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Cell Tissue Res. 1983;230(1):205-18.

Glomerular ultrastructure of the trout, Salmo gairdneri. Glomerular capillary epithelium and the effects of environmental salinity.


The epithelial ultrastructure of the glomerulus of fresh- and sea-water adapted rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri was examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy after in vivo-perfusion fixation. Adaptation to seawater for a period of up to 9 weeks was not associated with a change in glomerular size, although after one year in seawater both glomeruli and their capsules were significantly smaller than the glomeruli of freshwater adapted fish. In freshwater adapted trout the epithelial ultrastructure conformed to the general vertebrate pattern, with rounded podocytes, well-defined primary processes and interdigitating pedicels. Adaptation to seawater was associated with a marked increase in the frequency of cytoplasmic microprojections. In many glomeruli there was a flattening of the podocytes, broadening of the primary processes, and areas of closely-packed pedicels were common. These observations are discussed in the light of previous studies on the mammalian kidney and the changes of single nephron function known to be associated with adaptation of trout to increased environmental salinities.

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