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A Balancing Act

  • Physiological processes of organisms’ operation in environment.
  • Relative concentrations of fluids and solutes maintained at optimal levels.
  • Osmoregulation controls solute concentrations and balances the gain and loss of water.
  • Freshwater animals have adaptations to limit water uptake and conserve solutes.
  • Desert and marine animals are exposed to harsh environments that quickly deplete body fluids.
  • Excretion leads to removal of nitrogenous wastes and other waste products.
A Balancing Act A Balancing Act

Osmoregulation

  • Active regulation of the osmotic pressure (osmoregulation).
  • Maintain the homeostasis of water content.
  • Prevents too diluted or too concentrated body fluids.
  • Sustain right fluid concentration.
  • Osmotic pressure is required.
  • Osmosis is observed.
  • Higher osmotic pressure causes more water movement.
  • Aquatic and terrestrial organisms must sustain the right solute concentration.
  • Osmoregulation is based mainly on controlled flow of solutes between internal fluids and the external environment.
Osmoregulation Osmoregulation Osmoregulation

Osmosis and Osmolarity

  • Cells need stability between osmotic gain and water loss.
  • Osmolarity refers to solute concentration.
  • Osmolarity controls the flow of water across a selective permeable membrane.
  • Isoosmotic solutions have equal movement of water particles.
  • Differences in osmolarity lead to water movement from the hypoosmotic to the hyperosmotic solution.
Osmosis and Osmolarity

Osmotic Challenges

  • Osmoconformers (mainly consisting of certain marine animals) are isoosmotic with their environment and thus do not control osmolarity.
  • Osmoregulators consume energy to regulate water absorption and loss in hyperosmotic or hypoosmotic environment.
  • Many animals are stenohaline, i.e., they cannot withstand significant fluctuations in external osmolarity.
  • Euryhaline organisms are able to survive major fluctuations in external osmolarity.
Osmotic Challenges Osmotic Challenges

Osmoregulation & Excretion

  • Kidney function:
    • Keep a balance of body salts at optimal:
      • A challenge with terrestrial organisms is water conservation;
      • There is a need to replace lost water;
      • Animals can conserve water;
      • Adaptation mechanisms are necessary for terrestrial organisms such as producing concentrated urine, being active at night and drinking among others.
    • Remove metabolic wastes;
    • The main challenge is nitrogenous wastes from protein;
    • Getting rid of nitrogenous wastes as:
      • Ammonia;
      • Urea;
      • Uric acid.
Osmoregulation & Excretion Osmoregulation & Excretion Osmoregulation & Excretion

Excretory Processes

  • Excretory systems release urine by refining filtrate fluids obtained from body fluids.
  • Major roles of most excretory systems:
    • Filtration: pressure-filtering of body fluids;
    • Reabsorption: reabsorbing useful solutes;
    • Secretion: releasing toxins and other solutes from the body fluids to the filtrate;
    • Excretion: removing the filtrate from the system (Campbell & Reece, 2007).
Excretory Processes

Hormonal Relations

Antidiuretic Hormone:

  • Nervous and hormonal control of water and salt reabsorption in the kidneys control osmolarity of the urine (Agrawal, Agarwal, Joshi, & Ghosh, 2008).
  • Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is responsible for increased water reabsorption in the distal tubules and collecting ducts of the kidney.
  • An increase in osmolarity activates the release of ADH to assist in water conservation.
  • Impair in ADH production causes serious water loss and results in diabetes insipidus.
  • Alcohol is a diuretic and prevents the release of ADH.
Hormonal Relations Hormonal Relations

Pathophysiology

  • Disorders of salt and water balance may occur (Evbuomwan, 2013).
  • There are clinical and biochemical changes resulting from this disorder of salt and water balance.
  • Such changes result in adverse osmoregulation function.
  • Disturbances of osmoregulation in humans are shown through a change in serum sodium concentrations (Sinke & Deen, 2011).
  • Serum sodium concentrations cause hypernatremia or hyponatremia.
  • Hypernatremia is an increased serum sodium concentration above 145 mM.
  • Hyponatremia (serum sodium concentration below 136 mM).
Pathophysiology Pathophysiology

Findings

  • A disturbance in the water balance is an abnormality shown in the serum sodium concentration and causes hypernatremia or hyponatremia.
    • Resultant morbidity could be insignificant, serious, or even life-threatening.
  • Research focuses on the management of hypernatremia, emphasizing a quantitative approach to the correction of the fluid imbalance (Adrogué & Madias, 2000).
  • Patient-centered approach is required to determine underlying causes and effective interventions (Giddens, 2013).
Findings

Pharmacology Treatment Regimen

  • The maintenance of enough body fluid volume and effective supply of this fluid between the body cells is a vital part of homeostasis (Lord, 1999).
  • Osmosis determines water movement.
  • Osmometry is an important part of the management of many patients (Lord, 1999).
  • Osmotic process has a significant role in some therapeutic activities of drugs and its strength needs to be determined in fluids administered to patients.
  • Effective treatment of hypernatremia needs a two-pronged approach (Adrogué & Madias, 2000):
    • Addressing the underlying cause.
    • Correcting the prevailing hypertonicity.
Pharmacology Treatment Regimen Pharmacology Treatment Regimen

Conclusion

  • Osmoregulation controls solute concentrations and balances the gain and loss of water.
  • Organisms must adapt to their various environments to survive.
  • In human, disturbances of osmoregulation in humans are shown through a change in serum sodium concentrations, which are responsible for hypernatremia or hyponatremia.
  • Treatments should patient-centered and aim to:
    • Addressing the underlying cause.
    • Correcting the prevailing hypertonicity.
Conclusion

References

Adrogué, H. J., & Madias, N. E. (2000). Hypernatremia. New England Journal of Medicine, 342, 1493-1499. Web.

Agrawal, V., Agarwal, M., Joshi, S. R., & Ghosh, A. (2008). Hyponatremia and Hypernatremia : Disorders of Water Balance. Web.

Campbell, N. A., & Reece, J. B. (2007). Biology (8th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

Evbuomwan, I. (2013). The role of osmoregulation in the pathophysiology and management of Severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. Human Fertility, 16(3), 162-167. Web.

Giddens, J. (2013). Concepts for Nursing Practice. St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Lord, R. C. (1999). Osmosis, osmometry, and osmoregulation. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 75(880), 67-73. Web.

Sinke, A. P., & Deen, P. M. (2011). The physiological implication of novel proteins in systemic osmoregulation. The FASEB Journal, 25(10), 3279-3289. Web.

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