Morphological and physiological aspects of melanophores in primary culture from tadpoles of Xenopus laevis

Research paper by R. Seldenrijk, D. R. W. Hup, P. N. E. de Graan, F. C. G. van de Veerdonk

Indexed on: 01 May '79Published on: 01 May '79Published in: Cell and Tissue Research


Melanophores from tadpoles of Xenopus laevis (Daudin) were isolated by digestion of tail fins with acetyltrypsin and collagenase and maintained in primary culture for 6 weeks up to 3 months. Within 36 to 72 h the melanophores develop one to eight dendritic processes per cell; secondary and tertiary branchings of the processes were frequently observed. The melanophores in primary culture disperse under the influence of α-MSH or cyclic AMP; upon rinsing out these substances the cells aggregate. In darkness, about 40 % of the cells disperse their pigment, whereas under illumination the pigment of the melanophores aggregates. To date, attempts to initiate cell division in melanophores have not been successful.