Development of osmoregulatory tissues in the Lake van fish (Alburnus tarichi) during larval development

Oguz A. R.

FISH PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY, vol.44, no.1, pp.227-233, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10695-017-0427-3
  • Page Numbers: pp.227-233


Lake Van is one of the largest alkaline lakes worldwide and Lake Van Fish (Alburnus tarichi Guldenstadt, 1814) is the only vertebrate species inhabiting it. Lake Van Fish is an anadromous species that migrates to the streams (salinity 0.02%, pH 8.42) flowing into Lake Van (salinity 0.22%, pH 9.8) during the spawning period (April-July). Following spawning, fish return to Lake Van while larvae remain in fresh water. This study examined the development of osmoregulatory organs and the distribution of ionocytes in Lake Van Fish larvae adapting to the highly alkaline water characterizing the lake. Ionocytes were marked immunohistochemically and observed in whole mounts with immunofluorescence staining using the Na+/K+ ATPase antibody. Ionocytes were first identified in the yolk sac membrane and skin, and then in the gills, digestive tract, and kidneys of larvae. The number of ionocytes on yolk sac membrane and skin decreased during larval development, indicating ionocytes on these tissues have a role in larvae osmoregulation. Larvae hatched from eggs in stream waters die when transferred to Lake Van water but survived in lake water diluted with deionized water. Thus, larvae need to go through certain alterations at the cellular and organ levels in order to adapt to the conditions of Lake Van water, indicating they do not enter this lake immediately after hatching.