Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 157, Issue 1, pp 21–30 | Cite as

Adaptation of renal function to hypotonic medium in the winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus)

  • Eva Elger
  • Bernd Elger
  • Hartmut Hentschel
  • Hilmar Stolte


The kidneys of winter flounders transferred to hypotonic medium were investigated for glomerular and tubular handling of fluid and electrolytes and for the urinary excretion of proteins. Media were sea water (925 mosm·kg−1) and brackish water (70 mosm·kg−1).

In sea water, the urine was hypertonic to the plasma in 7 fish of this study. Urine flow rate was correlated with the GFR. After adaptation to brackish water a delay of 1 to 3 days was observed until the kidneys switched from fluid retention to the excretion of large amounts of dilute urine. GFR and urine flow rate were increased from 0.61±0.08 to 1.58±0.29 ml·h−1·kg−1 and from 0.14±0.02 to 0.68±0.08 ml·h−1·kg−1, respectively\((\bar x \pm SEM)\). With increased filtered load the tubular reabsorption of fluid decreased from 74±2.4% to 45±11.2%. The excretion rates of sodium and potassium were increased due to decreased fractional sodium and potassium reabsorption. The urinary excretion of divalent cations, however, was reduced because the net tubular reabsorption of calcium was increased and the net secretion of magnesium was diminished.

Both the urinary total protein concentration and the protein pattern showed no significant change, but the rate of protein excretion was increased from 0.21±0.04 to 0.60±0.05 mg·h−1·kg−1. The comparison of protein patterns obtained from urine and serum samples revealed that high molecular weight (HMW) proteins prevail in the serum whereas low molecular weight (LMW) proteins dominate in the urine. The diminished quantity of the HMW-protein fraction in the urine thus may reflect size selectivity of the glomerular filtration barrier for serum proteins also in the winter flounder.


Glomerular Filtration Urinary Excretion Brackish Water Total Protein Concentration Fluid Retention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



