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N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in crustacean hemocytes; possible functions and usefulness in hemocyte classification.
Invertebrate Biology (2003)
  • Gary G. Martin, Occidental College
  • Catherine Castro
  • Nicholas Moy
  • Nicole Rubin
The lectin wheat-germ agglutinin (WGA) selectively binds N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. Fluorescence and electron microscopy were used to show that WGA stains the cytoplasmic granules in the granulocytes, but not the hyaline cells, of two decapods, the ridgeback prawn Sicyonia ingentis and the American lobster Homarus americanus. Using fluorescence microscopy, two intermediate stages in granulocyte maturation were observed. Cells smaller than typical small-granule hemocytes were observed with 5 or fewer granules, which in previous studies using brightfield and phase optics were probably counted as hyaline cells. Also, some granulocytes were observed containing both small and large granules, supporting the suggestion that small and large granule hemocytes represent stages in the maturation of one cell line. Granules in the single type of hemocyte in the branchiopod Artemia franciscana did not stain with WGA. The possible roles of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in wound healing, pathogen encapsulation, and maintenance of normal crustacean connective tissues are discussed.
  • hemocytes,
  • crustaceans,
  • wheat-germ agglutinin (WGA),
  • N-acetyl-D-glucosamine,
  • chitin
Publication Date
September, 2003
Citation Information
Gary G. Martin, Catherine Castro, Nicholas Moy and Nicole Rubin. "N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in crustacean hemocytes; possible functions and usefulness in hemocyte classification." Invertebrate Biology Vol. 122 Iss. 3 (2003)
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