Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2008 Dec;295(6):C1625-32. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00255.2008. Epub 2008 Sep 24.

Ammonia excretion by the skin of zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae.

Author information

Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei 116, Taiwan, Republic of China.


The mechanism of ammonia excretion in freshwater teleosts is not well understood. In this study, scanning ion-selective electrode technique was applied to measure H(+) and NH(4)(+) fluxes in specific cells on the skin of zebrafish larvae. NH(4)(+) extrusion was relatively high in H(+) pump-rich cells, which were identified as the H(+)-secreting ionocyte in zebrafish. Minor NH(4)(+) extrusion was also detected in keratinocytes and other types of ionocytes in larval skin. NH(4)(+) extrusion from the skin was tightly linked to acid secretion. Increases in the external pH and buffer concentration (5 mM MOPS) diminished H(+) and NH(4)(+) gradients at the larval surface. Moreover, coupled decreases in NH(4)(+) and H(+) extrusion were found in larvae treated with an H(+)-pump inhibitor (bafilomycin A1) or H(+)-pump gene (atp6v1a) knockdown. Knockdown of Rhcg1 with morpholino-oligonucleotides also decreased NH(4)(+) excretion. This study demonstrates ammonia excretion in epithelial cells of larval skin through an acid-trapping mechanism, and it provides direct evidence for the involvement of the H(+) pump and an Rh glycoprotein (Rhcg1) in ammonia excretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center