19 research outputs found

    Hormone-dependent dissociation of blood flow and secretion rate in the lingual salt glands of the estuarine crocodile, Crocodylus porosus

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    Salt and water balance in the estuarine crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, involves the coordinated action of both renal and extra-renal tissues. The highly vascularised, lingual salt glands of C. porosus excrete a concentrated sodium chloride solution. In the present study, we examined the in vivo actions of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and angiotensin II (ANG II) on the secretion rate and blood perfusion of the lingual salt glands. These peptides were selected for their vasoactive properties in addition to their reported actions on salt gland activity in birds and turtles and rectal gland activity in elasmobranchs. The femoral artery was cannulated in seven juvenile crocodiles for delivery of peptides and measurement of mean blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, secretion rate of, and blood flow to, the salt glands were recorded simultaneously using laser Doppler flowmetry. VIP stimulated salt secretion was coupled to an increase in blood flow and vascular conductance of the lingual salt glands. BNP was a potent stimulant of salt gland secretion, resulting in a maximal secretion rate of more than 15-fold higher than baseline; however, this was not coupled to an increase in perfusion rate, which remained unchanged. ANG II failed to stimulate salt gland secretion and there was a transient decrease in salt gland blood flow and vascular conductance. It is evident from this study that blood flow to, and secretion rate from, the lingual salt glands of C. porosus are regulated independently; indeed, it is apparent that maximal secretion from the salt glands may not require maximal blood flow

    Structural differentiation of apical openings in active mitochondria-rich cells during early life stages of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) as a response to osmotic challenge

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    This study examines the structural differentiation of the apical crypts of mitochondria-rich cells (MRCs) in Nile tilapia as a response to osmotic challenge. Larvae were transferred from freshwater at 3 days post-hatch to 12.5 and 20 ppt and were sampled at 24- and 48-h post-transfer. Scanning electron microscopy allowed quantification of MRCs, based on apical crypt appearance and surface area, resulting in a morphological classification of 'sub-types', that is, Type I or absorptive (surface area range 5.2-19.6 μm(2)), Type II or active absorptive form (surface area range 1.1-15.7 μm(2)), Type III or weakly functioning form (surface area range 0.08-4.6 μm(2)) and Type IV or active secreting form (surface area range 4.1-11.7 μm(2)). Mucus cell crypts were discriminated from those of MRCs based on the presence of globular extensions and quantified. Density and frequency of MRCs and mucus cells varied significantly according to the experimental salinity and time post-transfer; in freshwater-adapted larvae, all types were present except Type IV but, following transfer to elevated salinities, Type I and Type II disappeared and appeared to be replaced by Type IV crypts. Type III crypt density remained constant following transfer. Transmission electron microscopy with immunogold labelling, using a novel pre-fixation technique with anti-Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, allowed complementary ultrastructural visualisation of specific localisation of the antibodies on active MRCs, permitting a review of MRC apical morphology and related Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase binding sites