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Cytochemical aspects of Mercenaria mercenaria hemocytes
Moore, C.A.; Eble, A.F. (1977). Cytochemical aspects of Mercenaria mercenaria hemocytes. Biol. Bull. 152(1): 105-119
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster, Pa. etc.. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Moore, C.A.
  • Eble, A.F.

    The hemocytes of the hard clam M. mercenaria were of three types: an agranulocyte, a small, and a large granulocyte. The agranulocyte, with only a thin periphery of cytoplasm surrounding the nucleus, had no visible cytoplasmic granules in living preparations but did exhibit a few centers of nonspecific esterase activity. This cell type represented 2% of the hemocyte population. The small granulocyte possessed four distinct granule types and comprised 61% of the total cell population. Large granulocytes accounted fro 37% of all hemocytes. While they contained the same four granule types identified in the small granulocyte, only one-third the total number were present. The nucleus of all three hemocyte types appeared morphologically similar. The four types of granules observed were a blunt, dot-like, a refractile and a filamentous granule. Blunt granules were identified as mitochondria, based on their ability to reduce Janus Green B to diethyl safranin, the presence of NADH dehydrogenase activity and boundary staining with Sudan black B. Dot-like granules were identified as lysosomes on the basis of neutral red staining, localization of acid phosphatase and nonspecific esterase activity and staining with Sudan black B. Refractile granules were demonstrated to be membrane-bound, lipid-filled structures that reacted positively with Sudan black B and Oil red O, respectively; these granules act as lipid storage centers. Nuclear similarity of the three cell types suggest that these cells might represent different stages of maturity, rather than three distinct cell lines. This was also indicated by the similar yet graded cytochemical reactions and the varying degree of motility and phagocytic activity demonstrated by hemocyte types.

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