Fluid regulation and physiological adjustments in the winter skate, Leucoraja ocellata, following exposure to reduced environmental salinities

James A. Sulikowski, Jason R. Treberg, W. Huntting Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Winter skates, Leucoraja ocellata, exposed to 80% and 50% seawater (SW) exhibited rapid and significant weight gains followed by a slight recovery to new steady state levels within 8 days. Skates were acclimated at each salinity (100% SW [N = 16], 80% SW [N = 8], 50% SW [N = 8]), anesthetized (MS222) and bled from the caudal vein. In 100% SW, skate plasma (930 mOsm/kg) was slightly hyperosmotic to the external medium (922 mOsm/kg). Plasma osmolality decreased with seawater dilution, but became increasingly hyperosmotic to the bathing media. The environmental dilutions resulted in significant, but disproportionate changes in plasma Cl-, P-, Na+, Ca+, Mg+, trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) and urea concentrations. Mean corpuscular [Hb] and milliliter RBC water measurements suggest that skate red cells swelled less at each dilution than predicted for a passive erythrocyte osmometer. Concentrations of the major RBC solutes K+, urea, TMAO and Cl- decreased by 8, 25, 5 and 21%, respectively in 80% SW. In 50% SW, K+, urea, TMAO and Cl- concentrations decreased by 9, 47, 36 and 15%, respectively. Quantitatively, the other measured intracellular electrolytes (Mg+, Na+, P- and Ca+) also exhibited disproportionate changes in concentration. Our results indicate that L. ocellata is a euryhaline elasmobranch that can tolerate significant reduction in the external salinity through the release of both ions and urea from the extracellular compartments while retaining electrolytes at the expense of urea in the intracellular compartment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-348
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Elasmobranch
  • Erythrocyte
  • Extracellular
  • Hematologic properties
  • Osmoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science

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