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Impairment of mixed melanin-based pigmentation in parrots

Parrots and allies (Order Psittaciformes) have evolved an exclusive capacity to synthesize polyene pigments called psittacofulvins at feather follicles, which allows them to produce a striking diversity of pigmentation phenotypes. Melanins are polymers constituting the most abundant pigments in animals, and the sulphurated form (pheomelanin) produces colors that are similar to those produced by psittacofulvins. However, the differential contribution of these pigments to psittaciform phenotypic diversity has not been investigated. Given the color redundancy, and physiological limitations associated to pheomelanin synthesis, this study assumed that the latter would be avoided by psittaciform birds. This hypothesis was tested by using Raman spectroscopy to identify pigments in feathers exhibiting colors suspicious of being produced by pheomelanin (i.e., dull red, yellow and grey- and green-brownish) in 26 species from the three main lineages of Psittaciformes. The non-sulphurated melanin form (eumelanin) were detected in black, grey and brown plumage patches, and psittacofulvins in red, yellow and green patches, but no evidence of pheomelanin was found. As natural melanins are assumed to be composed of eumelanin and pheomelanin in varying ratios, these results represent the first report of impairment of mixed melanin-based pigmentation in animals. Given that psittaciforms also avoid the uptake of circulating carotenoid pigments, these birds seem to have evolved a capacity to avoid functional redundancy between pigments, likely by regulating follicular gene expression. The study provides the first vibrational characterization of different psittacofulvin-based colors and thus helps to determine the relative polyene chain length in these pigments, which is related to their antireductant protection activity. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Neves et al (2020) Impairment of mixed melanin-based pigmentation in parrots. J Experim Biol. DOI 10.1242/jeb.225912


https://jeb.biologists.org/content/early/2020/05/08/jeb.225912
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LC-MS determination of catecholamines and related metabolites in red deer urine and hair

LC-MS determination of catecholamines and related metabolites in red deer urine and hair

A novel analytical methodology for the determination and extraction of catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and their metabolites DL-3,4-dihydroxyphenyl glycol and DL-3,4-dihydroxymandelic acid by LC-MS is here developed and validated for application to human and animal urine and hair samples. The method is based on the preliminary extraction of analytes by a magnetic multi-walled carbon nanotube poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) composite. This is followed by a < 9 min chromatographic separation of the target compounds in an Onyx Monolithic C18 column using a mixture of 0.01% (v/v) heptafluorobutyric acid in water and methanol at 500 µL min-1 flow rate. Detection limits within range from 0.055 to 0.093 µg mL-1, and precision values of the response and retention times of analytes were > 90%. Accuracy values comprised the range 79.5–109.5% when the analytes were extracted from deer urine samples using the selected MMWCNT-poly(STY-DVB) sorbent. This methodology was applied to real red deer urine and hair samples, the resulting concentrations within range from 0.05 to 0.5 µg mL-1for norepinephrine and from 1.0 to 44.5 µg mL-1 for its metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl glycol. Analyses of red deer hair resulted in high amounts of 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl. informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Murtada et al (2019) LC-MS determination of catecholamines and related metabolites in red deer urine and hair extracted using magnetic multi-walled carbon nanotube poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) composite. J Chromatogr B https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2019.121878


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S157002321931150X