The effects of acute transfer to freshwater on ion transporters of the pharyngeal cavity in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax).Fish Physiol Biochem. 2018 Oct; 44(5):1393-1408.FP
Gene expression of key ion transporters (the Na+/K+-ATPase NKA, the Na+, K+-2Cl- cotransporter NKCC1, and CFTR) in the gills, opercular inner epithelium, and pseudobranch of European seabass juveniles (Dicentrarchus labrax) were studied after acute transfer up to 4 days from seawater (SW) to freshwater (FW). The functional remodeling of these organs was also studied. Handling stress (SW to SW transfer) rapidly induced a transcript level decrease for the three ion transporters in the gills and operculum. NKA and CFTR relative expression level were stable, but in the pseudobranch, NKCC1 transcript levels increased (up to 2.4-fold). Transfer to FW induced even more organ-specific responses. In the gills, a 1.8-fold increase for NKA transcript levels occurs within 4 days post transfer with also a general decrease for CFTR and NKCC1. In the operculum, transcript levels are only slightly modified. In the pseudobranch, there is a transient NKCC1 increase followed by 0.6-fold decrease and 0.8-fold CFTR decrease. FW transfer also induced a density decrease for the opercular ionocytes and goblet cells. Therefore, gills and operculum display similar trends in SW-fish but have different responses in FW-transferred fish. Also, the pseudobranch presents contrasting response both in SW and in FW, most probably due to the high density of a cell type that is morphologically and functionally different compared to the typical gill-type ionocyte. This pseudobranch-type ionocyte could be involved in blood acid-base regulation masking a minor osmotic regulatory capacity of this organ compared to the gills.