The osmoregulatory effects of rearing Mozambique tilapia in a tidally changing salinity.Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2014 Oct 01; 207:94-102.GC
The native distribution of Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus, is characterized by estuarine areas subject to salinity variations between fresh water (FW) and seawater (SW) with tidal frequency. Osmoregulation in the face of changing environmental salinity is largely mediated through the neuroendocrine system and involves the activation of ion uptake and extrusion mechanisms in osmoregulatory tissues. We compared plasma osmolality, plasma prolactin (PRL), pituitary PRL mRNA, and mRNA of branchial ion pumps, transporters, channels, and PRL receptors in tilapia reared in FW, SW, brackish water (BW) and in tidally-changing salinity, which varied between FW (TF) and SW (TS) every 6h. Plasma PRL was higher in FW tilapia than in SW, BW, TF, and TS tilapia. Unlike tilapia reared in FW or SW, fish in salinities that varied tidally showed no correlation between plasma osmolality and PRL. In FW fish, gene expression of PRL receptor 1 (PRLR1), Na(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC), aquaporin 3 (AQP3) and two isoforms of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase (NKA α1a and NKA α1b) was higher than that of SW, BW or tidally-changing salinity fish. Gene expression of the Na(+)/K(+)/2Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC1a), and the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) were higher in fish in SW, BW or a tidally-changing salinity than in FW fish. Immunocytochemistry revealed that ionocytes of fish in tidally-changing salinities resemble ionocytes of SW fish. This study indicated that tilapia reared in a tidally-changing salinity can compensate for large changes in external osmolality while maintaining osmoregulatory parameters within a narrow range closer to that observed in SW-acclimated fish.