Hemolymph osmolality and cation concentrations in Litopenaeus vannamei during exposure to artificial sea salt or a mixed-ion solution: Relationship to potassium flux

A. D. Sowers, S. P. Young, M. Grosell, C. L. Browdy, J. R. Tomasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Interest in culturing the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei in low-salinity and brackish-well waters has led to questions about the ability of this species to osmo- and ionoregulate in environments containing low concentrations of ions and in environments with ionic ratios that differ from those found in sea water. After seven days, hemolymph osmolality and potassium, sodium and calcium values were all significantly affected by salinity (as artificial sea salt) with values decreasing with decreasing salinity. These decreases were small, however, relative to decreases in salinity, indicating iono- and osmoregulation with adjustment for gradients. The hemolymph osmolality and sodium and calcium concentrations in shrimp exposed to either 2 g/L artificial sea salt or 2 g/L mixed-ion solution (a mixture of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium chlorides that approximate the concentrations and ratios of these cations found in 2 g/L dilute seawater) did not differ significantly. However, hemolymph potassium levels were significantly lower in shrimp held in the mixed-ion environment. Potassium influx rates were similar in shrimp held in either artificial sea salt or mixed ions. The results of this study indicate that salinity affects hemolymph-cation concentrations and osmolality. Further, differential potassium-influx rates do not appear to be the basis for low hemolymph potassium levels observed in shrimp held in mixed-ion environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2006



  • Ion regulation
  • Low salinity
  • Potassium flux
  • Shrimp

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology

Cite this