Marine Biology

, Volume 157, Issue 6, pp 1283–1292 | Cite as

Cell turnover in tissues of the long-lived ocean quahog Arctica islandica and the short-lived scallop Aequipecten opercularis

  • Julia Strahl
  • Doris AbeleEmail author
Original Paper


Cell proliferation and apoptosis were investigated in tissues of two bivalve species, Arctica islandica from the German Bight (age of bivalves: 33–98 years) and Iceland (7–148 years) and Aequipecten opercularis from the English Channel (2–4 years). High proliferation rates (10% nuclei dividing) and apoptosis in tissues of A. opercularis were in line with high-energy throughput and reduced investment into antioxidant defence mechanisms in the scallop. In contrast, cell turnover was slow (<1% nuclei dividing) in A. islandica and similar in mantle, gill and adductor muscle between young and old individuals. In the heart, cell turnover rates decreased with age, which indicates less-efficient removal of damaged cells in ageing A. islandica. Cell turnover rates, mass specific respiration and antioxidant enzyme activities were similar in German Bight and Iceland ocean quahog. Variable maximum life expectancies in geographically separated A. islandica populations are determined by extrinsic factors rather than by fundamental physiological differences.


Adductor Muscle Bivalve German Bight Shell Growth Gill Tissue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Gudmundur Vidir Helgasson, Halldór Pálmar Halldórsson and Reynir Sveinsson from Sandgerdi Marine Station (University of Iceland) as well as Siggeir Stefánsson and Silvia Hardenberg for support during the field work in Iceland. Thanks to Michael Janke and the Uthoern crew for fishing North Sea A. islandica, Sabine Schaefer who helped with the immuno-histochemical techniques, and Stefanie Meyer and Kerstin Beyer who technically supported our study. The cooperative project between the working groups of PD Dr. Abele (Alfred-Wegener Institute) and Prof. Dr. Dringen (University of Bremen) was financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), grant numbers AB124/10-1 and DR262/10-1.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.University of BremenBremenGermany

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