Marine Biology

, 164:72 | Cite as

Lipofuscin accumulation in tissues of Arctica islandica indicates faster ageing in populations from brackish environments

  • Larisa Basova
  • Julia Strahl
  • Eva E. R. Philipp
  • Thomas Brey
  • Alexey Sukhotin
  • Doris Abele
Original paper


Environmental factors can affect the rate of ageing and shape the lifespan in marine ectotherms. The mechanisms and the degree of environmental influence on aging can best be studied in species with wide ranging biogeographic distribution. One of the biomarkers of physiological ageing is the fluorescent age pigment lipofuscin, which accumulates over lifetime in tissues of bivalves. We compared lipofuscin accumulation rate in muscles and respiratory tissues of the extremely long-lived bivalve Arctica islandica from five geographically distinct populations (Northern Norway, White Sea, Kiel Bay, German Bight and Iceland). Maximum investigated chronological age across different populations in the present study differed from 40 years in Kiel Bay to 192 years at Iceland. An inverse association between lipofuscin deposition rate and recorded maximum age was observed through inter-population comparisons. In most cases lipofuscin accumulated exponentially over age in a tissue-specific manner. The age-specific lipofuscin content was significantly higher in respiratory than muscles tissues in all populations. Cellular lipofuscin granule area can be used as indicator of aging across A. islandica populations with the variance in granule accumulation depending on the annual variations of salinity in different marine regions, but not on the habitat-specific thermal envelope.


German Bight Standard Metabolic Rate Mantle Tissue Lipofuscin Granule Norwegian Coast 
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.



The authors thank the staff of histological laboratory of Angela Koehler (AWI, Bremerhaven, Germany) who kindly provided support for lipofuscin measurements. Thanks to Katja Broeg and Sieglinde Bahns for their help with the lipofuscin analysis. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their positive input which allowed us to improve the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards


This work was supported by grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (A/05/56588, A/07/72522 to L.B.); Federal Ministry of Education and Research International Office (RUS-07/A11 to L.B.); Saint-Petersburg State University (, 1.42.1493.2015 and 1.42.1099.2016 to L.B.) and Russian Foundation for Basic Research (14-04-00466 to L.B. and A.S.).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

227_2017_3110_MOESM1_ESM.docm (354 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCM 354 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Murmansk Marine Biological Institute KSC RASMurmanskRussia
  2. 2.Saint-Petersburg State UniversitySt PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Carl von Ossietzky University of OldenburgOldenburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Clinical Molecular BiologyKielGermany
  5. 5.Alfred-Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  6. 6.Zoological Institute RASSt PetersburgRussia

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