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Melanophore sensitivity and pigmentation in fish exposed to medetomidine

Paper i proceeding
Författare Anna Lennquist
Lena Mårtensson Lindblad
Lars Förlin
Publicerad i PRIMO 14,Pollutant responses in marine organisms, Florianopolis, Brasilien
Publiceringsår 2007
Publicerad vid Zoologiska institutionen
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Biologiska vetenskaper

Sammanfattning

Pigment containing cells, melanophores, are abundant in scales and eyes of many fish species. The mobile pigment granules within these cells can be aggregated to give a pale appearance, or dispersed to give a dark appearance. This movement is regulated both by hormones and neurotransmitters. Medetomidine, which is an alpha2-adrenoceptor agonist, is known to be very efficient in pigment aggregation in vitro. Since medetomidine is now suggested as a new agent in antifouling paints, it is of interest to study long-term effects of medetomidine on pigmentation and melanophore function in fish in vivo. In this study, rainbow trout was exposed via water to three concentrations of medetomidine (0.05, 0.5 and 5.0 nM). Within one day, fish exposed to 5 nM were significantly paler than control fish. This paleness remained throughout the experiment. After 25 days, fish from the different treatments were sacrificed and scales were removed for light microscope studies of melanophore sensitivity. Here, further medetomidine (5 microM) was added to the medium to induce pigment aggregation, and pictures were taken at time 0 and after 30 minutes. The pictures were then judged for level of pigment aggregation according to a five-graded scale (Hogben-Slome index). Melanophores from the medetomidine-treated fish did not aggregate as much as melanophores from the control fish. This lowered sensitivity was dose-dependent. The results suggest that prolonged medetomdine exposure at these concentrations might alter fish pigmentation and also interfere with melanophore function.

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