Age related properties of the Adriatic clamChamelea gallina(L. 1758) hemocytes

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The clam Chamelea gallina (L 1758) represents an important shellfish resource along Mediterranean coasts and its progressive depletion has been ascribed both to the overexploitation of stocks and to environmental or anthropic stressors. In this context, the investigation on immune parameters could represent a valid approach to measure the clam homeostasis condition and its possible influence on population dynamics. On this basis, the innate immune system, mainly represented by hemocyte phagocytosis, was investigated in organisms of different size. The results indicated a better phagocytic response in larger clams, strictly related to a greater concentration of granulocytes. A such variation in hemolymph composition appeared not dependent on environmental or endogenous factors, but rather on clam aging.

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