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Minzyuk T. V.

Grey seals: Morphometric parameters of erythrocytes

DOI: 10.21443/1560-9278-2019-22-2-258-265


Abstract. The first 3–4 months of postnatal ontogenesis of true seals are characterized by the most significant changes in the cellular composition of the blood, which is associated with active processes of formation of bone marrow hematopoiesis and development of cellular defense mechanisms. The level of oxygen reserves in the blood of puppies in the period of their aquatic environment development (in search of food and protection from predators) depends on the functional state of red blood cells. In this regard, it is important to study the morphofunctional properties of red blood cells in seals at different stages of postnatal ontogenesis. For comparison the next age-related groups of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) have been selected: infants (0–1 week), actively feeding with mother's milk (2–3 weeks), animal after milk feeding (1–1,5 months), pinnipeds after the end of milk nourishment until independent feeding (3–4 months) and adult animals (1,0 and 3,5 years). The blood of all age groups of gray seals is dominated by discocytes, and there are also reversible (echinocytes, stomatocytes) and irreversible (codocytes, schizocytes, spherocytes), immature and young forms of red blood cells. It has been shown that with growing up a structure, sizes and form of erythrocytes change under the influence of physiological factors (changes in chemical composition, ion balance, osmotic pressure of blood plasma). In the first weeks of life pups have an increase in blood of number of large erythrocytes (macrocytosis to 75 %) and spherocytes (to 4 %), there are single nuclear erythrocytes, reticulocytes and irreversible forms of erythrocytes. In the group of fish-eating puppies, the number of echinocytes increases (up to 10 %). The pups of grey seals (3–4 months) are characterized by very low haemoglobin levels of erythrocytes (there has been a decline in optical density). This decrease in oxygen reserves in the blood is associated with starvation of puppies after juvenile molting and their transition to scuba diving (in search of food). Changes in the size and shape of the erythrocytes at different age stages which indicate the physiological and individual characteristics of the puppy seals.

Printed reference: Minzyuk T. V. Grey seals: Morphometric parameters of erythrocytes // Vestnik of MSTU. 2019. V. 22, No 2. P. 258-265.

Electronic reference: Minzyuk T. V. Grey seals: Morphometric parameters of erythrocytes // Vestnik of MSTU. 2019. V. 22, No 2. P. 258-265. URL: http://vestnik.mstu.edu.ru//v22_2_n79/06_minzjuk_258-265.pdf.

(In Russian, p.7, fig. 8, tables 1, ref 15, Adobe PDF)