Responses of the PAS-positive pars intermedia cells in the cichlid fish Sarotherodon mossambicus to ambient calcium and background adaptation

Van Eys, G.J.; Wendelaar Bonga, S.E.

Cell and Tissue Research 236(1): 181-187

1984


ISSN/ISBN: 0302-766X
PMID: 6713505
DOI: 10.1007/bf00216529
Accession: 016927277

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Abstract
The function of the PAS-positive pars intermedia cells in fish has been connected with control of background adaptation and of plasma calcium levels. Since background reflectivity and illumination influence calcium metabolism in S. mossambicus, we have tested the hypothesis that the effects of background reflectivity on the PAS-positive cells are mediated by changes in plasma calcium. However, total plasma calcium does not correlate with the activity of the PAS-positive cells as estimated by morphometrical criteria. Transfer of S. mossambicus to a white background leads to a drop in plasma calcium, and a marked reduction of the activity of the PAS-positive cells. Adaptation to low-calcium freshwater, on a neutral background, has the same effect on plasma calcium but has no effect on the PAS-positive cells. The characteristic structural features of highly active PAS-positive cells in fish from a black background are not due to the slight hypocalcemia that occurs in these fish, since addition of calcium to the water in concentrations that fully prevent the drop in plasma calcium does not suppress the PAS-positive cells. These findings make it very unlikely that these cells produce a hypercalcemic factor in S. mossambicus.

Responses of the PAS-positive pars intermedia cells in the cichlid fish Sarotherodon mossambicus to ambient calcium and background adaptation