Influence of environmental hypertonicity on the induction of ureogenesis and amino acid metabolism in air-breathing walking catfish (Clarias batrachus, Bloch)

Bodhisattwa Banerjee, Gitalee Bhuyan, Nirmalendu Saha

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3 Scopus citations


Effect of environmental hypertonicity, due to exposure to 300 mM mannitol solution for 7 days, on the induction of ureogenesis and also on amino acid metabolism was studied in the air-breathing walking catfish, C. batrachus, which is already known to have the capacity to face the problem of osmolarity stress in addition to other environmental stresses in its natural habitats. Exposure to hypertonic mannitol solution led to reduction of ammonia excretion rate by about 2-fold with a concomitant increase of urea-N excretion rate by about 2-fold. This was accompanied by significant increase in the levels of both ammonia and urea in different tissues and also in plasma. Further, the environmental hypertonicity also led to significant accumulation of different non-essential free amino acids (FAAs) and to some extent the essential FAAs, thereby causing a total increase of non-essential FAA pool by 2-3-fold and essential FAA pool by 1.5-2.0-fold in most of the tissues studied including the plasma. The activities of three ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) enzymes such as carbamoyl phosphate synthetase, argininosuccinate synthetase and argininosuccinate lyase in liver and kidney tissues, and four key amino acid metabolism-related enzymes such as glutamine synthetase, glutamate dehydrogenase (reductive amination), alanine aminotransaminase and aspartate aminotransaminase were also significantly up-regulated in different tissues of the fish while exposing to hypertonic environment. Thus, more accumulation and excretion of urea-N observed during hypertonic exposure were probably associated with the induction of ureogenesis through the induced OUC, and the increase of amino acid pool was probably mainly associated with the up-regulation of amino acid synthesizing machineries in this catfish in hypertonic environment. These might have helped the walking catfish in defending the osmotic stress and to acclimatize better under hypertonic environment, which is very much uncommon among freshwater teleosts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-738
Number of pages11
JournalIndian Journal of Experimental Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Amino acid metabolism
  • Ammonia
  • Clarias batrachus
  • Environmental hypertonicity
  • Mannitol
  • Ornithine-urea cycle
  • Urea
  • Walking catfish


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