Söderhäll I, Fasterius E, Ekblom C, Söderhäll K
iScience 25 (8) 104850 [2022-08-19; online 2022-08-02]
Crustaceans constitute a species-rich and ecologically important animal group, and their circulating blood cells (hemocytes) are of critical importance in immunity as key players in pathogen recognition, phagocytosis, melanization, and antimicrobial defense. To gain a better understanding of the immune responses to different pathogens, it is crucial that we identify different hemocyte subpopulations with different functions and gain a better understanding of how these cells are formed. Here, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing of isolated hematopoietic tissue (HPT) cells and hemocytes from the crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus to identify hitherto undescribed hemocyte types in the circulation and show that the circulating cells are more diversified than previously recognized. In addition, we discovered cell populations in the HPT with clear precursor characteristics as well as cells involved in iron homeostasis, representing a previously undiscovered cell type. These findings may improve our understanding of hematopoietic stem cell regulation in crustaceans and other animals.