Reductionist approaches to the study of ionoregulation in fishes

Alex M. Zimmer, Greg G. Goss, Chris N. Glover

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanisms underlying ionoregulation in fishes have been studied for nearly a century, and reductionist methods have been applied at all levels of biological organization in this field of research. The complex nature of ionoregulatory systems in fishes makes them ideally suited to reductionist methods and our collective understanding has been dramatically shaped by their use. This review provides an overview of the broad suite of techniques used to elucidate ionoregulatory mechanisms in fishes, from the whole-animal level down to the gene, discussing some of the advantages and disadvantages of these methods. We provide a roadmap for understanding and appreciating the work that has formed the current models of organismal, endocrine, cellular, molecular, and genetic regulation of ion balance in fishes and highlight the contribution that reductionist techniques have made to some of the fundamental leaps forward in the field throughout its history.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110597
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug. 2021


  • Chloride
  • Ionocytes
  • Mitochondrion-rich cells
  • Osmoregulation
  • Sodium


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