fish pigment cell: an alternative model in biomedical research
Karlsson, J.O.G. | Grundstrom, N. | Elwing, H. | Andersson, R.G.G.
Receptor-mediated pigment aggregation within pigment cells (chromatophores) of an isolated fish scale is an ideal model system for functional receptor studies. The superficial layer of the scale contains both dermal chromatophores and postganglionic sympathetic nerves. By means of stimulation of the nerves, or by addition of appropriate receptor agonists, it is possible to elicit pigment aggregation within the chromatophores. A single fish can contribute hundreds of scales, various pharmacological and biochemical experiments are easily carried out and the physiological response, i.e. pigment aggregation, is readily evaluated by the aid of a light microscope or a simple scale photometer. A denervation model, based on isolated scales, permits studies of factors involved in the sensitivity change, which typically takes place after experimental or pathological denervation. By using isolated fish scales it is quite simple to illustrate many biomedically important concepts, like receptor theory and nerve-effector cell communication. This makes the scale a very useful preparation in biomedical education.Show more [+] Less [-]