Jan 1, 1976

Transport of ions and water across the epithelium of fish gills

Ciba Foundation Symposium
J Maetz


The teleostean gill is characterized by an exceptionally low permeability to water. Water moves along the osmotic gradient across the gill, being gained in fresh water and lost in sea water. Coupling of water movement to solute movement has not been reported. In fresh water, the gill is the site of independent active uptake of sodium and chloride. Na+ uptake is coupled to H+ or NH4+ excretion, Cl- uptake to HCO3- excretion. Amiloride blocks sodium transport and thiocyanate inhibits the chloride pump. In sea water, sodium and chloride exchanges across the gill are about 100 times faster than in fresh water, up to 100% of the internal sodium or chloride being exchanged per hour. Chloride is actively excreted, while sodium movement may well be passive. The chloride pump is associated with a mechanism for Na/K exchange; both pump and Na/K exchange are blocked by thiocyanate and possibly by ouabain. Three enzymes are involved in the ionic pumps: carbonate dehydratase (EC; carbonic anhydrase), sodium/potassium-stimulated adenosine-triphosphatase (EC, ATPase) and anion-stimulated ATPase. Specialized cells ('chloride cells') are presumably the site of the active transport.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Chloride Ion Level
Enzymes, antithrombotic
Adenosine Triphosphatases
Sodium Ion Transport

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