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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


BARRACCO, Margherita Anna; STEIL, Ana Angélica  and  GARGIONI, Rogério. Morphological characterization of the hemocytes of the pulmonate snail Biomphalaria tenagophila. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 1993, vol.88, n.1, pp.73-83. ISSN 0074-0276.

The blood cells of the pulmonate snail Biomphalaria tenagophila, an important transmiter of the trematode Schistosoma mansoni in Brazil, were examined by ligth and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Two hemocyte types were identified: hyalinocytes and granulocytes. Hyalinocytes are small young (immature), poorly spreading cells, which have a high nucleocytoplasmic ratio and are especially rich in free ribosomes. They do not appear to contain lysosome-like bodies and represent less than 10% of the circulating hemocytes. Granulocytes are larger hemocytes which readily spread on glass surface and which strongly react to the Gomori substrate, indicating the enzyme acid phosphatase usually found in lysosomes. Ultra-structurally, they contain a well-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum, dictyosomes and some some lysosome-like dense bodies. Granulocytes do not exhibit a characteristic granular aspect and the few granules observed in the cytoplasm should correspond to a lysosome system. They were named granulocytes instead of amoebocytes to use the same terminology adopted for Biomphalaria glabrata in order to make easier comparative studies. This is a preface study for more specific investigations on the functional activities of the blood cells of B. tenagophila and their interactions with the trematode parasite.

Keywords : Biomphalaria tenagophila; gastrop; snail; mollusc.

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