Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 169–181 | Cite as

The relationship between water content, activity, and free amino acids inHelix pomatia L.

  • W. Wieser
  • M. Schuster


  1. 1.

    Between a total osmolarity of the blood from 120 to 260 mosmol/l the water content of the foot ofHelix pomatia varied from 80.7 to 72.8%. This is a much smaller range than would occur if the tissue behaved as a perfect osmometer, about 2.3 ml of water being saved per 10 g wet tissue weight.

  2. 2.

    No actively crawling animal had a blood osmolarity higher than 190 mosmol/l, no inactive animal had one lower than 175 mosmol/l.

  3. 3.

    The concentration of ninhydrin positive substances (NPS=free amino acids plus urea and ammonia) in the foot tissue ranges from 12.4 to 57.2 mM/kg tissue water. In the blood the corresponding figures are 0.37 and 1.95 mM/kg. The mean values in active and non-active animals respectively are 32.6 and 44.3 mM/kg H2O in the foot, 0.81 and 1.08 mM/kg H2O in the blood.

  4. 4.

    On the basis of their relationship to osmolarity four groups of NPS can be distinguished in the foot tissue:

  1. a)

    Highly significant positive correlation with osmolarity; large concentration difference between active and nonactive snails:tau, ser, gly (6.7–17.7% of all NPS).

  2. b)

    Significant to highly significant positive correlation; small concentration difference between active and non-active snails:asp, thr, glu, ala, val, leu, tyr, phe (44–51.7% of all NPS).

  3. c)

    No correlation, no concentration difference:glun, urea, lys, ammonia (20.4–28.7% of all NPS).

  4. d)

    Highly significant negative correlation:orn (6.8–15.8% of all NPS).

  1. 5.

    The increase in osmolarity due to the NPS of groups a and b is just about compensated for by NPS of groups c and d, the concentrations of which either remain stationary or even decrease over a twofold increase in total osmolarity of the tissue water. Thus the contribution of NPS to intracellular isosmotic regulation is negligible.

  2. 6.

    In the blood the general pattern of distribution of NPS is similar to that in the tissue water, the major differences involving glutamate, glutamine, and the components of the arginine cycle.

  3. 7.

    Changes in intracellular water content lead to a reorganisation of metabolism, with the effect that at higher degrees of dilution the production of members of the arginine cycle is favoured at the expense mainly of gly, ser, asp, glu, glu, and ala. This probably reflects acceleration of the cycle in order to increase the output of arginine.



Glutamate Significant Positive Correlation Free Amino Acid Ninhydrin Concentration Difference 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Wieser
    • 1
  • M. Schuster
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Zoophysiologie der UniversitätInnsbruckAustria

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