brackish water


sea water


glomerular filtration rate


heigh molecular weight


low molecular weight


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Babiker MM, Rankin JC (1978) Neurohypophysial hormonal control of kidney function in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) adapted to sea-water or fresh water. J Endocrinol 76:347–358Google Scholar
  2. Beyenbach KW (1982) Direct demonstration of fluid secretion by glomerular renal tubules in a marine teleost. Nature 299:54–56Google Scholar
  3. Beyenbach KW, Kirschner LB (1976) The unreliability of mammalian glomerular markers in teleostean renal studies. J Exp Biol 64:369–378Google Scholar
  4. Bieter RN (1931) Albuminuria in glomerular and aglomerular fish. J Pharm Exp Therap 8:407–412Google Scholar
  5. Bigelow HB, Schroeder WC (1953) Fishes of the gulf of Maine. Fish Bull Fish Wildlife Service 53:276–283Google Scholar
  6. Bode F, Ottosen PD, Madsen KM, Maunsbach AB (1980) Does transtubular transport of intact protein occur in the kidney? In: Maunsbach AB, Olsen TS, Christensen EI (eds) Functional ultrastructure of the kidney. Academic Press, London New York, pp 385–395Google Scholar
  7. Bulger RE, Trump BF (1969) A mechanism for rapid transport of colloidal particles by flounder renal epithelium. J Morphol 127:205–224Google Scholar
  8. DeVries AL (1982) Biological antifreeze agents in coldwater fishes. Comp Biochem Physiol 73A:627–640Google Scholar
  9. Eddy FB (1981) Effects of stress on osmotic and ionic regulation in fish. In: Pickering AD (ed) Stress and fish. Academic Press, London New York, pp 77–102Google Scholar
  10. Evans DH (1981) Osmotic and ionic regulation by freshwater and marine fishes. In: Ali MA (ed) Environmental physiology of fishes. Plenum Press, New York, pp 93–122Google Scholar
  11. Feeney RF, Brown WD (1974) Plasma proteins in fishes. In: Florkin M, Scheer BT (eds) Chemical zoology (vol VIII). Academic Press, New York London, pp 307–329Google Scholar
  12. Forster RP, Danforth JW (1973) Transport of fluid and electrolytes by urinary bladder of the aglomerular marine teleostLophius americanus. Bull Mt Des Isl Biol Lab 13:42–44Google Scholar
  13. Hickman CP (1965) Studies on renal function in freshwater teleost fish. Trans R Soc Can 3:213–236Google Scholar
  14. Hickman CP (1968) Urine composition and kidney tubular function in southern flounder,Paralichthys lethostigma, in seawater. Can J Zool 46:439–455Google Scholar
  15. Hickman CP, Trump BF (1969) The kidney. In: Hoar WS, Randall DJ (eds) Fish physiology, vol 1. Academic Press, New York London, pp 91–239Google Scholar
  16. Hickman CP Newcomb EW, Kinter WB (1972) Anomalous behavior of3H- and14C-labelled inulin and3H-labelled polyethylene glycol in incubated kidney tissue of the winter flounder,Pseudopleuronectes americanus. Bull Mt Des Isl Biol Lab 12:47–50Google Scholar
  17. Kaune R, Hentschel H (1978) The kidney of the prussian carp,Carassius auratus gibelio (Bloch 1782) (Pisces, Cyprinidae) IV. On the renal handling of polyfructosan and Lissamin green V. Zool Jb Physiol 82:434–440Google Scholar
  18. King PA, Beyenbach KW Goldstein L (1982) Taurine transport by isolated flounder renal tubules. J Exp Zool 223:103–114Google Scholar
  19. Kowarsky J (1973) Extra-branchial pathways of salt exchange in a teleost fish. Comp Biochem Physiol 46A:477–486Google Scholar
  20. Lahlou B (1967) Excretion rénale chez un poisson euryhalin, le flet (Platichthys flesus L.): Caractéristiques de l'urine normale en eau douce et en eau de mer et effets des changements de milieu. Comp Biochem Physiol 20:925–938Google Scholar
  21. Lahlou, B, Sawyer WH (1969) Sodium exchanges in the toadfish,Opsanus tau, a euryhaline aglomerular teleost. Am J Physiol 216:1273–1278Google Scholar
  22. Lahlou B, Henderson IW, Sawyer WH (1969) Renal adaptations byOpsanus tau, a euryhaline aglomerular teleost, to dilute media. Am J Physiol 216:1266–1272Google Scholar
  23. Lowry OH, Rosebrough NJ, Farr AL, Randall RJ (1951) Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. J Biol Chem 193:265–275Google Scholar
  24. Maack T, Kinter WB (1969) Transport of protein by flounder kidney tubules during long-term incubation. Am J Physiol 216:1034–1043Google Scholar
  25. McCracken FD (1963) Seasonal movements of the winter flounder,Pseudopleuronectes americanus (Walbaum) on the Atlantic coast. J Fish Res Bd Can 20:551–586Google Scholar
  26. Motais R, Romeu FG, Maetz J (1966) Exchange diffusion effect and euryhalinity in teleosts. J Gen Physiol 50:391–422Google Scholar
  27. Neuhoff V (1973) Micromethods in molecular biology. In: Kleinzeller A, Springer GF, Wittmann HG (eds) Molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics, vol 14. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 1–83Google Scholar
  28. Nishimura H, Imai M (1982) Control of renal function in fresh-water and marine teleosts. Fed Proc 41:2355–2360Google Scholar
  29. Nishimura H, Sawyer WH (1976) Vasopressor, diuretic, and natriuretic responses to angiotensins by the American eel,Anguilla rostrata. Gen Comp endocrinol 29:337–348Google Scholar
  30. Oikari AO, Rankin JC (1985) Renal excretion of magnesium in a freshwater teleost,Salmo gairdneri. J Exp Biol 117:319–333Google Scholar
  31. Ottosen PD, Maunsbach AB (1973) Transport of peroxidase in flounder kidney tubules studied by electron microscope histochemistry. Kidney Int 3:315–326Google Scholar
  32. Pesce AJ, First MR (1979) Proteinuria. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 80–99Google Scholar
  33. Petzel DH, DeVries AL (1981) Functional morphology of the flounder capillary wall. Bull Mt Des Isl Biol Lab 21:35–37Google Scholar
  34. Renfro JL (1980) Relationship between renal fluid and Mg secretion in a glomerular marine teleost. Am J Physiol 238:F92-F98Google Scholar
  35. Schmidt-Nielsen B, Renfro JL (1975) Kidney function of the American eelAnguilla rostrata. Am J Physiol 228:420–431Google Scholar
  36. Schmidt-Nielsen B, Renfro JL, Benos D (1972) Estimation of extracellular space and intracellular ion concentrations in osmoconformers, hypo- and hyperosmoregulators. Bull Mt Des Isl Biol Lab 12:99–104Google Scholar
  37. Stanley JG, Fleming WR (1964) Excretion of hypertonic urine by a teleost. Science 144:63–64Google Scholar
  38. Stanton B, Giebisch G (1981) Mechanism of urinary potassium excretion. Mineral Electrolyte Metab 5:100–120Google Scholar
  39. Wendelaar Bonga SE (1976) The effect of prolactin on kidney structure of the euryhaline teleostGasterosteus aculeatus during adaptation to fresh water. Cell Tiss Res 166:319–338Google Scholar
  40. Williams WM, Chen TST, Huang KC (1974) Renal handling of aromatic amino acids, sugar and standard glomerular markers in winter flounder. Am J Physiol 227:1380–1384Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Elger
    • 1
    • 3
  • Bernd Elger
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hartmut Hentschel
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hilmar Stolte
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Zentrum Innere Medizin und DermatologieArbeitsbereich Experimentelle NephrologieHannover 61Germany
  2. 2.Zentrum Anatomie, Abteilung Zellbiologie und ElektronenmikroskopieMedizimische Hochschule HannoverHannover 61Germany
  3. 3.Mount Desert Island Biological LaboratorySalsbury CoveUSA

Personalised recommendations