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In vitro pattern‐related effects of forskolin on melanophore adrenoceptor‐mediated responses of winter flounder

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In vitro experiments were performed on melanophores on scales carrying small slips of skin (scale slips) sampled from the white spot, dark band and general background components of patterning in winter flounder Pseudopleuronectes americanus. In vitro, forskolin (10−4 to 10−7 M) was employed to increase melanophore intracellular cytosolic adenosine‐3′‐5′‐monophosphate (cAMP) levels by stimulating adenylate cyclase. Such increase shifted noradrenaline concentration‐response curves to the right, general background melanophores being least sensitive to the forskolin, indicating a relatively higher proportion of α2‐adrenoceptors, and those from white spots the most sensitive. Melanosome dispersion, in balanced salt solution, was also enhanced by such raised levels of cAMP. Without forskolin, melanophores from white spots displayed the shortest pigment dispersion time in balanced salt solution, the slower melanophores from the other pattern components being those most affected by the addition of forskolin. The results demonstrate that differences in melanophore physiological responsiveness associated with flatfish patterns involve differential intracellular levels of cAMP, as well as differences in melanophore size and rates of melanosome movement.

Keywords: Pseudopleuronectes americanus; cAMP; flatfish patterning; forskolin; melanophores

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Department of Biology and Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John’s, Newfoundland, A1B 3X9, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2005


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