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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pharmacomorphological study of denervation induced by 6-hydroxydopamine in Porichthys photophores.

The effects of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) on the bioluminescent response of Porichthys photophores were investigated as part of a pharmacological study of the neural control of luminescence in this fish. Subcutaneous injections of 6-OHDA induce a luminescent response similar to that of norepinephrine (NE), suggesting a sympathomimetic action. The luminescent response to electrical stimulation is almost completely and irreversibly abolished within 24 hours following low-dose treatment of the photophores with 6-OHDA, while the sensitivity of these organs to exogenous NE is increased significantly over the few days post-treatment. During this period the photophores continously emitted a steady low-level glow. Electronmicroscopic studies of such photophores revealed progressive destruction of the nerve endings. Photophore luminescent sensitivty to NE subsequently became sub-normal, and at this stage electron microscopy revealed an increasingly larger number of damaged photocytes, supportive cells and, in one case, lens cells. From these results it is suggested that 6-OHDA initially impairs neuro-photocyte transmission by destroying catecholaminergic nerve endings. In turn, the transmitter reuptake mechanism is also impaired, thus accounting for development of supersensitive responses to exogenous NE. Subnormal luminescent responses to NE appear as a result of loss of photocyte competence due to structural deterioration. The latter are interpreted as the consequence of removal of trophic factors supplied by the photophore adrenergic innervation. Suppression of luminescent response to both electrical stimulation and exogenous NE in photophores treated with higher doses of 6-OHDA, may be due to a direct effect of this drug on the receptor sites of the photocytes.[1]


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