudi Arabia, and represents the southernmost record for both species. Variation of P. compita and T. fishelsoni is noted and the cephalic sensory system of the latter is described for the first time. In addition, we report that records of Trimma tevegae Cohen & Davis from the Red Sea are based on misidentification. A key to distinguish the species of Priolepis and Trimma known from the Red Sea is provided.

  3. A novel role for Mc1r in the parallel evolution of depigmentation in independent populations of the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus.

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    Joshua B Gross

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of degenerate characteristics remains a poorly understood phenomenon. Only recently has the identification of mutations underlying regressive phenotypes become accessible through the use of genetic analyses. Focusing on the Mexican cave tetra Astyanax mexicanus, we describe, here, an analysis of the brown mutation, which was first described in the literature nearly 40 years ago. This phenotype causes reduced melanin content, decreased melanophore number, and brownish eyes in convergent cave forms of A. mexicanus. Crosses demonstrate non-complementation of the brown phenotype in F(2 individuals derived from two independent cave populations: Pachón and the linked Yerbaniz and Japonés caves, indicating the same locus is responsible for reduced pigmentation in these fish. While the brown mutant phenotype arose prior to the fixation of albinism in Pachón cave individuals, it is unclear whether the brown mutation arose before or after the fixation of albinism in the linked Yerbaniz/Japonés caves. Using a QTL approach combined with sequence and functional analyses, we have discovered that two distinct genetic alterations in the coding sequence of the gene Mc1r cause reduced pigmentation associated with the brown mutant phenotype in these caves. Our analysis identifies a novel role for Mc1r in the evolution of degenerative phenotypes in blind Mexican cavefish. Further, the brown phenotype has arisen independently in geographically separate caves, mediated through different mutations of the same gene. This example of parallelism indicates that certain genes are frequent targets of mutation in the repeated evolution of regressive phenotypes in cave-adapted species.

  4. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

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    Bilandžija, Helena; Ma, Li; Parkhurst, Amy; Jeffery, William R

    2013-01-01

    Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish) and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish), albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  5. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

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    Helena Bilandžija

    Full Text Available Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish, albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  6. Embryology of Maldives clownfish, Amphiprion nigripes (Amphiprioninae)

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    Ghosh, Swagat; Kumar, Thipramalai Thankappanpillai Ajith; Balasubramanian, Thangavel

    2012-06-01

    This study investigated the embryonic development of Maldives clownfish Amphiprion nigripes under natural conditions (28-30°C) at a lagoon of Agatti Island, Lakshadweep, India. The newly deposited fish egg was capsule-shaped and orange-red, with a (0.73 ± 0.04) mm3 yolk containing 5-10 fat globules. The embryonic development of fertilized eggs was divided into 26 stages and the time elapsing for each stage was recorded. Results showed that the cleavage was rapid, with the first division observed 1 h 20 min after fertilization. Blastulation occurred 4 h later, followed by gastrulation 12 h after fertilization, with a yolk volume of (0.61 ± 0.06) mm3. The organogenesis process started 22 h after fertilization when the blastopores closed and notochord formation began. The embryonic stage was recorded 24 h later, with the appearance of forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain, melanophores on yolk-sac and 22 somites, and a decreased yolk volume of (0.54 ± 0.08) mm3. Other organs developed well 31 h after fertilization, whereas the heart started beating and blood circulation began 78 h later. Red pigmentation (erytrophores) appeared 96 h after fertilization, with a small yolk volume of (0.22 ± 0.02) mm3. Mouth developed well and eyes were noticeable 120 h later, with head, pectoral fin and tail frequently moving 144 h after fertilization. The embryo reached the pre-hatching stage 168 h later and started to hatch after 170-180 h incubation. This study first detailed the embryonic development and yolk absorption of A. nigripes under natural conditions.

