New insights into gill ionocyte and ion transporter function in euryhaline and diadromous fish

Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
By:  and 



Teleost fishes are able to acclimatize to seawater by secreting excess NaCl by means of specialized “ionocytes” in the gill epithelium. Antibodies against Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) have been used since 1996 as a marker for identifying branchial ionocytes. Immunohistochemistry of NKA by itself and in combination with Na+/K+/2Cl cotransporter and CFTR Cl channel provided convincing evidence that ionocytes are functional during seawater acclimation, and also revealed morphological variations in ionocytes among teleost species. Recent development of antibodies to freshwater- and seawater-specific isoforms of the NKA alpha-subunit has allowed functional distinction of ion absorptive and secretory ionocytes in Atlantic salmon. Cutaneous ionocytes of tilapia embryos serve as a model for branchial ionocytes, allowing identification of 4 types: two involved in ion uptake, one responsible for salt secretion and one with unknown function. Combining molecular genetics, advanced imaging techniques and immunohistochemistry will rapidly advance our understanding of both the unity and diversity of ionocyte function and regulation in fish osmoregulation.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title New insights into gill ionocyte and ion transporter function in euryhaline and diadromous fish
Series title Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
DOI 10.1016/j.resp.2012.07.019
Volume 184
Issue 3
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s) Leetown Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
First page 257
Last page 268
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