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International Journal of Cell Biology
Volume 2016, Article ID 9032181, 9 pages
Research Article

Carbohydrate Moieties and Cytoenzymatic Characterization of Hemocytes in Whiteleg Shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei

1Programa Cátedras CONACyT, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C. (CIBNOR), 23090 La Paz, BCS, Mexico
2Laboratorio de Patogénesis Microbiana, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C., 23090 La Paz, BCS, Mexico
3Laboratorio de Histología e Histoquímica, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, S.C., 23090 La Paz, BCS, Mexico

Received 11 May 2016; Accepted 1 August 2016

Academic Editor: Salvatore Desantis

Copyright © 2016 Norma Estrada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hemocytes represent one of the most important defense mechanisms against foreign material in Crustacea and are also involved in a variety of other physiological responses. Fluorescent lectin-binding assays and cytochemical reactions were used to identify specificity and distribution of carbohydrate moieties and presence of several hydrolytic enzymes, in hemocytes of whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Two general classes of circulating hemocytes (granular and agranular) exist in L. vannamei, which express carbohydrates residues for FITC-conjugated lectins WGA, LEA, and PNA; UEA and Con-A were not observed. Enzymatic studies indicated that acid phosphatase, nonspecific esterase, and specific esterases were present; alkaline phosphatase was not observed. The enzymes and carbohydrates are useful tools in hemocyte classification and cellular defense mechanism studies.