Emerging melanin protective pigment in the brain of Xenopus laevis to protect from the effects of UV radiation

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-95022013000300055
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H. Díaz Murillo & C. Pedemonte Campos

Summary

It has been observed that certain amphibians have developed pigmentation in brain as a possible increased protection against UV radiation, caused by damage to the ozone layer, which would alter the ecosystem. In this paper we describe the presence of pigment in the brain of X. laevis during larval development and possible protective function against UV radiation. To do this, we collected individuals at various larval stages, which were obtained from different locations in Valparaiso (V Region, Chile ), to be processed with HE and the method of Lillie. In the analysis it was evident that pigmentation corresponded to melanin, which would be in the membrane called leptomeninges, which covers the brain and would be acting as a protective filter to prevent damage to the level of development in the nervous system of these frogs. In addition, UV rays would be deleterious agents stimulating production of eumelanin in the leptomeninges of these amphibians, to protect the CNS (brain), and the individual itself of potential teratogenic or mutagenic alterations.

KEY WORDS: Melanin; Ultraviolet radiation; Xenopus laevis.

How to cite this article

DÍAZ, M. H. & C. PEDEMONTE, C. C. Emerging melanin protective pigment in the brain of Xenopus laevis to protect from the effects of UV radiation. Int. J. Morphol., 31(3):1120-1123, 2013.