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Estimation of intracellular pH in muscle of fishes from different thermal environments

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S E Taylor, S Egginton, E W Taylor, C E Franklin, I A Johnston

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A technique based on homogenisation of rapidly frozen tissue was used to investigate the regulation of intracellular pH (pH(i)) in freshwater and marine fish from diverse environmental temperatures. The following species were held at ambient temperatures of ca. 1 degrees C (Notothenia coriiceps, Antarctica), 5 degrees C (Pleuronectes platessa, Myoxocephalus scorpius; North Sea), and 26 degrees C (Oreochromis niloticus, African lakes). The effects of seasonal acclimatisation to 4, 11 and 18 degrees C were also examined in rainbow trout in the winter, autumn and summer, respectively. Extracellular (whole blood) pH (pH(e)) did not follow the constant relative alkalinity relationship, where pH(+) = pOH(-) for any particular temperature, over a range of 1-26 degrees C (overall delta pH(e)/delta T = 0.009 +/- 0.002 U degrees C-1; P < 0.001), apparently being regulated by ionic fluxes and ventilation. Intracellular pH (pH(i)) was also regulated independently of pN(= 0.5 pK water) in all species of fish examined. The inverse relationship between pH(i) and environmental temperature gave an overall delta pH(i)/delta T of -0.010 +/- 0.001 U degrees C-1 (for both white and red muscle) and -0.004 +/- 0.093 U degrees C-1 (cardiac muscle). However, between 1 and 11 degrees C delta pH(i)/delta T was much higher (P < 0.001), -0.022 +/- 0.003 U degrees C-1 (white muscle) and -0.022 +/- 0.004 U degrees C-1 (red muscle). The possible adaptive roles for these different acid-base responses to environmental temperature variation among tissues and species, and the potential difficulties of estimating pH(i). are discussed. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999

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