Hydrostatic pressure effects on eel mitochondrial functioning and membrane fluidity.

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Hydrostatic pressure effects on eel mitochondrial functioning and membrane fluidity.

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Title: Hydrostatic pressure effects on eel mitochondrial functioning and membrane fluidity.
Author: Vettier, A; Labbe, C; Amerand, A; Da Costa, G; Le Rumeur, E; Moisan, C; Sebert, P
Abstract: Aerobic metabolism which is required for long swimming activities during the eel's spawning migration at depth, is a potential target for pressure effects due to its components located in the inner mitochondrial membrane (respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation). Previous studies have evidenced that eels are able to acclimatize to pressure through membrane fluidity adjustment. However these studies were performed on the premigratory stage (yellow stage), which never encounters high pressure. Metamorphosis (silvering) seems to preadapt eels (at the silver stage) to most of the environmental changes they will encounter during migration. Is it also true for pressure resistance? This study shows that yellow eels exhibit a higher pressure sensitivity than silver eels (compression effects). The acclimatization period (21 days at 10.1 MPa) cancels the differences in pressure sensitivity and in aerobic metabolism observed at 0.1 MPa between the two stages. The mechanisms, which take place in yellow eels during acclimatization to high pressure, appear to be already present in silver eels before pressure exposure. Indeed at 0.1 MPa, silver eels exhibit higher membrane fluidity and proportions of membrane polyunsaturated fatty acids. Metamorphosis, by improving membrane fluidity, seems to allow silver eels to cope with hydrostatic pressure without spending energy in acclimatization processes.
Description: Undersea & hyperbaric medicine : journal of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc.
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/5062
Date: 2006

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