PTHrP regulates water absorption and aquaporin expression in the intestine of the marine sea bream (Sparus aurata, L.)

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2015 Mar 1;213:24-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.12.011. Epub 2015 Jan 3.


Water ingestion by drinking is fundamental for ion homeostasis in marine fish. However, the fluid ingested requires processing to allow net water absorption in the intestine. The formation of luminal carbonate aggregates impacts on calcium homeostasis and requires epithelial HCO3(-) secretion to enable water absorption. In light of its endocrine importance in calcium handling and the indication of involvement in HCO3(-) secretion the present study was designed to expose the role of the parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) in HCO3(-) secretion, water absorption and the regulation of aqp1 gene expression in the anterior intestine of the sea bream. HCO3(-) secretion rapidly decreased when PTHrP(1-34) was added to anterior intestine of the sea bream mounted in Ussing chambers. The effect achieved a maximum inhibition of 60% of basal secretion rates, showing a threshold effective dose of 0.1 ng ml(-1) compatible with reported plasma values of PTHrP. When applied in combination with the adenylate cyclase inhibitor (SQ 22.536, 100 μmol l(-1)) or the phospholipase C inhibitor (U73122, 10 μmol l(-1)) the effect of PTHrP(1-34) on HCO3(-) secretion was reduced by about 50% in both cases. In parallel, bulk water absorption measured in intestinal sacs was sensitive to inhibition by PTHrP. The inhibitory action conforms to a typical dose-response curve in the range of 0.1-1000 ng ml(-1), achieves a maximal effect of 60-65% inhibition from basal rates and shows threshold significant effects at hormone levels of 0.1 ng ml(-1). The action of PTHrP in water absorption was completely abolished in the presence of the adenylate cyclase inhibitor (SQ 22.536, 100 μmol l(-1)) and was insensitive to the phospholipase C inhibitor (U73122, 10 μmol l(-1)). In vivo injections of PTHrP(1-34) or the PTH/PTHrP receptor antagonist PTHrP(7-34) evoked respectively, a significant decrease or increase of aqp1ab, but not aqp1a. Overall the present results suggest that PTHrP acts as a key regulator of carbonate aggregate formation in the intestine of marine fish via its actions on water absorption, calcium regulation and HCO3(-) secretion.

Keywords: Bicarbonate secretion; Intestinal water absorption; Na(+)/HCO(3)(−) co-transporter; PLC/IP3 cascade; PTHrP; cAMP cascade.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Aquaporin 1 / metabolism*
  • Carbonates / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein / administration & dosage*
  • Peptide Fragments / administration & dosage*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Receptor, Parathyroid Hormone, Type 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sea Bream / metabolism*
  • Water / metabolism*


  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Carbonates
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Peptide Fragments
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, Parathyroid Hormone, Type 1
  • parathyroid hormone-related protein (7-34)
  • Water
  • parathyroid hormone-related protein (1-34)
  • Aquaporin 1