Body fluid osmolytes and urea and ammonia flux in the colon of two chondrichthyan fishes, the ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei, and spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias

W. Gary Anderson, C. Michele Nawata, Chris M. Wood, Michele D. Piercey-Normore, Dirk Weihrauch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study has examined the role of the colon in regulating ammonia and urea nitrogen balance in two species of chondrichthyans, the ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei (a holocephalan) and the spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias (an elasmobranch). Stripped colonic tissue from both the dogfish and ratfish was mounted in an Ussing chamber and in both species bi-directional urea flux was found to be negligible. Urea uptake by the mucosa and serosa of the isolated colonic epithelium through accumulation of 14C-urea was determined to be 2.8 and 6.2 fold greater in the mucosa of the dogfish compared to the serosa of the dogfish and the mucosa of the ratfish respectively. Furthermore, there was no difference between serosal and mucosal accumulation of 14C-urea in the ratfish. Through the addition of 2mM NH 4Cl to the mucosal side of each preparation the potential for ammonia flux was also examined. This was again found to be negligible in both species suggesting that the colon is an extremely tight epithelium to the movement of both urea and ammonia. Plasma, chyme and bile fluid samples were also taken from the agastric ratfish and were compared with solute concentrations of equivalent body fluids in the dogfish. Finally molecular analysis revealed expression of 3 isoforms of the urea transport protein (UT) and an ammonia transport protein (Rhbg) in the gill, intestine, kidney and colon of the ratfish. Partial nucleotide sequences of the UT-1, 2 and 3 isoforms in the ratfish had 95, 95 and 92% identity to the equivalent UT isoforms recently identified in another holocephalan, the elephantfish, Callorhinchus milii. Finally, the nucleotide sequence of the Rhbg identified in the ratfish had 73% identity to the Rhbg protein recently identified in the little skate, Leucoraja erinacea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Volume161
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Ammonia
  • Chondrichthyes
  • Colon
  • Dogfish
  • Ratfish
  • Urea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Medicine(all)

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