SICB 2015: Does Dorsal Crest Erection Arise from an Inflammatory Response?

Morgan Gerace and her SICB 2015 poster on dorsal crest erection in A. sagrei

Morgan Gerace and her SICB 2015 poster on dorsal crest erection in Anolis sagrei

We perviously learned about new research on the mechanisms of dorsal crest erection in the brown anole, Anolis sagrei, being done by the Rand Lab at Carleton College. This is a interesting new research area with relevance to our understanding of anole signaling and anatomy that is being carried out by Rand and a team of impressive undergraduate students. Rand Lab student, Morgan Gerace, presented a second Rand Lab poster on this topic at SICB 2015. Following up on the first poster, in which the authors found no evidence of the involvement of muscles, cartilage, or vascular sinus in crest erection, Morgan tested whether crest erection is due to an inflammatory response. By injecting male anoles with the an adernegenic receptor  antagonist, interfering with the lizard’s fight-or-flight response, Morgan determined that crest erection may be the result of an inflammatory-like response. Conversely, injection of with epinephrine, essentially supercharging the fight-or-flight response, facilitated a crest erection response. This exciting work by this set of motivated undergraduates draws new attention to the physiological control mechanisms of this under-studied display mechanism.

Dorsal crest of Anolis sagrei

Dorsal crest erection in  Anolis sagrei

About Thomas Sanger

Thom Sanger is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University in Chicago. His lab specializes on understanding the developmental bases of Anolis lizard diversity.

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