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Rivera-Ingraham, Georgina A; Rocchetta, Iara; Bickmeyer, Ulf; Abele, Doris (2014): Spatial compartmentalization of free radical formation and mitochondrial heterogeneity in bivalve gills revealed by live-imaging techniques, supplementary material. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Rivera-Ingraham, GA et al. (2016): Spatial compartmentalization of free radical formation and mitochondrial heterogeneity in bivalve gills revealed by live-imaging techniques. Frontiers in Zoology, 13(4),

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Live-imaging techniques (LIT) utilize target-specific fluorescent dyes to visualize biochemical processes using confocal and multiphoton scanning microscopy, which are increasingly employed as non-invasive approach to physiological in-vivo and ex-vivo studies. Here we report application of LIT to bivalve gills for ex-vivo analysis of gill physiology and mapping of reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species formation in the living tissue. Our results indicate that H2O2, HOO· and ONOO- radicals (assessed through C-H2DFFDA staining) are mainly formed within the blood sinus of the filaments and are likely to be produced by hemocytes as defense against invading pathogens. The oxidative damage in these areas is controlled by enhanced CAT (catalase) activities recorded within the filaments. The outermost areas of the ciliated epithelial cells composing the filaments, concentrated the highest mitochondrial densities (MTK Deep Red 633 staining) and the most acidic pH values (as observed with ageladine-a). These mitochondria have low (depolarized) membrane potentials (D psi m) (JC-1 staining), suggesting that the high amounts of ATP required for ciliary beating may be in part produced by non-mitochondrial mechanisms, such as the enzymatic activity of an ATP-regenerating kinase. Nitric oxide (NO, DAF-2DA staining) produced in the region of the peripheral mitochondria may have an effect on mitochondrial electron transport and possibly cause the low membrane potential. High DAF-2DA staining was moreover observed in the muscle cells composing the wall of the blood vessels where NO may be involved in regulating blood vessel diameter. On the ventral bend of the gills, subepithelial mucus glands (SMG) contain large mucous vacuoles showing higher fluorescence intensities for O2·- (DHE staining) than the rest of the tissue. Given the antimicrobial properties of superoxide, release of O2·- into the mucus may help to avoid the development of microbial biofilms on the gill surface. However, cells of the ventral bends are paying a price for this antimicrobial protection, since they show significantly higher oxidative damage, according to the antioxidant enzyme activities and the carbonyl levels, than the rest of the gill tissue. This study provides the first evidence that one single epithelial cell may contain mitochondria with significantly different membrane potentials. Furthermore, we provide new insight into ROS and RNS formation in ex-vivo gill tissues which opens new perspectives for unraveling the different ecophysiological roles of ROS and RNS in multifunctional organs such as gills.
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