The integumental pigment cells (erythrophores) of the squirrel fish, Holocentrus ascensionis, are specialized for rapid radial transport of the pigment granules contained within their cytoplasm. Pigment granules in isolated denervated erythrophores alternate spontaneously between a centrally aggregated state and a radially dispersed state. In the absence of external calcium, pigment aggregation does not occur spontaneously and cannot be induced by the aggregating agents epinephrine or high concentration of external K+. Pigment aggregation is also impaired in the presence of D600 or papaverine, compounds reported to antagonize calcium influx into the cell. Pigment aggregation can be induced by experimental elevation of the concentration of cytoplasmic free Ca2+, with a Ca-EGTA buffer system in conjunction with ionophore A23187. The threshold concentration of Ca2+ required to produce this effect is 5 × 10-5 M. These results suggest that cytoplasmic free Ca2+ is involved in mediating pigment aggregation and that some, if not all, the Ca2+ is supplied by influx from the extracellular space.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)