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Digital mapping of metal bearing amoebocytes in tissue sections of the pacific oyster crassostrea gigas by scanning microphotometry



Digital mapping of metal bearing amoebocytes in tissue sections of the pacific oyster crassostrea gigas by scanning microphotometry



Journal of Microscopy (Oxford) 138(1): 1-14



Automated scanning microphotometry provides an objective assessment of the distribution of metal-bearing (MB) amoebocytes in various tissues of the Pacific oyster, C. gigas. Silver-staining of these cells in paraffin-embedded sections gave good histochemical enhancement for effective photometric discrimination. Metal-associated pixel fractions (MAPF) for 0.41 mm2 tissue-fields were calculated from the results of microphotometric scans, giving an estimate of the metal content and an expression of the population density of MB cells. Gut-associated MB cells in oysters obtained from 2 geographically-separate metalliferous estuaries had similar distribution patterns, with MAPF values that correlated with metal concentrations in visceral mass determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). The metal content of other tissues varied by 2 orders of magnitude, the gill having the highest MAPF values. Intermediate MAPF values were found for digestive diverticula and the lowest values in the gonad. There was little difference between gut-associated MB cell populations in oysters from the 2 collection sites, despite differences in size, glycogen content and gonadal maturation. This non-destructive method of tissue microanalysis may provide a better way of assessing tissue metal-load in individual organisms, and one that is independent of physiological variables.

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Accession: 005161984

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