The effects of temperature and thermal acclimation upon the osmotic properties and nonelectrolyte permeability of liver and gill mitochondria from rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri)

Jeffrey R. Hazel, Victor L. Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Thermal acclimation of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) taken from 20°C to 7°C resulted in adaptation of mitochondrial function, as evidenced by increases in the specific activities of NADH‐ and succinate‐cytochrome c reductase of 1.93‐ and 2.7‐fold respectively. Mitochondria from both gill and liver obeyed the Boyle‐van't Hoff relationship in the range from 400 to 60 mosM. Thermal acclimation had no effect on the osmotic properties of liver mitochondria, whereas gill mitochondria from cold‐acclimated trout were more sensitive to osmotic swelling than mitochondria from warm‐acclimated individuals. The non‐electrolyte permeability of liver mitochondria was assessed by optically monitoring mitochondrial swelling rates in isosmotic solutions of urea, glycerol, mannitol and glucose. Two parameters of mitochondrial swelling were determined: (a) initial swelling rates, d(1/A)dt, and (b) swelling constants, ks, derived from the time required to swell a fixed volume. Regardless of the assay temperature or the permeant employed, liver mitochondria from cold‐acclimated trout exhibited greater initial swelling rates than mitochondria from warm‐acclimated trout, indicating properties of temperature‐compensated permeability. The apparent ranking of nonelectrolyte permeabilities was urea > glycerol > mannitol > glucose. ks values for urea and glycerol from cold‐acclimated trout were greater than values typical of warm‐acclimated populations; however ks values for glucose and mannitol were not influenced by thermal acclimation. Regardless of the permeant considered, activation energies for ks values were 3‐ to 5‐fold greater than those for initial swelling rates. The time course of mitochondrial swelling consists of two components, an initial rapid swelling phase characterized by a half life of 3–12 seconds, and a slower swelling phase characterized by a half life of 1–6 minutes. Initial swelling rates, which approximate the rapid swelling component, are considered to be the least ambiguous index of permeability, whereas ks values are more complex and strongly influenced by the slower swelling component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-438
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1976
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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