Assessments of lysosomal membrane responses to stresses with neutral red retention assay and its potential application in the improvement of bivalve aquaculture
In marine bivalves, it has been demonstrated that their lysosomal membrane stability are very susceptible to many internal and external environmental changes and this physiological response can be quantified by the neutral red retention (NRR) assay. This assay has been applied in many recent studies in the areas of environmental monitoring with bivalve species and physiological responses of farmed bivalve species to changes in environmental parameters (stressors) and handling practices. The published results show that lysosomal membrane stabilities respond to these changes in a dose dependent manner and are determined by the stress types, their levels/dosages and exposure durations. In addition, the recovery of lysosomal membrane stability after stress treatment is likely to be size/age dependent, with smaller/younger bivalves recovering quicker than bigger/older individuals. These indicate that the NRR assay could be used by the aquaculturists and/or farmers to: 1) monitor the bivalve health status within the environments where the animals are farmed and 2) improve not only the efficiency of bivalve farming practices but also the performances of the bivalves farmed.
Key words: Stress, lysosomal membrane stability, neutral red retention assay, bivalves, aquaculture.