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Peptides. 1995;16(7):1269-72.

Immunocytochemical localization and biochemical characterization of melanotropin-like peptides in the gonads of a protochordate.

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Institute of Comparative Anatomy, University of Genova, Italy.


The compound gonads of the protochordate ascidian Styela plicata were investigated by immunocytochemistry, HPLC, and radioimmunoassay to verify the presence of melanotropin-like peptides, alpha-MSH-like immunoreactivity is localized in the follicular cells and in the perinuclear cytoplasm of different types of ovaric follicles, as well as in the spermatogonia and spermatocytes of testicular lobules. The ascidian immunoreactive peptides occurring in the gonads consist of alpha-MSH and ACTH(1-13)-NH2 and their amounts are higher in summer than in winter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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