Cytochemical characterization of eosinophilic leukocytes circulating in the blood of the turtle (Chrysemys dorbignih)

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Urban & Fischer Verlag



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Eosinophils and neutrophils are granulocytic leukocytes that are present in the blood of most vertebrates. Studies have been performed on lower vertebrates to understand the biological roles of the cells in defense mechanisms and to establish phylogenetic studies and new experimental models. Whether these 2 cell types exist in reptiles is a matter of controversy. In the blood of turtles there are 2 types of granulocytes that exhibit eosinophilia, one of them with round cytoplasmic granules and the other with elongated cytoplasmic granules. It has been suggested that these cells may be eosinophils in different stages of maturation but they also may be distinct cell types, i.e. eosinophils and neutrophils. In the present study, we characterized the 2 types of granulocytes that are present in the blood of Chrysemys dorbignih, using cytochemical techniques. Type I eosinophils showed activity of nonspecific esterase, peroxidase activity that is resistant to KCN, and basic proteins. Type II eosinophils exhibited activity of trimetaphosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, nonspecific esterase, peroxidase that is sensitive to KCN, and basic proteins. These observations indicate the existence of 2 distinct cell types in the blood of Chrysemys dorbignih, type I and type II eosinophils, that correspond to eosinophils and heterophils (neutrophils) of mammals and other vertebrates.




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Acta Histochemica. Jena: Urban & Fischer Verlag, v. 105, n. 1, p. 99-105, 2003.

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