Structural changes in the pars intermedia of the cichlid teleost sarotherodon mossambicus as a result of background adaptation and illumination the per iodic acid schiff positive cells

Van Eys, G.J.J.M.

Cell and Tissue Research 210(2): 171-180


ISSN/ISBN: 0302-766X
Accession: 006490252

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The pars intermedia of S. mossambicus contains 2 structurally different endocrine cell types. The predominant cell type is assumed to synthesize melanotropin and related peptides. The 2nd cell type is PAS [periodic acid Schiff] positive; its function and products are unknown. In this 2nd cell type changes occur in relation to background color and illumination. Thus, PAS positive cells of fish adapted to a white background are less numerous and metabolically less active than those of fish adapted to a black background, and are most active in fish kept in total darkness. In blinded fish, whether in light or in darkness, the activity of the PAS positive cells is similar to that of the black background-adapted animals. The significance of these responses in relation to the control of background adaptation is discussed.