Maria Nathalia Moraes

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Melanopsin has been implicated in the mammalian photoentrainment by blue light. This photopigment, which maximally absorbs light at wavelengths between 470 and 480 nm depending on the species, is found in the retina of all classes of vertebrates so far studied. In mammals, melanopsin activation triggers a signaling pathway which resets the circadian clock(More)
Circadian rhythm may be understood as a temporal organization that works to orchestrate physiological processes and behavior in a period of approximately 24 h. Because such temporal organization has evolved in the presence of predictable environmental clues, such as day length, tides, seasons, and temperature, the organism has confronted the natural(More)
Xenopus laevis melanophores express two melanopsins, Opn4x and Opn4m. We identified Opn4x immunoreactivity throughout the melanophore cytoplasm and in the cell membrane. The strongest immunopositivity for Opn4m was observed in the nuclear region, and no labeling was seen in the cell membrane. This immunodistribution suggests Opn4x as the functional(More)
The non-visual opsin, melanopsin, expressed in the mammalian retina, is considered a circadian photopigment because it is responsible to entrain the endogenous biological clock. This photopigment is also present in the melanophores of Xenopus laevis, where it was first described, but its role in these cells is not fully understood. X. laevis melanophores(More)
α-MSH and light exert a dispersing effect on pigment granules of Xenopus laevis melanophores; however, the intracellular signaling pathways are different. Melatonin, a hormone that functions as an internal signal of darkness for the organism, has opposite effects, aggregating the melanin granules. Because light functions as an important synchronizing signal(More)
The molecular clock machinery is conserved throughout evolution. However, how environmental cues are perceived has evolved in such a way that peripheral clocks in mammals require a variety of signals, including hormones. On the other hand, in nonmammalian cells able to directly detect light, light seems to play a major role in the synchronization of the(More)
It is believed that the biological systems perceiving temperature and light daily cycles were subjected to the simultaneous selective pressures, which resulted in their co-evolutionary association. We investigated the influence of 1h 33°C heat shock on the expression of clock and heat shock protein genes, as well as the role of the thermo-TRP channel,(More)
Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are known to regulate energy metabolism, and TRPM8 has become an interesting player in this context. Here we demonstrate the role of the cold sensor TRPM8 in the regulation of clock gene and clock controlled genes in brown adipose tissue (BAT). We investigated TrpM8 temporal profile in the eyes, suprachiasmatic(More)
Here we report, for the first time, the differential cellular distribution of two melanopsins (Opn4m1 and Opn4m2) and the effects of GR agonist, dexamethasone, on the expression of these opsins and clock genes, in the photosensitive D. rerio ZEM-2S embryonic cells. Immunopositive labeling for Opn4m1 was detected in the cell membrane whereas Opn4m2 labeling(More)
Transient receptor potential (TRPs) channels are involved in thermogenesis, and temperature and energy balance control. Mice lacking TrpV1 become more obese and develop insulin resistance when fed with high fat diet; however, a relationship between metabolic disorders, TRP channels, and clock genes is still unknown. Based on this, we hypothesized that TRPV1(More)