Characterization of the skin mucus in the common octopus Octopus vulgaris (Cuvier) reared paralarvae

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Gianluca Accogli
Giovanni Scillitani
Donatella Mentino
Salvatore Desantis *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Salvatore Desantis |


The Octopus vulgaris farming is impaired by the high mortality of the paralarvae during the first month of life. Several factors have been investigated in this regard, but no data exist on the body surface mucus, which represents the interface with the outside environment. This study included morphometric analysis and glycoconjugates characterization of skin mucus in reared Octopus vulgaris paralarvae during the first month of life. Four types of mucous cells were distinguished:  mucous 1 (m1) and mucous 2 (m2) cells were scattered in the mantle epidermis, mucous 3 (m3) and mucous 4 (m4) in the epithelium surrounding the sucker. Except for the presence of fucosylated and neutral glycoconjugates in all mucous cells, each cell type expressed a characteristic glycopattern. m2 and m4 contained also suphate and acid non-sulphate glycans, m3 lacked suphate glycoproteins. Lectin histochemistry showed that mantle mucous cells (m1, m2) expressed GlcNAc and lactosamine terminating glycans. m2 also contained GalNAc terminal or penultimate to sialic acid. m3 was distinguished by mannosylated glycans terminating with lactosamine and m4 by α2,6 sialoglycans. Glycoproteins terminating with lactosamine, Galβ1,3GalNAc, and α1,6-linked fucose were a common feature of paralarvae surface layer. Morphometry revealed a significant decrease of m1 and m2 abundance during the first month of life, afterwards the reared paralarvae died. Since the glycopattern did not change during the investigated period, the mantle mucous cells abundance could be related to the Octopus vulgaris paralarvae survival. 

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