Unidirectional Na+ and Ca2+ fluxes in two euryhaline teleost fishes, Fundulus heteroclitus and Oncorhynchus mykiss, acutely submitted to a progressive salinity increase

Viviane Prodocimo, Fernando Galvez, Carolina A. Freire, Chris M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Na+ and Ca2+ regulation were compared in two euryhaline species, killifish (normally estuarine-resident) and rainbow trout (normally freshwater-resident) during an incremental salinity increase. Whole-body unidirectional fluxes of Na+ and Ca2+, whole body Na+ and Ca2+, and plasma concentrations (trout only), were measured over 1-h periods throughout a total 6-h protocol of increasing salinity meant to simulate a natural tidal flow. Killifish exhibited significant increases in both Na+ influx and efflux rates, with efflux slightly lagging behind efflux up to 60% SW, but net Na+ balance was restored by the time killifish reached 100% SW. Whole body Na+ did not change, in agreement with the capacity of this species to tolerate daily salinity fluctuations in its natural habitat. In contrast, rainbow trout experienced a dramatic increase in Na+ influx (50-fold relative to FW values), but not Na+ efflux between 40 and 60% SW, resulting in a large net loading of Na+ at higher salinities (60-100% SW), and increases in plasma Na+ and whole body Na+ at 100% SW. Killifish were in negative Ca2+ balance at all salinities, whereas trout were in positive Ca2+ balance throughout. Ca2+ influx rate increased two- to threefold in killifish at 80 and 100% SW, but there were no concomitant changes in Ca2+ efflux. Ca2+ flux rates were affected to a larger degree in trout, with twofold increases in Ca2+ influx at 40% SW and sevenfold increases at 100% SW. Again, there was no change in Ca2+ efflux with salinity, so plasma Ca2+ concentration increased in 100% SW. As the killifish is regularly submitted to increased salinity in its natural environment, it is able to rapidly activate changes in unidirectional fluxes in order to ensure ionic homeostasis, in contrast to the trout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-528
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium
  • Ion fluxes
  • Killifish
  • Rainbow trout
  • Salinity
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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