Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 170, Issue 8, pp 573–580 | Cite as

Salt gland blood flow in the hatchling green turtle, Chelonia mydas

  • R. Reina
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Microsphere and morphometric techniques were used to investigate any circulatory changes that accompany secretion by the salt glands of hatchling Chelonia mydas. Salt glands were activated by a salt load of 27.0 mmol NaCl kg body mass (BM)−1, resulting in a mean sodium secretion rate of 4.14 ± 0.11 mmol Na kg BM−1 h−1 for a single gland. Microsphere entrapment was approximately 160–180 times greater in the active salt gland than the inactive gland, inferring a similar change in blood flow through salt gland capillaries. The concentration of microspheres trapped in the salt gland was significantly correlated with the rate of tear production (ml kg BM−1 h−1) and the total rate of sodium secretion (mmol Na kg BM−1 h−1) but not with tear sodium concentration (mmol Na l−1). Adrenaline (500 μg kg BM−1) inhibited tear production within 2 min and reduced microsphere entrapment by approximately 95% compared with active glands. The volume of filled blood vessels increased from 0.03 ± 0.01% of secretory lobe volume in inactive salt gland sections to 0.70 ± 0.11% in active gland sections. The results demonstrate that capillary blood flow in the salt gland of C. mydas can regulate the activity of the gland as a whole.

Key words Blood flow Osmoregulation Salt glands Chelonian Microsphere 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Reina
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science, Engineering and policy, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA e-mail: richard.reina@drexel.edu Tel.: +1-215-8952099; Fax: +1-215-8952267US

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