Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 5, pp 1633–1645 | Cite as

Modulation of branchial ion transport protein expression by salinity in glass eels (Anguilla anguilla L.)

  • Jonathan Mark WilsonEmail author
  • Alexandre Leitão
  • Ana Filipa Gonçalves
  • Catarina Ferreira
  • Patrick Reis-Santos
  • Ana-Violeta Fonseca
  • Joana Moreira da Silva
  • José Carlos Antunes
  • Cristina Pereira-Wilson
  • João Coimbra
Research Article


The Anguillid juvenile glass eel must deal with the osmoregulatory consequences of highly variable environmental salinities on its recruitment migration from coastal to fresh waters. Changes in ionoregulatory parameters and branchial ion transport protein [Na+/K+-ATPase, Na+:K+:2Cl cotransporter (NKCC), cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) anion channel, V-type proton ATPase] expression (activities, protein and/or mRNA level expression and/or cellular localization) in response to acclimation to a broad range of ionic strengths [distilled water (DW) to hypersaline water (HSW; 150%) sea water (SW 32‰)] was studied. The estuarine glass eels were very euryhaline and successfully acclimated to acute changes in environmental ionic strength from 50% SW, with high mortality only observed in HSW (51%) and sublethal osmoregulatory indicators (whole body water content and sodium levels) disturbed at the extremes (DW and HSW). Central to a high salinity acclimation were elevated branchial Na+/K+-ATPase, NKCC and CFTR expression. At lower salinity, Na+/K+-ATPase expression was maintained and NKCC and CFTR expressions were reduced. Branchial chloride cells increased in size up to SW but decreased in HSW. During hypotonic disturbance (DW), no compensatory elevation in V-ATPase or Na+/K+-ATPase expression was observed.


Chloride Cell Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator Acclimation Group ATPase Expression Branchial Basket 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by a Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) PRAXIS XXI grant (POCTI/34164/1999). JMW was also supported by PDF grants from FCT and NSERC-Canada. We would like to thank Drs M.A. Reis Henriques, and L. Guilhermino (CIIMAR) for use of equipment and lab space and our fisherman Eduardo Martins.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Mark Wilson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexandre Leitão
    • 2
  • Ana Filipa Gonçalves
    • 2
  • Catarina Ferreira
    • 2
  • Patrick Reis-Santos
    • 1
  • Ana-Violeta Fonseca
    • 1
  • Joana Moreira da Silva
    • 1
  • José Carlos Antunes
    • 1
    • 3
  • Cristina Pereira-Wilson
    • 2
  • João Coimbra
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratório de EcofisiologiaCentro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR)PortoPortugal
  2. 2.Dept. BiologiaUniversidade do MinhoBragaPortugal
  3. 3.Institute de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS)Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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