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Effects of Autotomy and Bleeding Stress On the Haemolymph Protein Concentration and TCA-Soluble Nitrogen of the Shore-Crab Ocypode Platytarsis H. Milne Edwards (Decapoda, Brachyura)

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The effects of bleeding stress and autotomy on haemolymph TCA-precipitable and TCA-soluble fractions of nitrogen of the shore-crab Ocypode platytarsis were studied. The haemolymph protein concentration decreased in half-an-hour after both bleeding stress and autotomy and recovered 75 minutes after autotomy. The fall in haemolymph protein level could not be due to (a) dilution of haemolymph, as there was no change in the water content of the haemolymph after autotomy and bleeding stress, or (b) degradation of protein, as TSF-N level also decreased during the corresponding period after autotomy and bleeding stress. The haemolymph TCA-soluble nitrogen decreased 35 minutes after autotomy and bleeding stress. The TSF-N level recovered, 75 minutes autotomy, whereas in the corresponding period after bleeding stress, it further decreased. The fall in TSF-N level 75 minutes after bleeding was suggested to reflect the increase in the demand for energy yielding metabolites after bleeding stress. The haemolymph protein levels recovered 75 minutes after autotomy and bleeding stress. What is recovered after autotomy is considerably lower than the normal value. The incomplete recovery in haemolymph protein could be due to partial degradation of a fraction of the protein in tissues, which sequestered them, because an increase in TSF-nitrogen level was observed in the haemolymph at this period. Effects of autotomy of more than one leg on haemolymph protein and TSF-N levels were studied in order to find out whether there is any quantitative difference in the fluctuations according to the amount of stress. The results showed a difference in the recovery of protein level, 75 minutes after autotomy of one leg vs. more than one leg.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Madras, Madras-600 005, Tamilnadu, India


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