Document Detail

A developmental analysis of periodic albinism in the amphibian Xenopus laevis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20178802     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
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.
Gerald W Eagleson; Roel A van der Heijden; Eric W Roubos; Bruce G Jenks
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-02-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  General and comparative endocrinology     Volume:  168     ISSN:  1095-6840     ISO Abbreviation:  Gen. Comp. Endocrinol.     Publication Date:  2010 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-09     Completed Date:  2010-11-23     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370735     Medline TA:  Gen Comp Endocrinol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  302-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Dept. Cellular Animal Physiology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, European Graduate School of Neuroscience, Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Science, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525 AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Albinism / metabolism*
Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones / metabolism
Melanophores / metabolism
Xenopus laevis / growth & development,  metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
9002-79-3/Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones

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