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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 143:13-18 (2021)  -  DOI:

Hemocytic sarcoma of the body wall in a California king crab Paralithodes californiensis

E. E. B. LaDouceur1,2,*, J. L. Gray1, R. Smolowitz3, M. Schleiderer4, M. Murray4

1Joint Pathology Center, 606 Stephen Sitter Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
2Northwest ZooPath, 654 W Main St., Monroe, WA 98272, USA
3Roger Williams University, 1 Old Ferry Rd., Bristol, RI 02809, USA
4Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Neoplasia is rarely reported in decapod crustaceans, and sarcoma has not been previously reported in any crab species. A California king crab Paralithodes californiensis with a recent history of autotomy (4 legs lost) and anorexia was found dead. Grossly, the crab had a pigmented ulcer on the right cheliped merus. Necropsy tissue samples were placed in 10% neutral buffered formalin and processed routinely for histology. Both histochemical (i.e. Brown and Brenn Gram, Fite-Faraco acid fast, Fontana-Masson, Giemsa, hematoxylin and eosin, Masson’s trichrome, periodic acid-Schiff [PAS], phosphotungstic acid-hematoxylin, and von Kossa) and immunohistochemical (i.e. cytokeratin, vimentin, and lysozyme) stains were performed. The body wall (presumably of the right cheliped merus) was ulcerated and subtended by a densely cellular, unencapsulated, invasive neoplasm composed of spindle cells arranged in intersecting streams and bundles embedded in a small to moderate amount of fibromatous stroma. Neoplastic cells were oval to elongate with fibrillar, pale eosinophilic cytoplasm that occasionally contained moderate numbers of small, spherical, brightly eosinophilic granules that were highlighted with PAS and Giemsa stains. Neoplastic cells had mild atypia and no evident mitoses. Immunohistochemical stains were noncontributory. This neoplasm is consistent with hemocytic sarcoma of semi-granulocytic origin. Decapod crustaceans have 3 types of hemocytes: hyalinocytes, granulocytes, and semi-granulocytes. Neoplastic cells had PAS- and Giemsa-positive granules, which are present in both semi-granulocytes and granulocytes. Semi-granulocytes can elongate and are associated with deposition of extracellular matrix during some immune responses. Neoplastic cells were elongate and associated with deposition of matrix. These findings suggest neoplastic cells were of semi-granulocytic origin.

KEY WORDS: Sarcoma · Lithodidae · California king crab · Semi-granulocyte

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Cite this article as: LaDouceur EEB, Gray JL, Smolowitz R, Schleiderer M, Murray M (2021) Hemocytic sarcoma of the body wall in a California king crab Paralithodes californiensis. Dis Aquat Org 143:13-18.

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