Embryonic ionocytes in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): Structure and functionality.Dev Growth Differ. 2011 Jan; 53(1):26-36.DG
Early ionocytes have been studied in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) embryos. Structural and functional aspects were analyzed and compared with those observed in the same conditions (38 ppt) in post hatching stages. Immunolocalization of Na(+) /K(+) -ATPase (NKA) in embryos revealed the presence of ionocytes on the yolk sac membrane from a stage 12 pair of somites (S), and an original cluster around the first gill slits from stage 14S. Histological investigations suggested that from these cells, close to the future gill chambers, originate the ionocytes observed on gill arches and gill filaments after hatching. Triple immunocytochemical staining, including NKA, various Na(+) /K(+) /2Cl⁻ cotransporters (NKCCs) and the chloride channel "cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator" (CFTR), point to the occurrence of immature and mature ionocytes in early and late embryonic stages at different sites. These observations were completed with transmission electronic microscopy. The degree of functionality of ionocytes is discussed according to these results. Yolk sac membrane ionocytes and enteric ionocytes seem to have an early role in embryonic osmoregulation, whereas gill slits tegumentary ionocytes are presumed to be fully efficient after hatching.