Response of branchial Na+/K+ ATPase to changes in ambient temperature in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and whiting (Merlangius merlangus).

Magnus.Lucassen [ at ]


The maintenance of ion and pH homeostasis despite changes in ambient temperature is crucial for ectothermic organisms. Thermal sensitivity of Na+/K+ ATPase mRNA expression, protein expression and activity was determined in gills of North Sea cod (NC) and Northeastern Arctic cod (NEAC), acclimated for 6 weeks at 4 and 10 °C and compared to field samples of North Sea cod (sNC), acclimatized to early spring (4 °C) and summer (18 °C) conditions. The same analyses were conducted in gills of the confamiliar whiting, acclimated at 4 and 10 °C. Branchial Na+/K+ ATPase capacities remained uncompensated at functional and protein levels in NC and NEAC at both acclimation temperatures. Na+/K+ ATPase mRNA expression in NEAC acclimated at 10 °C was about twofold higher compared to NC, indicating some population-specific differentiation at this level. Lower Na+/K+ ATPase capacities in gills of warm-acclimatized sNC at common assay temperatures indicate thermal compensation between seasonal extremes, and post-translational modifications contributed to this mitigation at high assay temperature. Together, cod compensates Na+/K+ ATPase capacities on the warm edge of the thermal window and below 4 °C, respectively. In contrast, whiting Na+/K+ ATPase capacities were cold compensated at 4 °C, supported by 1.5-fold higher mRNA and protein expression. Besides, capacities were lower in whiting compared to NC and NEAC at optimum temperature, which may be advantageous in terms of reduced maintenance cost, but at temperatures ≤4 °C, compensation may represent an energy trade-off to maintain homeostasis. The species-specific response of gadid Na+/K+ ATPase indicates certain threshold temperatures beyond which compensation of the pump is elicited, possibly related to the different biogeography of these species.

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DOI 10.1007/s00360-016-0970-8

Cite as
Michael, K. , Koschnick, N. , Pörtner, H. O. and Lucassen, M. (2016): Response of branchial Na+/K+ ATPase to changes in ambient temperature in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and whiting (Merlangius merlangus). , J Comp Physiol B . doi: 10.1007/s00360-016-0970-8



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