Immunolocalisation of sodium/proton exchanger-like proteins in the gills of elasmobranchs

S. L. Edwards, J. A. Donald, T. Toop, M. Donowitz, C. M. Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Na+/H+ exchangers are integral membrane proteins that exchange Na+ and H+ across cell membranes. The Na+/H+ exchangers 2 and 3 are epithelial isoforms in mammals and contribute to acid-base homeostasis. The gills of fishes, including elasmobranchs, are also associated with acid/base balance, and are probably the primary acid/base regulatory organ. This study examines the presence of Na+/H+ exchangers 2 and 3 using immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting in the gills of four species of elasmobranchs, the banjo ray (Trygonorrhina fasciata), southern eagle ray (Myliobatis australis), the gummy shark (Mustelus antarcticus) and the Australian angel shark (Squatina australis) using heterologous antibodies. Na+/H+ exchanger 2-like immunoreactivity was observed in the gills of the banjo ray, eagle ray and angel shark. In the banjo and eagle rays, this Na+/H+ exchanger-like immunoreactivity co-localised with immunoreactivity to Na+/K+-ATPase, a marker for the mitochondrial-rich cells of fishes. Na+/H+ exchanger 3-like immunoreactivity was only observed in the gills of the angel and gummy sharks, some Na+/H+ exchanger 3-like cells also showed Na+/K+-ATPase immunoreactivity. However, immunoblotting of banjo and eagle ray gill membranes demonstrated Na+/H+ exchanger 3-like immunoreactivity, which was not consistent with the immunohistochemical results. These data demonstrate the presence of epithelial Na+/H+ exchangers 2 and 3 in the gills of elasmobranchs and a link with acid/base regulation is suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-265
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Acid/base regulation
  • Elasmobranch
  • Gills
  • Mitochondria-rich cells
  • Na/H exchanger (NHE)
  • Sodium/proton exchanger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology


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