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Pigment Cell Res 1992 Nov 01;55 Pt 1:253-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0749.1992.tb00545.x.
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Intrinsic pigment-cell stimulating activity in the catfish integument.

Zuasti A , Johnson WC , Samaraweera P , Bagnara JT .

In keeping with the concept that local factors in the vertebrate integument affect the expression of pigment cells, the present study was directed toward demonstrating the existence of such factors in the skin of the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. This species has a dark dorsal surface in marked contrast to an almost white midventral surface. Pieces of skin from these two surfaces were used to condition culture media, which were in turn bioassayed using the Xenopus neural tube explant system (Fukuzawa and Ide, 1988, Dev. Biol. 129:25). A certain number of neural crest cells grow out from the explant, and many of these are melanized in a culture medium of Steinberg''s basic salt solution (BSS). When the BSS was conditioned with either dorsal or ventral skin, a profound increase in both the number of crest cells emigrated from the neural tubes and the percentage of melanized cells was observed. The effects of dorsal skin were stronger than those of ventral skin and were evident on a dose/response basis. Initial fractionation of conditioned BSS with DEAE ion exchange chromatography produced fractions of particular potency in the stimulation of melanogenesis. A similarly conditioned medium based upon Leibovitz''s L-15 was used in the primary culture of mature chromatophores, namely, melanophores, iridophores, and xanthophores from tadpoles of Rana pipiens. Both dorsal and ventral conditioned media stimulated iridophores and xanthophores, but seemed to have little or no effect on tadpole melanophores. A melanization inhibiting factor (MIF) from the ventral surface of adult frogs has been suggested as the basis for the light colored ventrum of amphibians, and although the present experiments were not designed to study catfish MIF, the possible existence of such a factor in this species was supported by the results. The total results of this investigation are discussed in the light of the possible presence of a melanization inhibiting factor (MIF) of greater prevalence in the ventrum and a melanization stimulatory factor (MSF) of greater prevalence in the dorsal integument. It is suggested that the light-colored ventral surface of the catfish and other poikilotherms may result from the presence of higher levels of MIF than MSF. Thus, the expression of melanophores is inhibited while that of iridophores is enhanced. In contrast, higher levels of MSF over MIF in the dark dorsal surface would result in melanophore stimulation and inhibition of iridophore expression.

PubMed ID: 1363134
Article link: Pigment Cell Res
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: amh ide mif prg4