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Eduardo De Robertis

Eduardo Diego Patricio De Robertis, Argentine cytologist and microscopist (Buenos Aires 11 December 1913 – Buenos Aires 31 May 1988)

Son of Italian immigrants 
With P. Rojas & F.A. Saez discovered that most amphibians have no morphologically distinguishable sex chromosomes (1935)

Determinated the release mechanism of spermatozoa from amphibian male testicles

Showed that gonadotrophin promotes gonadal maturation in toads acting on Sertolli cells (1942)

With Angel Pogo discovered follicular thyrocolloid or colloidal vesicles of thyroid gland 

Demonstrated the existence of an enzymatic mechanism in production and reabsorption of thyroid hormone (1940s)

First demonstrated the existence of a thyroid protease

With R. Grasso demonstrated peroxidases in epithelial cells and proposed the benzidine technique for histochemical localization of peroxidase activity (1946)

With F.O. Schmit discovered neural tubules or intracellular microtubules (1947)

With B. Epstein & M. Reissig described contagious myxomatosis virus of rabbit (1952)

With R. Canzani, B. Epstein & G. Gasic described mice transplantable leukemia virus (1955) 

With Bennett and independently from Palade discovered synaptic vesicles in nerve terminals (1954) and named them 
With Bennett associated synaptic vesicles to quantal acetylcholine and catecholamine release 

Demonstrated synthesis and release mechanisms in synaptic vesicles


Identified pre- and post synaptic receptors

Identified the connective ciliary nature between the outer and inner segments of photoreceptors (1956)


With Lasansky first visualized protein-lipid bilayers in retinal photoreceptors and myelin-sheath membranes (1959)

First described exocytosis mechanism in adrenal and the ontogenesis of photoreceptors

Showed ultrastructure and physiological role of synaptic vesicles (1967)
With F. Wald & H. Gerschenfeld discovered the role of glial cells in transmission of neural impulses

With Pena, Medina, Novas & Paladini discovered N-butyl-β-carboline-3-carboxylate that binds to cerebral benzodiazepine receptors  (1986)  

Coined term endomembrane system
Developed techniques of subcellular fractionation for nervous system studies

With G. Rodríguez de Lores & A. Pellegrino de Iraldi developed De Robertis method of differential centrifugation for isolation of synaptic terminals (1962)

Assay of thyrotropic hormone in human blood. J. clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 8(11):956-66, 1948 

With C.A. Peluffo invented a special chamber to observe the motility of bacteria (1951)

With A. Lasansky. Electron microscopy of retinal photoreceptors. The use of chromation following formaldehyde fixation as a complementary technique to osmium tetroxide fixation. J. Biophys. Biochem. Cytol. 7:493-8, 1960  

With W. Nowinski  & F.A. Sáez authored Citologia General or Cell Biology (1946) with many issues

Papers in top journals

Absorption of the exocrine cells of the pancreas. Nature 157:264, 1946

With W.W. Nowinski. The mechanism of the therapeutic effect of iodine on the thyroid gland. Science 103 (2675):421, 1946

With E. Rodríguez de Lores Arnaiz & A. Pellegrino de Iraldi. Isolation of synaptic vesicles from nerve endings of the rat brain. Nature 194:794-5, 1962

With L. Salganicoff, L.M. Zieher & G. Rodríguez de Lores Arnaiz. Acetylcholine and cholinacetylase content of synaptic vesicles. Science 140(3564):300-1, 1963

Ultrastructure and cytochemistry of the synaptic region. The macromolecular components involved in nerve transmission are being studied. Science 156(3777):907-14, 1967

Molecular biology of synaptic receptors. Science 171(3975):963-71, 1971   

With his son Eduardo Miguel De Robertis authored Cell and Molecular Biology (1980) and translated into 9 languages

Medicine & Physiology Nobel Prize nominee