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Effect of Sublethal Nickel Chloride Exposure on Crayfish, Astacus leptodactylus Ovary: An Ultrastructural, Autometallographic, and Electrophoretic Analyses

  • Otilia Zarnescu (a1), Ana-Maria Petrescu (a1) (a2), Alexandra Gaspar (a3) and Oana Craciunescu (a3)

Cytological responses in different organs of sentinel organisms have proven to be useful tools for characterizing the health status of those organisms and assessing the impact of environmental contaminants. Our study shows that nickel (II) accumulated in both germ cells (oogonia and developing oocytes) and somatic cells (muscle cells, follicle cells) in the Astacus leptodactylus ovary. Muscle cells from ovarian wall show disorganization and the disruption of cytoplasmic microtubules and pyknosis of the cell nucleus. Follicle cells, both those that surround the developing oocytes and also those that are not associated with the oocytes contained within the cytoplasm vacuoles of different sizes, degenerated mitochondria, myelin bodies, disorganized microtubules, and pyknotic nuclei. The most evident pathological phenomenon was the alteration and disorganization of the basal matrix, which separates the ovarian interstitium from ovarian follicles compartment. Exposure to nickel induces cytoplasmic vacuolation in oogonia and developing oocytes, structural alteration of the developing yolk granules and condensation of the nucleoli. Ultrastructural autometallography has shown grains of silver-enhanced nickel inside the cytoplasm of the muscle cells with altered morphology, including the cytoplasm, nucleus, and basal matrix of the follicle cells, and in intracisternal granules and developing yolk granules of the oocytes.

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