The composition and seasonal dynamics of the hemocyte cell population in the clams Corbicula japonica Prime (1864) of the Kievka River (the basin of the Sea of Japan)
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The parameters of a hemocyte cell population were investigated in the bivalve mollusk Corbicula japonica of the Kievka River (the basin of the Sea of Japan) at four seasonal points corresponding to different stages of the reproductive cycle: (1) March (sexual rest); (2) May (gametogenesis); (3) July (spawning); and (4) November (the end of reproductive activity). Using light microscopy, we identified four cell morphotypes in the hemolymph: small and large hyalinocytes, as well as basophilic and eosinophilic granulocytes. Flow cytometry confirmed the structural heterogeneity of the cell population and allowed us to estimate the seasonal variability of the cell composition in C. japonica hemolymph. The total cell count in the mollusk hemolymph did not change significantly during the annual cycle and did not correlate with the average cell size of hemocytes. In March, May, and November, granulocytes dominated in the cell population (74.3 ± 2.9, 77.5 ± 3.5, and 86.7 ± 2.6%, respectively), while in July their relative content was reduced dramatically (37.2 ± 5.1%) causing a significant decrease of both the average cell size and granularity in circulation. Most likely, this is connected with the summer migration of mature eosinophilic granulocytes from the hemolymph to spawning gonads for resorption of the unspent sexual products, as well as to other internal organs for participation in digestion and to provide the immune defense against pathogens.
Keywordshemocytes hemolymph seasonal dynamics reproductive cycle Corbicula japonica Bivalvia
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