Diverse mechanisms for body fluid regulation in teleost fishes

Yoshio Takei, Junya Hiroi, Hideya Takahashi, Tatsuya Sakamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


Teleost fishes are the major group of ray-finned fishes and represent more than one-half of the total number of vertebrate species. They have experienced in their evolution an additional third-round whole genome duplication just after the divergence of their lineage, which endowed them with an extra adaptability to invade various aquatic habitats. Thus their physiology is also extremely diverse compared with other vertebrate groups as exemplified by the many patterns of body fluid regulation or osmoregulation. The key osmoregulatory organ for teleosts, whose body fluid composition is similar to mammals, is the gill, where ions are absorbed from or excreted into surrounding waters of various salinities against concentration gradients. It has been shown that the underlying molecular physiology of gill ionocytes responsible for ion regulation is highly variable among species. This variability is also seen in the endocrine control of osmoregulation where some hormones have distinct effects on body fluid regulation in different teleost species. A typical example is atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP); ANP is secreted in response to increased blood volume and acts on various osmoregulatory organs to restore volume in rainbow trout as it does in mammals, but it is secreted in response to increased plasma osmolality, and specifically decreases NaCl, and not water, in the body of eels. The distinct actions of other osmoregulatory hormones such as growth hormone, prolactin, angiotensin II, and vasotocin among teleost species are also evident. We hypothesized that such diversity of ionocytes and hormone actions among species stems from their intrinsic differences in body fluid regulation that originated from their native habitats, either fresh water or seawater. In this review, we summarized remarkable differences in body fluid regulation and its endocrine control among teleost species, although the number of species is still limited to substantiate the hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R778-R792
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Aquatic vertebrates
  • Environmental adaptation
  • Osmoregulatory hormones
  • Transporters/channels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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