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Effects of ocean acidification on immune responses of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas

Wang, Qing, Cao, Ruiwen, Ning, Xuanxuan, You, Liping, Mu, Changkao, Wang, Chunlin, Wei, Lei, Cong, Ming, Wu, Huifeng, Zhao, Jianmin
Fish & shellfish immunology 2016 v.49 pp. 24-33
Crassostrea gigas, apoptosis, enzyme activity, exposure duration, gene expression, genes, gills, hemocytes, immune response, immune system, marine ecosystems, messenger RNA, ocean acidification, physiology, reactive oxygen species, tissues
Ocean acidification (OA), caused by anthropogenic CO2emissions, has been proposed as one of the greatest threats in marine ecosystems. A growing body of evidence shows that ocean acidification can impact development, survival, growth and physiology of marine calcifiers. In this study, the immune responses of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas were investigated after elevated pCO2 exposure for 28 days. The results demonstrated that OA caused an increase of apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in hemocytes. Moreover, elevated pCO2 had an inhibitory effect on some antioxidant enzyme activities and decreased the GSH level in digestive gland. However, the mRNA expression pattern of several immune related genes varied depending on the exposure time and tissues. After exposure to pCO2 at ∼2000 ppm for 28 days, the mRNA expressions of almost all tested genes were significantly suppressed in gills and stimulated in hemocytes. Above all, our study demonstrated that elevated pCO2 have a significant impact on the immune systems of the Pacific oyster, which may constitute as a potential threat to increased susceptibility of bivalves to diseases.