Ammocoetes of the anadromous sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus L. spend many years in freshwater before metamorphosing and migrating to sea. Metamorphosis involves the radical transformation from a substrate-dwelling, filter feeder into a free-swimming, parasitic feeder. In the present work we examined osmoregulatory differences between ammocoetes and transformers (metamorphic juveniles), and the effects of salinity acclimation. We measured the expression of key ion-transporting proteins [Na+/K+-ATPase, vacuolar (V)-type H+-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase (CA)] as well as a number of relevant blood parameters (hematocrit, [Na+] and [Cl -]). In addition, immunofluorescence microscopy was used to identify and characterize the distributions of Na+/K+-ATPase, V-type H+-ATPase and CA immunoreactive cells in the gill. Ammocoetes did not survive in the experiments with salinities greater than 10???, whereas survival in high salinity (???25-35???) increased with increased degree of metamorphosis in transformers. Plasma [Na+] and [Cl -] of ammocoetes in freshwater was lower than transformers and increased markedly at 10???. In transformers, plasma ions increased only at high salinity (>25???). Branchial Na+/K+-ATPase levels were ??? tenfold higher in transformers compared to ammocoetes and salinity did not affect expression in either group. However, branchial H +-ATPase expression showed a negative correlation with salinity in both groups. Na+/K+-ATPase immunoreactivity was strongest in transformers and associated with clusters of cells in the interlamellar spaces. H+-ATPase (B subunit) immunoreactivity was localized to epithelial cells not expressing high Na+/K+-ATPase immunoreactivity and having a similar tissue distribution as carbonic anhydrase. The results indicate that branchial Na+/K+-ATPase and salinity tolerance increase in metamorphosing lampreys, and that branchial H+-ATPase is downregulated by salinity.
Additional publication details
Ionoregulatory changes during metamorphosis and salinity exposure of juvenile sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus L.)