ABC transporters in gills of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

Kropf, Christian; Fent, Karl; Fischer, Stephan; Casanova, Ayako; Segner, Helmut (2020). ABC transporters in gills of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Journal of Experimental Biology, 223(Pt 15) Company of Biologists 10.1242/jeb.221069

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Fish gills are a structurally and functionally complex organ at the interface between the organism and the aquatic environment. Gill functions include the transfer of organic molecules, both natural ones and xenobiotic compounds. Whether the branchial exchange of organic molecules involves active transporters is currently not known. Here, we investigated the presence, diversity and functional activity of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in gills of juvenile rainbow trout. By means of RT-qPCR, gene transcripts of members from the abcb, abcc and abcg subfamilies were identified. Comparisons with mRNA profiles from trout liver and kidney revealed that ABC transporters known to have an apical localization in polarized epithelia, especially abcc2 and abcb1, were under-represented in the gills. In contrast, ABC transporters with mainly basolateral localization showed comparable gene transcript levels in the three organs. The most prominent ABC transporter in gills was an abcb subfamily member, which was annotated as abcb5 based on the synteny and phylogeny. Functional in vivo assays pointed to a role of branchial ABC transporters in branchial solute exchange. We further assessed the utility of primary gill cell cultures to characterize transporter-mediated branchial exchange of organic molecules, by examining ABC transporter gene transcript patterns and functional activity in primary cultures. The gill cultures displayed functional transport activity, but the ABC mRNA expression patterns were different to those of the intact gills. Overall, the findings of this study provide evidence for the presence of functional ABC transporter activity in gills of fish.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Kropf, Christian and Segner, Helmut


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Company of Biologists




Achim Braun Parham

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2020 11:45

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2020 11:45

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

ABC transporter Detoxification Fish Gills abcb5




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