Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 526–535 | Cite as

Gill Morphology and Na+/K+-ATPase Activity of Gobionellus oceanicus (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in an Estuarine System

  • Helena Rachel da Mota Araujo
  • Marisa Narciso Fernandes
  • André Luis da Cruz


Gobionellus oceanicus is a species widely distributed on the Atlantic coast and may be susceptible to anthropic effects. This study evaluated the morphology and the Na+/K+-ATPase activity of G. oceanicus gills considering the concentration of metals in the fish and Subaé River estuary. Although the metal concentrations detected in the water and sediment did not exceed certain limits, CONAMA (Brazilian Environment Council), TEL (Threshold Effect Level), and PEL (Probable Effect Level), the metals levels in gills plus muscle and skin of G. oceanicus were above the permitted setting of the Ministry of Health, Brazil. The pavement epithelial cells (PVC) of the gill filament was observed that there were long microridges either in the apical surface or in the lamella; especially, microridges degeneration was shown in some PVC from filament epithelium. The number of ionocyte and the volume density were (0.02 ± 0.001)/μm and (0.38 ± 0.27) %, respectively. The activity of Na+/K+-ATPase was 1.13 ± 0.76 μM Pi mg protein−1 h−1. We describe the volume density and number of ionocytes and Na+/K+-ATPase enzymatic activity in G. oceanicus for the first time, which is useful for basic and comparative future studies to support aquatic biomonitoring.


ATPase Gills Ionocytes Metals Estuary Todos os Santos Bay 



The authors acknowledge the Laboratório de Microscopia Eletrônica, FIOCRUZ, Salvador, Bahia, for the facilities in processing biological material and obtained images in the scanning electron microscope, and Thiago de Sá for the language review in the previous version of the manuscript.


This work received financial support from the National Institute of Science and Technology in Comparative Physiology (INCT-FAPESP/CNPq, Brazil) and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of BiologyFederal University of Bahia (UFBA)SalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Physiological SciencesFederal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)São CarlosBrazil

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