Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 182, Issue 8, pp 1069–1080 | Cite as

Water absorption and bicarbonate secretion in the intestine of the sea bream are regulated by transmembrane and soluble adenylyl cyclase stimulation

  • Edison S. M. Carvalho
  • Sílvia F. Gregório
  • Deborah M. Power
  • Adelino V. M. Canário
  • Juan FuentesEmail author
Original Paper


In the marine fish intestine luminal, HCO3 can remove divalent ions (calcium and magnesium) by precipitation in the form of carbonate aggregates. The process of epithelial HCO3 secretion is under endocrine control, therefore, in this study we aimed to characterize the involvement of transmembrane (tmACs) and soluble (sACs) adenylyl cyclases on the regulation of bicarbonate secretion (BCS) and water absorption in the intestine of the sea bream (Sparus aurata). We observed that all sections of sea bream intestine are able to secrete bicarbonate as measured by pH–Stat in Ussing chambers. In addition, gut sac preparations reveal net water absorption in all segments of the intestine, with significantly higher absorption rates in the anterior intestine that in the rectum. BCS and water absorption are positively correlated in all regions of the sea bream intestinal tract. Furthermore, stimulation of tmACs (10 μM FK + 500 μM IBMX) causes a significant decrease in BCS, bulk water absorption and short circuit current (Isc) in a region dependent manner. In turn, stimulation of sACs with elevated HCO3 results in a significant increase in BCS, and bulk water absorption in the anterior intestine, an action completely reversed by the sAC inhibitor KH7 (200 μM). Overall, the results reveal a functional relationship between BCS and water absorption in marine fish intestine and modulation by tmACs and sAC. In light of the present observations, it is hypothesized that the endocrine effects on intestinal BCS and water absorption mediated by tmACs are locally and reciprocally modulated by the action of sACs in the fish enterocyte, thus fine-tuning the process of carbonate aggregate production in the intestinal lumen.


Bicarbonate secretion Intestinal tract Marine fish pH–Stat Soluble adenylyl cyclase cAMP Transmembrane adenylyl cyclase Ussing chamber Water absorption 



This research was funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology project PTDC/MAR/104008/2008 (Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Portugal and European Social Funds) awarded to J.F.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edison S. M. Carvalho
    • 1
  • Sílvia F. Gregório
    • 1
  • Deborah M. Power
    • 1
  • Adelino V. M. Canário
    • 1
  • Juan Fuentes
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMar), CIMAR-Laboratório AssociadoUniversidade do AlgarveFaroPortugal

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