Some insights into energy metabolism for osmoregulation in fish

Yung Che Tseng, Pung Pung Hwang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

345 Citations (Scopus)


A sufficient and timely energy supply is a prerequisite for the operation of iono- and osmoregulatory mechanisms in fish. Measurements of whole-fish or isolated-gill (or other organs) oxygen consumption have demonstrated regulation of the energy supply during acclimation to different osmotic environments, and such regulation is dependent on species, the situation of acclimation or acclimatization, and life habits. Carbohydrate metabolism appears to play a major role in the energy supply for iono- and osmoregulation, and the liver is the major source supplying carbohydrate metabolites to osmoregulatory organs. Compared with carbohydrates, the roles of lipids and proteins remain largely unclear. Energy metabolite translocation was recently found to occur between fish gill ionocytes and neighboring glycogen-rich (GR) cells, indicating the physiological significance of a local energy supply for gill ion regulatory mechanisms. Spatial and temporal relationships between the liver and other osmoregulatory and non-osmoregulatory organs in partitioning the energy supply for ion regulatory mechanisms during salinity challenges were also proposed. A novel glucose transporter was found to specifically be expressed and function in gill ionocytes, providing the first cue for investigating energy translocation among gill cells. Advanced molecular physiological approaches can be used to examine energy metabolism relevant to a particular cell type (e.g., gill ionocytes), and functional genomics may also provide another powerful approach to explore new metabolic pathways related to fish ion regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Nov


  • Carbohydrate
  • Glycogen
  • Ion regulation
  • Ionocytes
  • Lipid
  • Protein
  • Transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Toxicology
  • Cell Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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