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Structures and immunolocalization of Na+, K+‐ATPase, Na+/H+ exchanger 3 and vacuolar‐type H+‐ATPase in the gills of blennies (Teleostei: Blenniidae) inhabiting rocky intertidal areas

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The structure and immunolocalization of the ion transporters Na+,K+‐ATPase (NKA), Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE3) and vacuolar‐type H+‐ATPase (VHA) were examined in the gills of teleosts of the family Blenniidae, which inhabit rocky shores with vertical zonation in subtropical seas. These features were compared among the following species with different ecologies: the amphibious rockskipper blenny Andamia tetradactylus, the intertidal white‐finned blenny Praealticus tanegasimae and the purely marine yaeyama blenny Ecsenius yaeyamaensis. Light and electron microscopic observations indicated that thick gill filaments were arranged close to each other and alternately on two hemibranches of a gill arch in the opercular space of A. tetradactylus. Many mucous cells (MC) and mitochondrion‐rich cells (MRC) were present in the interlamellar regions of the gill filament. An immunohistochemical study demonstrated that numerous NKA, NHE3 and some VHA were located predominantly on presumed MRCs of gill filaments and at the base of the lamellae. Analyses using serial (mirror image) sections of the gills indicated that only a few NKA immunoreactive cells (IRC) were colocalized with VHA on some MRCs in the filaments. In the gills of P. tanegasimae, NKA‐ and NHE3‐IRCs were observed in the interlamellar region of the filaments and at the base of the lamellae. VHA‐IRCs were located sparsely on the lamellae and filaments. In the gills of E. yaeyamaensis, the lamellae and filaments were thin and straight, respectively. MCs were located at the tip as well as found scattered in the interlamellar region of gill filaments. NKA‐, NHE3‐ and VHA‐IRCs were moderately frequently observed in the filaments and rarely on the lamellae. This study shows that the structure and distribution of ion transporters in the gills differ among the three blennid species, presumably reflecting their different ecologies.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 01 May 2012

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