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Title: Branchial ammonia excretion in the Asian weatherloach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
Authors: Moreira-Silva, J.
Tsui, T.K.N.
Coimbra, J.
Vijayan, M.M.
Ip, Y.K. 
Wilson, J.M.
Keywords: Ammonia
Boundary layer acidification
Membrane fluidity
Issue Date: Jan-2010
Citation: Moreira-Silva, J., Tsui, T.K.N., Coimbra, J., Vijayan, M.M., Ip, Y.K., Wilson, J.M. (2010-01). Branchial ammonia excretion in the Asian weatherloach Misgurnus anguillicaudatus. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology 151 (1) : 40-50. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The weatherloach, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, is a freshwater, facultative air-breathing fish that lives in streams and rice paddy fields, where it may experience drought and/or high environmental ammonia (HEA) conditions. The aim of this study was to determine what roles branchial Na+/K+-ATPase, H+-ATPase, and Rhcg have in ammonia tolerance and how the weatherloach copes with ammonia loading conditions. The loach's high ammonia tolerance was confirmed as was evident from its high 96 h LC50 value and high tissue tolerance to ammonia. The weatherloach does not appear to make use of Na+/NH4 +-ATPase facilitated transport to excrete ammonia when exposed to HEA or to high environmental pH since no changes in activity were observed. Using immunofluorescence microscopy, distinct populations of vacuolar (V)-type H+-ATPase and Na+/K+-ATPase immunoreactive cells were identified in branchial epithelia, with apical and basolateral staining patterns, respectively. Rhesus C glycoprotein (Rhcg1), an ammonia transport protein, immunoreactivity was also found in a similar pattern as H+-ATPase. Rhcg1 (Slc42a3) mRNA expression also increased significantly during aerial exposure, although not significantly under ammonia loading conditions. The colocalization of H+-ATPase and Rhcg1 to the similar non-Na+/K+-ATPase immunoreactive cell type would support a role for H+-ATPase in ammonia excretion via Rhcg by NH4 + trapping. The importance of gill boundary layer acidification in net ammonia excretion was confirmed in this fish; however, it was not associated with an increase in H+-ATPase expression, since tissue activity and protein levels did not increase with high environmental pH and/or HEA. However the V-ATPase inhibitor, bafilomycin, did decrease net ammonia flux whereas other ion transport inhibitors (amiloride, SITS) had no effect. H+-ATPase inhibition also resulted in a consequent elevation in plasma ammonia levels and a decrease in the net acid flux. In gill, aerial exposure was also associated with a significant increase in membrane fluidity (or increase in permeability) which would presumably enhance NH3 permeation through the plasma membrane. Taken together, these results indicate the gill of the weatherloach is responsive to aerial conditions that would aid ammonia excretion. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
ISSN: 15320456
DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2009.08.006
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