Fish and amphibians have in addition to colourful skin also pigmented cells on internal organs and membranes. Although there are some evidences that this visceral pigmentation may be related to accumulation of residual melanin and may has a role in the innate immune system, the functions of visceral pigmentation in fish and anurans are largely unknown. antioxidant functions, and protect tissues against DNA damage. Now we will test the potential functions of visceral pigmentation in protecting internal organs of anurans and fish against UV damage in. Specifically, we will measure DNA damage and cell death in two lineages of pigmented cells; melanocytes and melanomacrophages. Furthermore, possible functions related to innate immunity will be evaluated by measuring phagocytosis and production of melanin after exposure to bacteria. Another set of experiments will use albine and pigmented tadpoles as in vivo experimental models and fish of the Gobiidae family and Zebrafish with differences in skin pigmentation. Also, experimental model consisting of biopsy of liver and mesentery. We will conduct experiments with (i) albine and pigmented tadpoles and fish in order to test the acute effects of UVR and LPS exposure; (ii) with fish to test the effects of solar radiation in animals with different levels of transparency; and (iii) experiments for test phagacitosis in melanomacrophages and melanocytes. Data analysis includes morphological and stereological analyses, quantification of melanin, comet assay, micronucleus analysis and nuclear abnormalities, analysis of apoptotic cells, telomere length and phagocytosis.
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