Malignant melanomas (MM) in the fish Xiphophorus and in humans were studied both by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and freeze-etching (FE). In both fish and human melanomas the cells show interdigitations of the plasma membranes. The nuclei are large and lobulated and have many nuclear pores. Melanosomes are abundant and melanosome complexes (“compound melanosomes”) occur regularly. Pinocytotic vesicles could be demonstrated in fish and human melanomas showing local differences in frequency and distribution patterns in the tumor. Intercellular junctions are lacking in MM cells from fish and humans. The FE technique showed considerable avantages in demonstrating membrane-surface peculiarities such as nuclear pores or pinocytotic vesicles. The FE replicas of fish melanomas are like those of humans. These findings may support the hypothesis that melanoma in fish and humans reflect the same biological phenomenon.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Anders A, Anders F (1978) Etiology of cancer as studied in the platyfish — swordtail system. Biochim Biophys Acta—Rev Cancer 516:61–95
Anders F, Diehl H, Schwab M, Anders A (1979) Contribution to an understanding of the cellular origin of melanoma in the Gordon-Kosswig xiphophorine fish tumor system. Pigm Cell 4:142–149
Anders F, Schartl M, Scholl E (1981) Evaluation of environmental and hereditary factors in carcinogenesis, based on studies in Xiphophorus. In: Dawes CJ et al. (eds) Phyletic approaches to cancer. Japan Scientific Societies Press, Tokyo (pp 289–309)
Anders et al. (to be published) Xiphophorus as an in vivo model for studies on normal and defective control of oncogenes. Adv Cancer Res 42
Branton D, Bullivant S, Gilula NB, Karnovsky MJ, Moor H, Mühlethaler K, Northcote DH, Packer L, Satir B, Satir P, Speth V, Staehelin LA, Steere RL, Weinstein RS (1975) Freeze-etching nomenclature. Science 190:54–56
Breathnach AS (1971) An atlas of the ultrastructure of human skin. J and A Churchill, London
Breathnach AS (1973) Freeze-fracture replication of melanocytes and melanosomes. Br J Dermatol 89 (suppl 9):18
Breathnach AS, Gross M, Martin B (1973) Freeze-fracture replication of melanocytes and melanosomes. J Anat 116:303–320
Hudson CS, Rash JE, Graham WF (1979) Introduction to sample preparation for freeze-fracture. In: Rash JE, Hudson CS (eds) Freeze-fracture: methods, artifacts, and interpretations. Raven Press, New York (pp 1–10)
Hunter JJA, Zaynoun S, Paterson WD, Bleehan SS, Mackie R, Cochran AJ (1978) Cellular fine structure in the invasive nodules of different histogenetic types of malignant melanoma. Br J Dermatol 98:255–272
Lea PJ, Haberman HF, Pawlowski A, Menon IA (1976) The use of freeze-fracture and negative staining techniques to study the ultrastructure of melanosomes isolated from B16 melanoma. J Anat 121:1–5
Peracchia C, Mittler BS (1972) Fixation by means of glutaraldehyde hydrogen peroxide reaction products. J Cell Biol 53:234–238
Reynolds ES (1963) The use of lead citrate at high pH as an electronopaque stain in electron microscopy. J Cell Biol 17:208–212
Riehl R, Tilgen W (1982) Morphological aspects of human malignant skin tumors: A freeze-fracture study. J Cutant Pathol 9:225–240
Romeis B (1968) Mikroskopische Technik. R Oldenbourg, München (pp 368–370)
Sobel HJ, Marquet E, Kallman KD, Corley GJ (1975) Melanomas in platy/swordtail hybrids. In: Ribelin WE, Migaki G (eds) The pathology of fishes. The University of Wisconsin Press. Madison (pp 945–981)
Tilgen W, Riehl R, Schroeter D (1981) Freeze-etching of human main platy/swordtail hybrids. In: Ribelin WE, Migaki G (eds) The
Vielkind J Vielkind U, Anders F (1971a) Melanotic and amelanotic melanomas in xiphophorin fish. Cancer Res 31:868–875
Vielkind J, Vielkind U, Anders F (1971b) Electron microscopic studies on melanotic and amelanotic melanomas in xiphophorin fish. Z Krebsforsch 75:243–245
Weissenfels N, Schäfer D, Bretthauer R (1970) Über die Entartung der Makromelanophoren und den Einfluß des infiltrierenden Melanomwachstums auf die Muskulatur von Poeciliiden-Bastarden. Virchows Arch [Cell Pathol] 5:144–158
Zelickson AS (1967) Melanocyte, melanin granule and Langerhans cell. In: Zelickson AS (ed) Ultrastructure of normal and abnormal skin. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia (pp 163–182)
About this article
Cite this article
Riehl, R., Schartl, M. & Kollinger, G. Comparative studies on the ultrastructure of malignant melanoma in fish and human by freeze-etching and transmission electron microscopy. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 107, 21–31 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00395486
- Malignant melanoma
- Transmission electron microscopy