Ionocyte Immunolocalization and the Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Their Abundance and Distribution in the Alenins of Caspian Sea Salmon, Salmo trutta caspius

Document Type : Research Article



On a global scale, stratospheric ozone depletion has caused an increase in UV-B radiation reaching the earth's surface. Ultraviolet radiation has long been suspected to be harmful to aquatic organisms. Materials and Methods: In order to study ionocyte localization (by Na+/K+-ATPase immunolocalization) and the effects of UV radiation on the ionocytes of skin and gills, the alevins of Salmo trutta caspius were exposed to different doses of UV radiation [unit low doses (ULD) of: 60 µw/cm2 UVC; 100 µw/cm2 UVB and 40 µw/cm2 UVA and unit high doses (UHD) of: 90 µw/cm2 UVC; 130 µw/cm2 UVB and 50 µw/cm2 UVA] using two adjustable F8T5 UV-B, 302 nm lamps (Japan) for 15 minutes once a day in laboratory conditions. Alevins not subjected to UV exposure served as a control group. Results: In both UV exposure groups, all the alevins died on the ninth day. No mortality was observed in the control group. The Na+/K+-ATPase immunolocalization study indicated that ionocytes were located, in lessening order, on the yolk sac, trunk, gills, opercula and rarely on the head skin. Immunohistochemical results showed significant reduction in the number of ionocytes on the yolk sac, with lesser reduction on the trunk in both UV exposure groups. In contrast, the number of immunofluorescence cells on the gill was significantly elevated. Our results also showed that the size of ionocytes was reduced on the trunk and yolk sac in the UV exposure groups, but not significantly. Deformation and destruction of ionocytes on the yolk sac and trunk were observed with scanning electron microscope (SEM) in the UV exposure groups. Conclusion: Our results showed that ionocytes were located mainly on the yolk sac, in lesser amounts on the trunk, gills and opercula, and rarely also on the head skin of alevins. UV radiation caused deformation and reduction in the number and size of ionocytes on the trunk and yolk sac. As the skin cells of trout alevins possess essential functions for respiration, osmoregulation, excretion and defense during this stage of life, the observed damage may have contributed to their suddenly mortality in the UV exposure condition.