Effects of ocean acidification on the immune response of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis

The effects of medium term (32 d) hypercapnia on the immune response of Mytilus edulis were investigated in mussels exposed to acidified (using CO2) sea water (pH 7.7, 7.5 or 6.7; control: pH 7.8). Levels of phagocytosis increased significantly during the exposure period, suggesting an immune response induced by the experimental set-up. However, this induced stress response was suppressed when mussels were exposed to acidified sea water. Acidified sea water did not have any significant effects on other immuno-surveillance parameters measured (superoxide anion production, total and differential cell counts). These results suggest that ocean acidification may impact the physiological condition and functionality of the haemocytes and could have a significant effect on cellular signalling pathways, particularly those pathways that rely on specific concentrations of calcium, and so may be disrupted by calcium carbonate shell dissolution.
Bibby R., Widdicombe S., Parry H. & Spicer J. & Pipe R., 2008. Effects of ocean acidification on the immune response of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis. Aquatic Biology 2:67-74. Article.

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Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

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