Effect of combined stress (salinity and temperature) in European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax osmoregulatory processes.Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2018 01; 215:45-54.CB
European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax undertake seasonal migrations to estuaries and lagoons that are characterized by fluctuations in environmental conditions. Their ability to cope with these unstable habitats is undeniable, but it is still not clear how and to what extent salinity acclimation mechanisms are affected at temperatures higher than in the sea. In this study, juvenile sea bass were pre-acclimated to seawater (SW) at 18°C (temperate) or 24°C (warm) for 2weeks and then transferred to fresh water (FW) or SW at the respective temperature. Transfer to FW for two weeks resulted in decreased blood osmolalities and plasma Cl- at both temperatures. In FW warm conditions, plasma Na+ was ~15% lower and Cl- was ~32% higher than in the temperate-water group. Branchial Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA) activity measured at the acclimation temperature (Vapparent) did not change according to the conditions. Branchial Na+/K+-ATPase activity measured at 37°C (Vmax) was lower in warm conditions and increased in FW compared to SW conditions whatever the considered temperature. Mitochondrion-rich cell (MRC) density increased in FW, notably due to the appearance of lamellar MRCs, but this increase was less pronounced in warm conditions where MRC's size was lower. In SW warm conditions, pavement cell apical microridges are less developed than in other conditions. Overall gill morphometrical parameters (filament thickness, lamellar length and width) differ between fish that have been pre-acclimated to different temperatures. This study shows that a thermal change affects gill plasticity affecting whole-organism ion balance two weeks after salinity transfer.