Cell proliferation and apoptosis in the anterior intestine of an amphibious, euryhaline mudskipper (Periophthalmus modestus)

H. Takahashi, T. Sakamoto, K. Narita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In order to replace the diffusive loss of water to the surrounding environment, seawater (SW)-acclimated euryhaline fishes have gastrointestinal tracts with higher ion/water flux in concert with greater permeability, and contrast that to freshwater (FW)-acclimated fish. To understand the cellular basis for these differences, we examined cell proliferation and apoptosis in the anterior intestine of mudskipper transferred from one-third SW to FW or to SW for 1 and 7 days, and those kept out of water for 1 day. The intestinal apoptosis (indicated by DNA laddering) increased during seawater acclimation. TUNEL staining detected numerous apoptotic cells over the epithelium of SW-acclimated fish. Cell proliferation ([3H]thymidine incorporation) in the FW fish was greater than those in SW 7 days after transfer. Labeling with a Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) antibody indicated that proliferating cells were greater in number and randomly distributed in the epithelium of FW fish, whereas in SW fish they were almost entirely in the troughs of the intestinal folds. There were no changes in cell turnover in fish kept out of water. During acclimation to different salinities, modification of the cell turnover and abundance may play an important role in regulating the permeability (and transport capacity) of the gastrointestinal tract of fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell proliferation
  • Mudskipper
  • Osmoregulation
  • Salinity adaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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