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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03551

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

    E. E. B. LaDouceur*, J. L. Gray, R. Smolowitz, M. Schleiderer, M. Murray

    *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 history of being terminally anorectic and dropping four legs 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 three 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 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 semi-granulocytic origin. Neoplasia is uncommonly reported in invertebrates. Mesenchymal neoplasia has not been previously reported in crabs.