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Response of club cells in the skin of the carp Cyprinus carpio to exogenous stressors

Abstract

The ultrastructure of club cells and neighbouring filament cells and leucocytes in the epidermis of carp, was studied under normal conditions and after exposure to several stressors: acid water, heavy metals, organic manure, brackish water and wounding. The effects of the stressors were remarkably similar. The club cells increased in size and contained more endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi areas. In both control and stressed fish, most mitotic figures of the filament cells were found adjacent to club cells, as was demonstrated after colchicine injection. Whereas in the controls apoptosis of filament cells was scarce and limited to the upper layer of the epithelium, in the stressed fish it was commonly seen in close proximity to the club cells but not in other mid-epidermal parts of the epithelium. This indicates that club cells influence the cellular kinetics of the filament cells. Under stress conditions leucocytes infiltrated the epidermis. Some were seen inside club cells. Apparently these leucocytes were taken up in phagosomes and subsequently they showed signs of necrotic degeneration. Leucocyte incorporation and degeneration in club cells were not observed in control fish. Control of the cellular turnover of filament cells and the elimination of leucocytes may represent new functions for club cells, which have mainly been associated with the production of pheromones.

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Iger, Y., Abraham, M. & Wendelaar Bonga, S.E. Response of club cells in the skin of the carp Cyprinus carpio to exogenous stressors. Cell Tissue Res 277, 485–491 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00300221

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Key words

  • Skin
  • Club cells
  • Apoptosis
  • Necrosis
  • Filament cells
  • Leucocytes
  • Cyprinus carpio (Teleostei)