Renal function in Antarctic teleost fishes: Serum and urine composition

G. H. Dobbs, A. L. DeVries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The urine and serum compositions in 11 species of Antarctic teleost fishes were studied. The body fluids of these fishes were hypoosmotic to seawater. Both urine and serum osmoconcentrations were conspicuously greater than those of temperate species. The elevated serum osmolality was due to increased levels of NaCl, while elevated urine osmolality was due chiefly to increased concentrations of magnesium and chloride. The kidney was unable to form a urine hyperosmotic to serum under field conditions. The renal tubular epithelium secreted magnesium and calcium against a concentration gradient, while effectively preventing the renal excretion of significant amounts of sodium and potassium. Bladder urine of Antarctic teleosts may often be supercooled by as much as 0.8°C. Coelomic fluid and the integument probably act as a barrier in preventing ice propagation in the supercooled bladder urine, since they both contain glycoprotein "antifreeze" agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-70
Number of pages12
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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