Epithelial thickness and lipid droplets in the hepatopancreas of Porcellio scaber (Crustacea: Isopoda) in different physiological conditions
We investigated the morphometric characteristics of the hepatopancreatic epithelium in the terrestrial isopod Porcellio scaber during acclimatization to laboratory conditions, during the daily cycle, the molt cycle, and fasting. The hepatopancreatic epithelium was analyzed using computer-assisted microscopy of serial sections of the hepatopancreatic tubes. In addition, the abundance, the distribution, and the size of lipid droplets in the hepatopancreatic epithelium were recorded. The experimental animals were collected in the field and transferred to the laboratory. The hepatopancreatic epithelium was thinner and lipid droplets reduced after 2 months of acclimatization to laboratory conditions. The daily cycle and the molt cycle affected neither the epithelial thickness nor the abundance of lipid droplets. But in animals fasted for 2 weeks, these two parameters were significantly reduced. Based on both the epithelial thickness and the abundance of lipid droplets in B cells, we propose criteria for estimating the stress status of the animals. With the possibility to determine the stress status, many studies on isopods gain in relevance.