Dilute culture media as an environmental or physiological simulant in cultured gill epithelia from freshwater rainbow trout

Scott P. Kelly, Chris M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The electrophysiological and ion- transporting properties of cultured gill epithelia from freshwater (FW) rainbow trout were examined in the presence of dilute cell culture media as an environmental or physiological simulant. Gill epithelia were cultured on cell culture inserts under symmetrical conditions (L15 apical-L15 basolateral) for 6-7 d. The following experiments were then conducted. (1) To mimic a gradual lowering of environmental salinity, apical L15 medium was progressively diluted with FW (first to 2/3 L15 for 8 h and then to 1/3 L15 for 6 h) before the introduction of apical FW (FW apical-L15 basolateral, analogous to a fish in a natural FW environment). Dilute apical media had no significant effect on the electrophysiological properties of preparations compared with symmetrical culture conditions, and no evidence for active Na+ or Cl- transport was observed. Preparations subsequently exposed to apical FW exhibited a negative transepithelial potential and evidence of active Cl- uptake and slight Na+ extrusion. (2) To mimic the extracellular fluid dilution that occurs in euryhaline fish after abrupt transfer from saline to FW, the osmolality or ionic strength (or both) of basolateral media was reduced by 20-40% (using either FW or FW + mannitol) while simultaneously replacing apical media with FW. Under these conditions, Na+ and Cl- influx rates were low compared with efflux rates, while the Ussing flux ratio analysis generally indicated active Cl- uptake and Na+ extrusion. The Na+-K+ adenosine triphosphatase activity was not affected by alterations in basolateral osmolality. Our studies indicate that cultured trout gill epithelia are tolerant of media dilution from both the apical and the basolateral direction; however, neither treatment alone appeared to increase ion influx rates or stimulate active Na+ uptake in cultured trout gill epithelia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Ion transport
  • Mitochondria-rich cells
  • Na-K ATPase
  • Osmolality
  • Pavement cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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