  7. Precise colocalization of interacting structural and pigmentary elements generates extensive color pattern variation in Phelsuma lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Color traits in animals play crucial roles in thermoregulation, photoprotection, camouflage, and visual communication, and are amenable to objective quantification and modeling. However, the extensive variation in non-melanic pigments and structural colors in squamate reptiles has been largely disregarded. Here, we used an integrated approach to investigate the morphological basis and physical mechanisms generating variation in color traits in tropical day geckos of the genus Phelsuma. Results Combining histology, optics, mass spectrometry, and UV and Raman spectroscopy, we found that the extensive variation in color patterns within and among Phelsuma species is generated by complex interactions between, on the one hand, chromatophores containing yellow/red pteridine pigments and, on the other hand, iridophores producing structural color by constructive interference of light with guanine nanocrystals. More specifically, we show that 1) the hue of the vivid dorsolateral skin is modulated both by variation in geometry of structural, highly ordered narrowband reflectors, and by the presence of yellow pigments, and 2) that the reflectivity of the white belly and of dorsolateral pigmentary red marks, is increased by underlying structural disorganized broadband reflectors. Most importantly, these interactions require precise colocalization of yellow and red chromatophores with different types of iridophores, characterized by ordered and disordered nanocrystals, respectively. We validated these results through numerical simulations combining pigmentary components with a multilayer interferential optical model. Finally, we show that melanophores form dark lateral patterns but do not significantly contribute to variation in blue/green or red coloration, and that changes in the pH or redox state of pigments provide yet another source of color variation in squamates. Conclusions Precisely colocalized interacting pigmentary and structural elements generate extensive

  8. Background adaptation and water acidification affect pigmentation and stress physiology of tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus.

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    van der Salm, A L; Spanings, F A T; Gresnigt, R; Bonga, S E Wendelaar; Flik, G

    2005-10-01

    The ability to adjust skin darkness to the background is a common phenomenon in fish. The hormone alpha-melanophore-stimulating hormone (alphaMSH) enhances skin darkening. In Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus L., alphaMSH acts as a corticotropic hormone during adaptation to water with a low pH, in addition to its role in skin colouration. In the current study, we investigated the responses of this fish to these two environmental challenges when it is exposed to both simultaneously. The skin darkening of tilapia on a black background and the lightening on grey and white backgrounds are compromised in water with a low pH, indicating that the two vastly different processes both rely on alphaMSH-regulatory mechanisms. If the water is acidified after 25 days of undisturbed background adaptation, fish showed a transient pigmentation change but recovered after two days and continued the adaptation of their skin darkness to match the background. Black backgrounds are experienced by tilapia as more stressful than grey or white backgrounds both in neutral and in low pH water. A decrease of water pH from 7.8 to 4.5 applied over a two-day period was not experienced as stressful when combined with background adaptation, based on unchanged plasma pH and plasma alphaMSH, and Na levels. However, when water pH was lowered after 25 days of undisturbed background adaptation, particularly alphaMSH levels increased chronically. In these fish, plasma pH and Na levels had decreased, indicating a reduced capacity to maintain ion-homeostasis, implicating that the fish indeed experience stress. We conclude that simultaneous exposure to these two types of stressor has a lower impact on the physiology of tilapia than subsequent exposure to the stressors.

  9. Alveolar soft-part sarcoma in paranasal sinuses

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    Jie ZHANG

    2015-07-01

    , melanophore markers [HMB45, Melan-A and S-100 protein (S-100], and epithelial markers [cytokeratin (CK and epithelial membrane antigen (EMA]. Ki-67 labeling index was low (2%. The patient remained well without recurrence 15 months after the second surgery.  Conclusions ASPS is a rare malignant tumor that tends to occur in adolescents. The tumor is predominantly located in deep soft tissues, such as legs and buttocks. ASPS of paranasal sinus and/or extending to skull base is extremely rare. The accurate diagnosis of ASPS mainly depends on histological and immunohistochemical features, and should be considered in differential diagnosis including the similar morphological pattern of primary or metastatic neoplasms. ASPS is characterized by ASPL-TFE3 gene fusions, and TFE3 protein is a specific marker for ASPS which displays nuclear labeling with TFE3 by immunohistochemistry. DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1672-6731.2015.07.012

