Osmoregulation and Tissue Water regulation in the freshwater red crab Dilocarcinus pagei (Crustacea, Decapoda), and the effect of waterborne inorganic lead.

Amado, Enelise Marcelle; Freire, Carolina Arruda; Souza, Marta Marques de


Inorganic lead has been measured in high concentrations in certain streams in Brazil. This study has evaluated the osmoregulatory effects of lead on the native freshwater red crab Dilocarcinus pagei. In order to probe its osmoregulatory and tissue volume regulatory capabilities and how it would be affected by lead, the crab has been submitted to individual and combined salt and chemical stresses (Pb2+). Male crabs were exposed for 10 days to either: (1) control (freshwater, FW), (2) brackish water of salinity 15 (BW), (3) inorganic lead in freshwater (FWPb), and (4) inorganic lead in brackish water (BWPb), 2.7 mgPb/L. In vivo, whole crabs lost weight transiently when exposed to Pb2+, both in FW and in BW. Haemolymph osmolality and ion concentrations increased and remained elevated upon exposure of crabs to BW, with or without Pb2+, showing a trend to hyper-conformation. In vitro, muscle weight decreased in isosmotic conditions upon exposure to Pb2+. Na+, Cl−, and ninhydrin positive substances (NPS) were increased in muscle exposed to hyperosmotic saline, well above what would be expected from simple efflux of water, suggesting a partial regulatory volume increase (RVI) capacity. This partial RVI involves the Na+, K+, 2Cl−-cotransporter and the Na+/H+ exchanger on Na+ and Cl− uptake, as judged from further decreases in muscle weight in the presence of the respective inhibitors. A breakdown of proteins into NPS seems to follow the uptake of inorganic ions. Pb2+ has affected water and ion movements in D. pagei both in the whole animal and in the isolated tissue. This study has highlighted the relevance of evaluating tissue volume regulation in aquatic animals confronted with metal polluted waters.

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