The role of the haematopoietic tissue in haemocyte production and maturation of the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon)

C.B.T. van de Braak, M.H.A. Botterblom, W. Liu, N. Taverne, W.P.W. van der Knaap, J.H.W.M. Rombout

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131 Citations (Scopus)


The haematopoietic tissue (HPT) of the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) is located in different areas in the cephalothorax, mainly at the dorsal side of the stomach and in the onset of the maxillipeds and, to a lesser extent, towards the antennal gland. In young and in experimentally stimulated animals, the HPT is expanded in relatively larger and more numerous lobules throughout the cephalothorax. Four cell types could be identified in the HPT by electron microscopy. The type 1 cells are the presumed precursor cells that give rise to a large- and a small-granular young haemocyte, denominated as the type 2 and type 3 cells, respectively. A gradient of maturation from the type 1 towards the type 2 or 3 cells could frequently be observed. The presumed precursor cells are located towards the exterior of the lobules and maturing young haemocytes towards the inner part, where they can be released into the haemal lacunae. The type 4 cells show typical features of interstitial cells. Different stimulation experiments were carried out and various techniques were used to study the HPT in relation to the (circulating) haemocytes. The majority of the cells in the HPT are able to proliferate and proliferation can be increased significantly after the injection of saline and, to a much higher extent, after LPS injection. The circulating haemocytes of crustaceans are generally divided into hyaline (H), semigranular (SG) or granular (G) cells, of which large- and small-granular variants of each of these were suggested in the present study. Even after stimulation in this study, the circulating haemocytes scarcely divide. The high variations that were found in the total haemocyte count in the stimulation experiments were not accompanied by significant differences in differential haemocyte count and, therefore, appeared to be a less useful indicator of stress or health in P. monodon. Light and electron microscopical observations support the regulation of the populations of the different haemocyte types in the circulation by (stored) haemocytes from the connective tissue. In conclusion, according to morphological and immuno-chemical criteria, it is proposed in the present study to divide the haemocytes into a large and a small-granular developmental series. After extensive morphologicalobservations, it is suggested that the hyaline cells are the young and immature haemocytes of both the large- and small-granular cell line that are produced in the HPT, and can be released into the haemolymph. Indications were found that the granular cells, of at least the large-granular cell line, mature and accumulate in the connective tissue and are easily released into the haemolymph. Combining the results of the present study with literature, this proposed model for haemocyte proliferation, maturation and reaction will be discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-272
JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • crustacean hemocytes
  • sicyonia-ingentis
  • hematopoiesis
  • morphology
  • origin
  • fungus
  • cells
  • prawn


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