  10. Desarrollo embrionario-larval del pez tropical Hemirhamphus brasiliensis (Beloniformes: Hemirhamphidae a partir de huevos recolectados del medio natural

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    Jesús Rosas

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Se describe la formación del embrión y el desarrollo larval del pez Hemirhamphus brasiliensis Linnaeus, 1758, a partir de huevos en estado de mórula, recolectados en el alga parda Sargassum sp. Los huevos eran esféricos con un diámetro de 1923.54 ±72.35 µm, con numerosos filamentos coriónicos y estrías en su superficie. Durante las primeras 48 h, el embrión desarrolló la vesícula cefálica, los miomeros y el corazón, el cual se ubicó en el exterior de cuerpo impulsando sangre incolora, la cual se pigmentó de rojo posteriormente. Antes de la eclosión se desarrollaron el riñón, estómago, hígado y la vesícula biliar, las aletas pectorales, cuatro pares de arcos branquiales y la boca. Las larvas eclosionaron a la 114 h, presentando el cuerpo robusto en forma de torpedo, verde-amarillo con melanoforos dendriformes. Al nacer ingirieron metanauplios de Artemia. A las 72 h después de la eclosión se observó el esbozo de la aleta pélvica y a las 240 h se completó la metamorfosis.Embrionary-larval development of the tropical fish Hemirhamphus brasiliensis (Beloniformes: Hemirhamphidae from eggs collected in the wild. The embryo formation and larval development of Hemirhamphus brasiliensis Linnaeus, 1758 (Pisces: Hemirhamphidae is described from morula stage eggs collected on Sargassum sp. Thalii in the field (10°50’55.2" N y 64°09’467" W. The eggs were spherical, 1 923.54 ±72.35 µm diameter with several corionic filaments, and are striated. During the first 48 h the embryo developed cephalic vesicle, miomers, and a heart located on the external body surface, beating strongly and circulating colorless blood which became pigmented red later. Before hatching, the larva developed kidney, gut tract, liver and biliar vesicle, pectoral fins, four pairs of gill arches and the mouth. The larva hatched at 114 h, the body was torpedo-shaped, yellow-green, with several dendriform melanophores; the pelvic fin was observed 72 h post

  11. Morfología externa del desarrollo larvario de Hemicaranx amblyrhynchus (Pisces: Carangidae del sur del Golfo de México

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    César Flores Coto

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available Se describe el desarrollo larvario de Hemicaranx amblyrhynchus con especímenes capturados en el sur del Golfo de México. Los ejemplares presentaron tallas desde 1.87 mm hasta 16.43 mm. Los ejemplares más pequeños presentan una cresta supraoccipital aserrada que se distingue todavía en el espécimen de 5.7 mm de LP y desaparece en los de talla superior. El cuerpo es moderadamente alto en la preflexión y aumenta ligeramente durante el desarrollo. Las aletas dorsal y anal son visibles a partir del espécimen de 2.65 mm de LN; el número de espinas y radios está casi completo alrededor de los 9.0 mm LP. Las larvas de H. amblyrhynchus pueden reconocerse por una mancha de pigmentos en la punta del hocico, que está conformada, entre otros, por melanóforos en el palatino.Larval development of Hemicaranx amblyrhynchus is described from wild specimens (standard length SL: 1.8-16.4 mm caught in the southern Gulf of Mexico (N=25. A serrated occipital crest was present only in specimens smaller than 5.73 mm SL and a supraocular crest with a small spine in those between 4 and 5 mm. As in all larval carangids, the angle preopercle spine was conspicuous since the first stages. Supracleithral and posttemporal spines were present during flexion stage, and then disappeared in transformation stage. Body depth is moderate, increasing with development. The dorsal and anal fins start to be evident in the 2.65 mm NL specimen; total number of spines and soft rays are almost complete around 9.0 mm SL. The pelvic bud was observed in the 3.16 mm LP specimens. From the early stages, the larvae are very pigmented and could be recognized by a pigmentation blotch on the tip of nose, which is conformed by palatine melanophores among others. Larvae of H. amblyrhynchus occurred scarcely in the area; they were essentially recorded on the inner shelf, in surface waters, not deeper than 30 m. The present paper is the first larval record for the species in the southern Gulf

