The effect of dietary protein restriction on the secretory dynamics of 1α-hydroxycorticosterone and urea in the dogfish, Scyliorhinus canicula: a possible role for 1α-hydroxycorticosterone in sodium retention

in Journal of Endocrinology
Restricted access

48-hour access to this article

USD $30.00


The putative osmoregulatory role of the unique elasmobranch corticosteroid, 1α-hydroxycorticosterone (1α-OH-B), was investigated using dietary protein restriction as a means of limiting urea biosynthetic ability. Groups of dogfish (Scyliorhinus canicula) were adapted to either a high or a low protein diet (HPD and LPD respectively) and the secretory dynamics of urea and 1α-OH-B were determined following acclimation to normal (100%), 130% and 50% sea water.

In normal sea water, LPD fish showed significantly decreased blood production of urea compared with fish fed a HPD (P <0·05), and the plasma urea concentration required to maintain iso-osmolality was achieved only by a substantial decrease in urea clearance from the plasma. Unlike HPD fish, LPD fish in 130% sea water had no apparent ability to increase plasma urea concentration. An alternative strategy adopted by these animals was the retention of high plasma concentrations of Na+ and Cl, which increased plasma osmolality and tended to decrease osmotic water loss. Concomitant with the increased ion concentrations, plasma 1α-OH-B concentration was also greatly elevated in LPD fish indicating that the steroid may be acting to minimize Na+ (and Cl) excretion at osmoregulatory sites such as the rectal gland, kidney and gills.

This and a previous study have also demonstrated that 1α-OH-B concentration is elevated in 50% sea water. Decreases in plasma Na+ concentration are tolerated down to 75% sea water, whereafter Na+ is preferentially retained and further decreases in osmolality are achieved by reductions in plasma urea concentration. Increased 1α-OH-B concentration in 50% sea water corresponds to Na+ retention and regulation around a lower set point.

The results of this study are consistent with a mineralocorticoid role for 1α-OH-B in elasmobranchs, with 1α-OH-B acting preferentially to maintain plasma Na+ concentrations under certain osmotic conditions.

Journal of Endocrinology (1993) 138, 275–282


An official journal of

Society for Endocrinology


Index Card

Cited By


Google Scholar

Related Articles



All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 8 8 6
Full Text Views 85 85 2
PDF Downloads 93 93 1