Effects of environmental salinity on gill endothelin receptor expression in the killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus

Academic Article


  • We recently determined that rapid changes in environmental salinity alter endothelin-1 (EDN1) mRNA levels in the euryhaline killifish, Fundulus heteroclitus, so we hypothesized that EDN1 may be a local regulator of gill ion transport in teleost fishes. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of changes in environmental salinity on the gill endothelin receptors: EDNRA, EDNRB, and EDNRC. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we determined that after a fresh water (FW) to seawater (SW) transfer, there is a two to threefold increase in gill EDNRA and EDNRB mRNA levels. Likewise, we found a two to three fold increase in gill EDNRA and EDNRB protein concentration. In addition, killifish that have acclimated to FW for 30¬†days had significantly lower EDNRA mRNA and protein levels than SW killifish. ENDRA were immunolocalized to the mitochondrion-rich cells of the killifish gill, suggesting that EDN1 signaling cascades may affect MRC function. EDNRB were found throughout the gill vasculature and on lamellar pillar cells. We previously immunolocalized EDN1 to the pillar cell suggesting that EDN1 acts as an autocrine signaling molecule and potentially regulates pillar cell tone and lamellar perfusion. We conclude that EDN1 is physiologically active in the teleost gill, and regulated by environmental salinity. Future functional studies examining the physiological role of this system are necessary to completely understand EDN1 in the fish gill. ¬© 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hyndman KA; Evans DH
  • Start Page

  • 58
  • End Page

  • 65
  • Volume

  • 152
  • Issue

  • 1