Hydromineral balance in the chick embryo: effects of hypophysectomy

The Journal of Experimental Zoology
M J MurphyP S Brown


The developing chick embryo exhibits a regular pattern of accumulation and reabsorption of fluid in its extraembryonic compartments. Fluid volume (measured by dye dilution) peaks at Day 14 in both the allantois (12.4 ml) and the amnion (5.1 ml). The standard experimental procedure of removing 2 ml of albumen at 33-36 hr of incubation does not alter this pattern, but leads to a maximum decrease in fluid volume of ca. 1 ml in both amniotic and allantoic compartments. Although [Na] and [Cl] remain essentially constant in the serum, they steadily decrease in the allantois (remaining substantially below serum levels). In the amnion, [Cl] is maintained above that of serum, whereas [Na] falls below serum [Na] by Day 14. In the Day 12 (stage 38) embryo, hypophysectomy (HX) causes a substantial increase in the allantoic fluid volume and [Na] and [Cl], thus resulting in a 166% increase in total Na and Cl over that of sham-operated embryos. By contrast, HX did not alter amniotic fluid volume, although it did decrease [Na] and to a lesser degree, [Cl]. Serum [Na], but no [Cl], was reduced by HX. HX abolished the normally steep ionic gradients maintained between the allantois and both serum and amnion. Thus, the most dramatic effects of HX ...Continue Reading


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