The aim of this study was to analyze the histology and the histochemical distribution of glycoproteins (GPs) and lipids of the hepatopancreas of Cyrtograpsus angulatus and Neohelice granulata acclimated to salinities of 10 psu (hyperregulation) and 35 psu (osmoconformation). Sections of the hepatopancreas of adult male crabs were treated with hematoxylin-eosin; Masson trichrome; Alcian Blue (pHs 2.8, 1.0, 0.5); Toluidine Blue (pHs 5.6, 4.2); periodic acid Schiff; Sudan Black and Red. At salinity 35 psu, the hepatopancreas of both species exhibited typical histological features, whereas at salinity 10 psu, detachment of the basal lamina, desquamated epithelium, disrupted brush border, loss of intercellular cohesion, hypertrophied tubular lumen, and hemolymph infiltration between cells were observed in some zones. Resorptive cells (R-cells) and vacuoles of blister-like cells (B-cells) of both species show a higher glycogen content at 35 psu than at 10 psu. At lower salinities, the cytoplasm of the different cell types evidence higher contents of carboxylated GPs in N. granulata and of sulfated GPs in C. angulatus. At both salinities, and at the two pHs in N. granulata and at pH 5.6 in C. angulatus, the brush border, the vacuoles of B-cells and the peritrophic membrane show metachromasia. R-cell vacuoles and the cytoplasm of all cell types —except for the E-cells—at all salinities in both species show abundant lipid droplets. The results of the present study contribute significant data to the histophysiology of crustacean decapods, favoring the comprehension of the complex adjustment mechanisms facing saline stress in euryhaline crabs.
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Vol. 32 • No. 2