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Cell Tissue Res. 2005 Jan;319(1):167-74. Epub 2004 Oct 27.

Ontogeny of the antennal glands in the crayfish Astacus leptodactylus (Crustacea, Decapoda): immunolocalization of Na+,K+-ATPase.

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Equipe Adaptation Ecophysiologique et Ontogenèse, UMR 5171 GPIA, Université Montpellier II, cc 092, 34095 Montpellier cedex, France.


The involvement of the antennal urinary glands in the ontogeny of osmoregulatory functions was investigated during the development of Astacus leptodactylus by measurements of hemolymph and urine osmolality in juvenile and adult crayfish and by the immunodetection of the enzyme Na+,K+-ATPase. In stage II juveniles, 1-year-old juveniles, and adults, all of which were maintained in freshwater, urine was significantly hypotonic to hemolymph. In adults, chloride and sodium concentrations were much lower in urine than in hemolymph. During embryonic development, Na+,K+-ATPase was detected by immunocytochemistry in ionocytes lining the tubule and the bladder, at an eye index (EI) of 220-250 microm, and in the labyrinth, at EI 350 microm. In all regions, immunofluorescence was mainly located at the basolateral side of the cells. No immunofluorescence was detected at any stage in the coelomosac. In late embryonic stages (EI 410-440 microm), in stage I juveniles, and in adults, strong positive immunofluorescence was found from the labyrinth up to and including the bladder. These results show that, as early as hatching, juvenile crayfish are able to produce dilute urine hypotonic to hemolymph. This ability originates from the presence of Na+,K+-ATPase in ion-transporting cells located in the labyrinth, the tubule, and the bladder of the antennal glands and constitutes one of the main adaptations of crayfish to freshwater.

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