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J Exp Biol. 1995;198(Pt 7):1447-54.

Modulation of crayfish retinal function by red pigment concentrating hormone


The role of the crustacean octapeptide red pigment concentrating hormone (RPCH) in the control of crayfish retinal activity was explored. RPCH injection into intact animals resulted, after a latency of 10­30 min, in a dose-dependent enhancement of electroretinogram (ERG) amplitude lasting 60­120 min. RPCH was able to potentiate ERG amplitude in both light-adapted and dark-adapted animals. Following light-adaptation, responsiveness to RPCH was five times higher than following dark-adaptation. In conjunction with ERG enhancement, in light-adapted animals, RPCH injection elicited a dose-dependent retraction of distal retinal pigment, but did not affect proximal retinal pigment position. The effects of RPCH were blocked by a polyclonal antibody raised against a tyrosinated form of RPCH (A-tyr-RPCH). The antibody was also capable of partially blocking the nocturnal phase of the circadian rhythm of ERG amplitude and the darkness-induced retraction of distal retinal pigment. These results suggest that RPCH acts both on the retinal photoreceptors and on the distal pigment cells, playing a physiological role as a mediator of the effects induced by darkness and by the nocturnal phase of the circadian rhythm.

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