Changes in haemopoietic sites during the metamorphosis of the lampreys Lampetra fluviatilis and Lampetra planeri



An investigation has been made in both the parasitic lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis and in its non-parasitic derivative Lampetra planeri of the rate at which the fat column replaces the typhlosole and nephric fold as the principal site of haemopoiesis. In the typhlosole, blood cell formation started to decline prior to the onset of external metamorphosis and had ceased within four weeks of the commencement of transformation. In the nephric fold haemopoiesis continued for several weeks in the region where the larval opisthonephros persisted but was never observed in the newly developing adult kidney. Soon after the onset of external metamorphosis the fat column started to become haemopoietic and later became the main site of blood cell formation. The rate at which the haemopoietic function was transferred from the nephric fold and typhlosole to the fat column was greater in L. fluviatilis than in L. planeri. Since a similar more rapid change in L. fluviatilis has also been found in the switch from larval to adult haemoglobin, the former type of haemoglobins may be produced only in erythrocytes originating in the nephric fold and typhlosole, whereas the latter type may be restricted to cells developed in the fat column. It is also suggested that the functional significance of the alteration in haemopoietic sites is related to changes at metamorphosis in the three regions where blood cell formation occurs.