Ultraviolet Radiation Induces Dose-Dependent Pigment Dispersion in Crustacean Chromatophores

Gouveia, Glauce Ribeiro; Lopes, Thais Martins; Neves, Carla Amorim; Nery, Luiz Eduardo Maia; Trindade, Gilma Santos


Pigment dispersion in chromatophores as a response to UV radiation was investigated in two species of crustaceans, the crab Chasmagnathus granulata and the shrimp Palaemonetes argentinus. Eyestalkless crabs and shrimps maintained on either a black or a white background were irradiated with different UV bands. In eyestalkless crabs the significant minimal effective dose inducing pigment dispersion was 0.42 J/cm2 for UVA and 2.15 J/cm2 for UVB. Maximal response was achieved with 10.0 J/cm2 UVA and 8.6 J/cm2 UVB. UVA was more effective than UVB in inducing pigment dispersion. Soon after UV exposure, melanophores once again reached the initial stage of pigment aggregation after 45 min. Aggregated erythrophores of shrimps adapted to a white background showed significant pigment dispersion with 2.5 J/cm2 UVA and 0.29 J/cm2 UVC. Dispersed erythrophores of shrimps adapted to a black background did not show any significant response to UVA, UVB or UVC radiation. UVB did not induce any significant pigment dispersion in shrimps adapted to either a white or a black background. As opposed to the tanning response, which only protects against future UV exposure, the pigment dispersion response could be an important agent protecting against the harmful effects of UV radiation exposure.

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