PubMed 25298512

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kir1.1

Title: Gene expression and cellular localization of ROMKs in the gills and kidney of Mozambique tilapia acclimated to fresh water with high potassium concentration.

Authors: Fumiya Furukawa, Soichi Watanabe, Keigo Kakumura, Junya Hiroi, Toyoji Kaneko

Journal, date & volume: Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 2014 Dec 1 , 307, R1303-12

PubMed link:

Regulation of plasma K(+) levels in narrow ranges is vital to vertebrate animals. Since seawater (SW) teleosts are loaded with excess K(+), they constantly excrete K(+) from the gills. However, the K(+) regulatory mechanisms in freshwater (FW)-acclimated teleosts are still unclear. We aimed to identify the possible K(+) regulatory mechanisms in the gills and kidney, the two major osmoregulatory organs, of FW-acclimated Mozambique tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). As a potential molecular candidate for renal K(+) handling, a putative renal outer medullary K(+) channel (ROMK) was cloned from the tilapia kidney and tentatively named "ROMKb"; another ROMK previously cloned from the tilapia gills was thus renamed "ROMKa". The fish were acclimated to control FW or to high-K(+) (H-K) FW for 1 wk, and we assessed physiological responses of tilapia to H-K treatment. As a result, urinary K(+) levels were slightly higher in H-K fish, implying a role of the kidney in K(+) excretion. However, the mRNA expression levels of both ROMKa and ROMKb were very low in the kidney, while that of K(+)/Cl(-) cotransporter 1 (KCC1) was robust. In the gills, ROMKa mRNA was markedly upregulated in H-K fish. Immunofluorescence staining showed that branchial ROMKa was expressed at the apical membrane of type I and type III ionocytes, and the ROMKa immunosignals were more intense in H-K fish than in control fish. The present study suggests that branchial ROMKa takes a central role for K(+) regulation in FW conditions and that K(+) excretion via the gills is activated irrespective of environmental salinity.