  12. Histología y morfometría de piel del pez Eremophilus mutisii (Trychomecteridae, Siluriformes

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    Rocío Johanna Bonilla Lizarazo

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Se estudió la piel del pez dulceacuícola endémico de Colombia Eremophylus mutissi. Se tomaron muestras de piel (0.5x0.5 cm² de 11 especimenes en seis partes del cuerpo (mandíbulas, cabeza dorsal, tronco dorsal, tronco caudal, tronco medial y abdominal. Se fijaron en formaldehído al 4%, con deshidratación en etanol al 95 % e isopropanol al 99%, inclusión en parafina y cortes a 5 µm. La piel está constituida por dos capas cutáneas (epidermis y dermis y una capa subcutánea (hipodermis: la epidermis tiene tres capas con células secretoras, células epiteliales y pocas células gustativas; la dermis está separada de la epidermis por una membrana basal. Observamos fibroblastos, dos capas de melanóforos y algunos vasos sanguíneos; la hipodermis tiene un tejido adiposo vascularizado. La dermis es más delgada que la epidermis; la piel tiene más células tipo clava que células mucosas. El tronco medio tiene muchas células clava y células mucosas. La piel de E. mutissi parece tener una función principalmente protectora.Skin histology and morphometry of the fish Eremophilus mutisii (Trychomecteridae, Siluriformes. The tropical freshwater fish Eremophylus mutisii is endemic to the Cundinamarca highland in Colombia. Skin samples (0.5x0.5 cm² were taken from 11 specimens at six body parts (mandible, dorsal head, dorsal trunk, caudal trunk, medial trunk and abdominal area, fixed in 4% formaldehyde, dehydrated in 95% ethanol and 99% isopropanol, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 5 µm. The skin is made of two mayor cutaneous layers (epidermis and dermis and a subcutaneous layer (hypodermis. The epidermis presents three layers with secretory cells, epithelial cells and a few taste buds; the dermis is separated from the epidermis by a basal membrane. We observed fibroblasts, two layers of melanophors and some blood vessels; the hypodermis has vascularized adipose tissue. Skin thickness changes with body area; the dermis is thicker than

  13. The role of rare morph advantage and conspicuousness in the stable gold-dark colour polymorphism of a crater lake Midas cichlid fish.

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    Torres-Dowdall, Julián; Golcher-Benavides, Jimena; Machado-Schiaffino, Gonzalo; Meyer, Axel

    2017-09-01

    Genetically based stable colour polymorphisms provide a unique opportunity to study the evolutionary processes that preserve genetic variability in the wild. Different mechanisms are proposed to promote the stability of polymorphisms, but only few empirical examples have been documented, resulting in an incomplete understanding of these mechanisms. A remarkable genetically determined stable colour polymorphism is found in the Nicaraguan Midas cichlid species complex (Amphilophus cf. citrinellus). All Midas cichlids start their life with a dark-grey coloration (dark morph), but individuals carrying the dominant "gold" allele (c. 10%) lose their melanophores later in life, revealing the underlying orange coloration (gold morph). How this polymorphism is maintained remains unclear. Two main hypotheses have been proposed, both suggesting differential predation upon colour morphs as the proximate mechanism. One predicts that the conspicuous gold morph is more likely to be preyed upon, but this disadvantage is balanced by their competitive dominance over the dark morph. The second hypothesis suggests a rare morph advantage where the rarer gold morph experiences less predation. Empirical evidence for either of these mechanisms is still circumstantial and inconclusive. We conducted two field experiments in a Nicaraguan crater lake using wax models simulating both morphs to determine predation pressure upon Midas cichlid colour morphs. First, we tested the interaction of coloration and depth on attack rate. Second, we tested the interaction of fish size and coloration. We contrasted the pattern of attacks from these experiments to the predicted predation patterns from the hypotheses proposed to explain the colour polymorphism's stability. Large models imitating colour morphs were attacked at similar rates irrespectively of their position in the water column. Yet, attacks upon small models resembling juveniles were directed mainly towards dark models. This resulted in a

