A preliminary study was done on the age-pigment lipofuscin content in the brains of captive Farfantepenaeus paulensis juveniles (5 months old) and wild adults (estimated age of 12-15 months). Random samples of 6 individuals were obtained from each group (juvenile and adult) for histological analysis. Serial sections (6 mum) of the brains were mounted without staining and observed in an epifluorescent microscope. The fluorescent images of the five most central sections of the olfactory lobe cell mass (OLCM) of each individual were digitized for image analysis. The lipofuscin granule mean diameter was similar in both groups (p > 0.05), however the lipofuscin area fraction (percentage of the OLCM occupied by pigment granules) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the adult shrimp. The detection of lipofuscin granules in 5 month old F. paulensis indicates that lipofuscin deposition probably takes place even earlier in the juvenile phase. Our results suggested that the amount of granules in the F. paulensis OLCM is related to age, but further studies are necessary to evaluate the relationship between lipofuscin content and the age of captive F. paulensis.
lipofuscin; age-pigment; penaeid; F. paulensis