The primary localization of ascorbate and its synthesis in the kidneys of acipenserid (Chondrostei) and teleost (Teleostei) fishes

R. Moreau, K. Dabrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


The kidneys of the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, the channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus (both Teleostei), and the white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus (Chondrostei) displayed similar profiles of ascorbate distribution irrespective of the capability of synthesizing ascorbic acid. The head kidney was found to be the richest in ascorbate, whereas the trunk kidney showed significantly lower ascorbate levels in all three species. The head kidney richness in ascorbate was correlated with the localization of the cortical and chromaffin tissues known to accumulate ascorbate in some fish and mammals. Based on ascorbate concentration, it was possible to distinguish the head from the trunk kidney in salmonids and sturgeons which have an antero-posterior-fused kidney. The absence of L- gulonolactone oxidase activity in the kidneys of the channel catfish and the rainbow trout was asserted biochemically. We also confirmed that the ascorbic acid-synthesizing enzyme exists in white sturgeon kidney, and found that the enzyme distribution was inversely correlated with ascorbate concentrations. An active transport of ascorbate might exist in the head kidney of both acipenserids and the teleosts in order to maintain this vitamin at high concentrations. This report suggests a link between ascorbate concentration and its physiological functions in kidneys of lower vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology - B Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Adrenal gland
  • Gulonolactone oxidase
  • Scurvy-prone fish
  • Sturgeon
  • Vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

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