  14. Desarrollo larvario de algunas especies del género Bregmaceros (Pisces: Bregmacerotidae del sureste del Golfo de México

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    Jorge Blas-Cabrera

    2006-06-01

    . houdei (six, 1.5-1.9 mm and B. macclellandi (three, 2.4, 3.4 and 5.4 mm. All specimens were collected in the southern Gulf of Mexico from November 27 through December 6, 1998. Larvae were identified to species, and descriptions were made based on pigmentation, and morphometric and meristic characteristics. We defined five development stages: preflexion, flexion, postflexion, transformation and juvenile. In the preflexion stage B. cantori displayed a greater growth in mouth size and head length relative to SL (positive allometry; there was negative allometry from the flexion to juvenile stage. B. cantori have the shortest body height and head length, thus being the thinnest; whereas B. macclellandi larvae are the most robust ones. From the four species reported from the southern Gulf of Mexico, B. atlanticus larvae are the most pigmented in both head and body, with an homogeneous pattern; B. macclellandi presents a different pigmentation pattern consisting in large melanophore groups with a body arrangement that changes from one stage to the next; additionally, from the preflexion stage it develops both the occipital radius and pelvic fins. B. houdei larvae measuring 1.5 to 1.9 mm have melanophores at the tip of the lower jaw and the head, as well as at the pectoral fin base. Larval development was more pronounced in this B. cantori and B. atlanticus than in specimens from higher latitudes. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54(2: 561-575. Epub 2006 Jun 01.

  15. Pigmentação testicular em Physalaemus nattereri (Steindachner (Amphibia, Anura com observações anatômicas sobre o sistema pigmentar extracutâneo Testicular pigmentation in Physalaemus nattereri (Steindachner (Amphibia, Anura with anatomical observations on the extracutaneous pigmentary system

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    Classius de Oliveira

    2005-06-01

    fibrous connective tissue, commonly unprovided of pigments. This study tried to analyze the morphological characteristics of rare and conspicuous pigment-containing cells and their relationship with other structures. The pigment cells are variously and indistinctly also termed Kuppfer cells in the liver, pigment cells, extracutaneous pigment cells, pigmented macrophages, melanomacrophages, melanophage, melanophores and melanocytes in the liver, spleen and kidney and other visceral structures of exothermic vertebrates. Ten male samples of Physalaemus nattereri (Steindachner, 1863 (Leptodactylidae were used. After macroscopic analyses, the testicular fragments were submitted to the histological routine, fixed with karnovisky, embedded Historesin and coloration with Haematoxylin/Eosin. A rare peculiarity was the presence of numerous pigment-containing cells (melanocytes randomly distributed in the albuginea tunic and testicular interstitium, giving the testes a dark brown coloration. This unusual characteristic has been rarely described and in other lower vertebrates, the pigment cells can be found in different organs, constituting an extracutaneous pigmentary system of unknown function. Further, it was identified a conspicuous variation, as to presence and distribution pattern due to possible species-specific aspects. However, histologically there is no difference in the germ epithelium arrangement. Between the seminiferous locules, there is an inter-locular tissue composed by Leydig interstitial cells, fibroblasts, efferent ductules, melanocytes and blood vessels. This inter-locular tissue is relatively scarce, presenting melanocytes in all specimens analyzed intimate associated with blood vessels. They are irregular cells with numerous melanosomes and long cytoplasmic processes.