Melanomacrophage functions in the liver of the caecilian Siphonops annulatus

Melanomacrophages are phagocytes that synthesize melanin. They are found in the liver and spleen of ectothermic vertebrates, and in the kidney of fish. In agnathan and elasmobranch fish, melanomacrophages are seen as isolated cells, and forming clusters in all the other vertebrates. The natural phagocytic activity of melanomacrophages is poorly characterized, as most of the research works have focused on induced phagocytic activity only. Furthermore, little is known about amphibian melanomacrophages, mainly about those in caecilians - wormlike amphibians in the order of Gymnophiona, which is the least known group of terrestrial vertebrates. The present research work aimed at the structure and function of hepatic melanomacrophages of Siphonops annulatus, a species largely found in South America. We identified the role of these cells in the control of circulating basophils (pro-melanogenic cells), in the turnover of liver collagen stroma and in the hemocatheresis, interrelated physiological mechanisms.
Keywords
amphibia;  basophil;  caecilian;  Kupffer cell;  liver;  melanin;  melanomacrophages

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Gutierre RC, Jared C, Antoniazzi MM, Coppi AA, Egami MI. Melanomacrophage functions in the liver of the caecilian Siphonops annulatus. J. Anat.. 2018 Mar;232(3):497-508. doi:10.1111/joa.12757.
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