Stimulation of Cultured Iridophores by Amphibian Ventral Conditioned Medium


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23 Citations (Scopus)


That the ventral integument of adult frogs (Rana pipiens) contains factor(s) that stimulate iridophore expression (adhesion, morphologic appearance, proliferation) was demonstrated on iridophores derived from tadpoles of R. pipiens and Pachymedusa dacnicolor, and maintained in primary culture in a growth medium based upon Leibovitz's L‐15. Experimental growth medium (VCM) conditioned by a one‐hour exposure to pieces of ventral skin of adult R. pipiens induced iridophores to assume a broad and stellate appearance, to form confluent sheets, and to proliferate over a nine‐day period. Iridophores in control medium assumed long thin profiles, detached easily, and exhibited no signs of proliferation. Unknown cells containing reflecting platelets and unusual other organelles appeared uniquely in chromatophore cultures of P. dacnicolor in VCM. The intense stimulation of iridophore expression in VCM is consistent with the known inhibitory effect of this medium on melanization and with its purported role in the determination of dorsal/ventral pigment patterns of amphibians. The results are discussed in terms of a prevailing theory about pigment cell origins and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalPigment Cell Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1990 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Conditioned medium
  • Iridophores
  • Neural crest pattern formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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