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Intracellular ion concentrations in branchial epithelial cells of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) determined by X-ray microanalysis.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal article

  • I. J. Morgan
  • W. T. W. Potts
  • K. Oates
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/1994
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Biology
Issue number1
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)139-151
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The intracellular concentrations of sodium, chloride, phosphorus and potassium under normal conditions in pavement epithelial (PE) cells of brown trout (Salmo trutta) gill were 66, 51, 87 and 88 mmol l-1 respectively. The concentrations of these elements under identical conditions in mitochondria-rich (MR) cells were not significantly different, except for that of chlorine, which was lower in MR cells (40 mmol l-1). The concentration of sodium in the PE cells decreased slightly after exposure of the fish to low external [Na+] (25 &micro;mol l-1) for 7 days but increased greatly within 5 min of subsequent exposure to 1 mmol l-1 external Na+. These changes in external [Na+] had no significant effect on MR cells. Exposure of fish to low [Cl-] (25 &micro;mol l-1) had no effect on PE or MR cells, but on exposure to 1 mmol l-1 Cl- the concentrations of chlorine, phosphorus and potassium in both types of cells increased, whilst the intracellular sodium concentration decreased only in MR cells. The PE cells were little affected by exposure of the fish to the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor acetazolamide. In contrast, 0.5 mmol l-1 external acetazolamide caused a significant decrease in intracellular phosphorus, chlorine and potassium concentrations in MR cells. This suggests that the PE cells are the sites of sodium uptake in the gills of the brown trout and that chloride uptake occurs via the MR cells. These results are discussed with respect to the sites and possible mechanisms of ionic exchange in freshwater vertebrates.