Short-term exposure of coho salmon smolts (Oncorhynchus kisutch) to a gradual increase in salinity over 2 d (0 per thousand -32 per thousand ) resulted in a decrease in proton pump abundance, detected as changes in immunoreactivity with a polyclonal antibody against subunit A of bovine brain vacuolar H(+)-ATPase. N-ethylmaleimide (NEM)-sensitive H(+)-ATPase activities in gill homogenates remained unchanged over 8 d to coincide with a 3.5-fold increase in Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activities. A transient increase in plasma [Na(+)] and [Cl(-)] levels over the 8-d period was preceded by a 10-fold increase in plasma cortisol levels, which peaked after 12 h. Long-term (1 mo) acclimation to seawater resulted in the loss of apical immunoreactivity for vH(+)-ATPase and band 3-like anion exchanger in the mitochondria-rich cells identified by high levels of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase immunoreactivity. The polyclonal antibody Ab597 recognized a Na(+)/H(+) exchanger (NHE-2)-like protein in what appears to be an accessory cell (AC) type. Populations of these ACs were found associated with Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase rich chloride cells in both freshwater- and seawater-acclimated animals.