Changes in marine turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) epidermis and skin mucus composition during development from bilateral larvae to juvenile flat fish

Andrea Landeira-Dabarca, Cristina S.R. Abreu, Maruxa Álvarez, Pilar Molist

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Alike other flat fish, marine turbot has the particularity that changes from larvae with bilateral symmetry to adult with asymmetry, in terms of the position of the eyes. As expected, the skin configuration of this species is also affected by the development and transformation suffered by fish during metamorphosis. In this context, changes in the epidermis of marine turbot were studied using conventional staining and histochemical techniques using six lectins (UEA-I, PNA, RCA-I, WGA, Con A and SBA). During development from larvae to juvenile (3–300 days post-hatching), the epidermis increased in both thickness and the number of cell layers. In fact, the simple cuboidal epithelium observed in larvae at day 3 already became stratified at days 10–12, which sequentially increase in thickness with fish development. Turbot epidermis is composed basically of four cell types: epithelial and mucous or secretory cells that are present through the development, and pigmented cells and a type that the authors described as club-like cells that appear during and post-metamorphosis. The Alcian blue-periodic acid Schiff (AB-PAS) histochemical method revealed the presence of neutral glycoconjugates in mucous and club-like cells at post-metamorphic stages of fish. Accordingly, lectin analysis showed mucous cells containing glycoproteins rich in fucose (UEA-I labelling) and glycoconjugates rich in the sequence galactose-N-acetyl galactosamine (PNA and RCA-I labelling) when this cell type appears. Interestingly, melanophores were observed in the dorsal epidermis of post-metamorphic juveniles. This type of cell contains a black-to-brown pigment that provides the skin the typical colour of this fish species. Changes in mucous coat composition were observed during fish development, which was attributed to different roles of the glycoconjugates.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)2018-2029
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónJournal of Fish Biology
EstadoPublicada - dic. 2021
Publicado de forma externa


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