Physiology

Coelomic fluid biochemistry, cell counts, and cytology of clinically normal and Sea Star Wasting Syndrome-affected ochre sea stars (Pisaster ochraceus)

This research was conducted by Dr. Sarah Wahltinez as a veterinary student and overseen by Dr. Nicole Stacy. This work has been built on for Dr. Wahltinez’s dissertation research.

sea star

Coelomic fluid in invertebrates is analogous to vertebrate blood. Since sea stars do not have a closed circulatory system similar to vertebrates with blood vessels, coelomic fluid bathes their internal organs and is very important for their immune function, nutrient transport, and reproduction. In the 2019 publication, we established reference intervals for electrolytes and cell counts, and we described coelomic fluid cytology. This baseline information is important for understanding sea star health and for identifying changes that happen with disease. In the 2020 publication, we compared coelomic fluid from clinically normal sea stars and those affected by Sea Star Wasting Syndrome (SSWS). The SSWS-affected sea stars had higher chloride, osmolality, total protein and coelomocyte counts; and lower calcium. These results can give us insight into how SSWS affects sea stars and provide opportunities for future research.

Manuscripts:

Wahltinez, S. J., Stacy, N. I., Lahner, L. L., & Newton, A. L. (2019). Coelomic fluid evaluation in clinically normal Ochre sea stars Pisaster ochraceus: cell counts, cytology, and biochemistry reference intervals. Journal of aquatic animal health31(3), 239-243. Wahltinez, S. J., Newton, A. L., Harms, C. A., Lahner, L. L., & Stacy, N. I. (2020). Coelomic fluid evaluation in Pisaster ochraceus affected by sea star wasting syndrome: evidence of osmodysregulation, calcium homeostasis derangement, and coelomocyte responses. Frontiers in veterinary science7, 131.

Wahltinez, S. J., Newton, A. L., Harms, C. A., Lahner, L. L., & Stacy, N. I. (2020). Coelomic fluid evaluation in Pisaster ochraceus affected by sea star wasting syndrome: evidence of osmodysregulation, calcium homeostasis derangement, and coelomocyte responses. Frontiers in veterinary science7, 131.

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