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Immunohistochemical and morphological study of Crotalus durissus terrificus, Epicrates cenchria and Boa constrictor hemipenis

Grant number: 14/07762-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - General Pharmacology
Principal researcher:Gilberto de Nucci
Grantee:Mauro Napolitano
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/11828-4 - Pharmacological, eletrophysiological and morphological characterization of a novel TTX-resistant sodium channel coupled to corpus cavernosum of snakes, AP.TEM


The Squamata can be diagnosed by more than 70 anatomical features, most related to the muscle-skeletal system. However, the presence of a pair of copulatory organs (hemipenis) is the most unique feature of this group that includes snakes and lizards. For erection to occur , the hemipenis suffer engorgement of the cavernosum with blood and lymph (by mechanisms still poorly known), and rely on the assistance of the propellant muscle contraction and relaxation the retractor muscle of the hemipenis. During detumescence, which occurs at the end of copulation, the retraction of the muscles contract and pull hemipenis back into the tail.In this process, hemipenis is turned inside out so that the outer face, which displays structures related to copulation, it is internal, the invagination process known as hemipenis. In contrast to the wealth of knowledge about the structures directly linked to copulation adorning the hemipenis, little is known about the microscopic structure of the tissues that form the erectile portion of hemipenis.The objectives of this project are to determine the presence and location of sodium TTX-sensitive and TTX-resistant channels and the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in neuronal and endothelial hemipenis of Crotalus terrificus, Epicrates cenchria and Boa constrictor using the technique of electron transmission microscopy. Furthermore, we intend to relate the location of NOS with the sodium channel. (AU)

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