Exfoliation of epithelial cells by the scallop Placopecten magellanicus : seasonal variation and the effects of elevated water temperatures
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Previous studies have shown that large numbers of ciliated and nonciliated epithelial cells (diam.: 6 to 15 μm) are released by adult sea scallops, Placopecten magellanicus (Gmelin), during summer months in Newfoundland when water temperatures are at a maximum and gonads are well developed. Such exfoliation of cells could be a response to stresses associated with elevated water temperatures and/or spawning activity. In the present study an electronic particle counter/sizer was used to further investigate the factors that influence exfoliation of epithelial cells by juvenile and adult scallops throughout the year. We observed release of epithelial cells from juveniles, and from adults collected in months when gametogenic activity was minimal, indicating that exfoliation does not occur as a result of reproductive activity alone. SEM analysis revealed little difference in surface characteristics of the gills, mantle and gonad between scallops that had released cells and those that had not, suggesting that exfoliation of small numbers of cells may be a consequence of cellular turnover and normal physiological function. Adult scallops were monitored in a second experiment to determine the effects of raising water temperatures from 8.5 to 14.7 and to 21.0 °C on the frequency (proportion) and rate of cellular exfoliation. Only at the highest experimental temperature (21.0 °C) were exfoliation rates significantly higher than rates recorded at 8.5 or 14.7 °C. SEM analyses revealed some damage to gill, mantle and gonad tissues when scallops were exposed to 14.7 and then to 21.0 °C for a total of 8 d.
KeywordsEpithelial Cell Water Temperature Reproductive Activity Gonad Tissue Normal Physiological Function
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