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Categorization of the mitochondria-rich cells in the gill epithelium of the freshwater phases in the life cycle of lampreys

Bartels, H., Potter, I.C., Pirlich, K. and Mallatt, J. (1998) Categorization of the mitochondria-rich cells in the gill epithelium of the freshwater phases in the life cycle of lampreys. Cell and Tissue Research, 291 (2). pp. 337-349.

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The distribution and ultrastructure of the mitochondria-rich (MR) cells in the gills of larval (ammocoetes) and adult lampreys (Petromyzon marinus and Geotria australis) have been studied. One type of MR cell, which is found only in ammocoetes, occurs in groups on and between gill lamellae. Freeze-fracture replicas show that the apical membrane of this ammocoete MR cell contains globular particles. The second type of MR cell, which is present in both ammocoetes anti adults in freshwater, is located between lamellae and at the base of the filament. This cell usually occurs singly and is typically intercalated between ammocoete MR cells in larval lampreys and between pavement cells and pavement and chloride cells in adult lampreys. It contains rod-shaped particles in either the apical membrane (subtype A) or, far less frequently, the lateral membrane (subtype B) and in membranes of cytoplasmic vesicles and tubules. These features characterize this intercalated MR cell as a member of a group of MR cells that are also found in urinary epithelia of tetrapods and the amphibian epidermis, where they are involved in H+ and HCO3- secretion. Because this type of MR cell disappears when the young adult lamprey enters the sea and reappears immediately after the fully grown adult re-enters freshwater on its spawning run, it is presumably essential for osmoregulation in freshwater. On the basis of electrophysiological studies on frog skin, it is proposed that the subtype A of the branchial intercalated MR cell of lampreys provides the driving force for the Na+ uptake by active H+ secretion. By analogy with urinary epithelia, the subtype B cells may exchange Cl- for HCO3-.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
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