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M. Danielle Mcdonald

M. Danielle Mcdonald
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami · Marine Biology and Ecology

Ph.D.

About

102
Publications
7,196
Reads
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1,745
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Introduction
McDonald’s research program most broadly investigates the role of the stress hormone cortisol and the monoamine neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) in the control of fish physiology and behavior during times of environmental stress, such as social stress, pollution (pharmaceuticals or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs] found in oil) or low oxygen levels (hypoxia).
Additional affiliations
June 2006 - present
RSMAS, University of Miami
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
June 2002 - May 2006
RSMAS, University of Miami
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
May 1997 - November 2002
McMaster University
Field of study
  • Animal Physiology
September 1992 - May 1996
McMaster University
Field of study
  • Biology (Honors)

Publications

Publications (102)
Article
Full-text available
In the Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta), the serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT) is highly expressed in the heart, and the heart and gill both demonstrate the capacity for SERT-mediated uptake of 5-HT from the circulation. Because 5-HT is a potent vasoconstrictor in fish, we hypothesized that hypoxia exposure may increase 5-HT uptake by these tissues—a...
Article
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a ubiquitous contaminant which can be responsible for a variety of deleterious effects to organisms. These adverse outcomes are relatively well studied, but at concentrations rarely found in the environment. Among the documented effects of sublethal acute PAHs exposure are reductions in osmoregulatory cap...
Article
There is evidence that the combination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) released in the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill impair the glucocorticoid stress response of vertebrates in the Gulf of Mexico, but the mechanisms are unclear. We predict inhibition of cortisol release may be due to (i.) over‐stimulation of the hypothalamic‐pituitar...
Article
Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta), a highly territorial marine teleost species, are believed to communicate through chemicals released across the gill during pulsatile urea excretion. While freshwater teleost and crustacean urinary signals have been shown to relay information about dominance to reduce physical aggression in future encounters, the use of...
Article
An emerging Multi-Ion Toxicity (MIT) model for assessment of environmental salt pollution is based on the premise that major ion toxicity to aquatic organisms is related to a critical disturbance of the trans-epithelial potential across the gills (ΔTEP), which can be predicted by electrochemical theory. However, the model has never been evaluated p...
Article
Full-text available
The neurochemical serotonin (5-HT) is involved in stimulating pulsatile urea excretion in Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) through the 5-HT2A receptor; however, it is not known if (1) the 5-HT signal originates from circulation or if (2) additional 5-HT receptor subtypes are involved. The first objective was to test whether 5-HT may be acting as a horm...
Article
Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) can excrete the majority of their nitrogenous waste as urea in distinct pulses across their gill. Urea pulses are controlled by cortisol and serotonin (5-HT) and are believed to contain chemical signals that may communicate reproductive and/or social status. The objectives of this study were to determine if reproductive...
Article
Freshwater- and seawater-acclimated Fundulus heteroclitus were exposed to acute hypoxia (10% air saturation, 3 h), followed by normoxic recovery (3 h). In both salinities, ventilation increased and heart rate fell in the classic manner, while ṀO2 initially declined by ∼50%, with partial restoration by 3 h of hypoxia, and no O2 debt repayment during...
Article
Full-text available
Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) are exceptionally capable of switching from excreting ammonia as their primary nitrogenous waste to excreting predominantly urea in distinct pulses across the gill. Previous studies suggest that these urea pulses may be used for intraspecific chemical communication. To determine whether pulsatile urea excretion communic...
Chapter
Scientists first became aware of the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the world's rivers, lakes, and marine coastal ecosystems almost two decades ago. The main route of entry is through human consumption and the inadequate treatment and subsequent release by sewage treatment plants. Aquatic organisms are continuousl...
Article
In mammals, circulating serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is sequestered by platelets via the 5-HT transporter (SERT) to prevent unintended signaling by this potent signaling molecule. Teleost fish appear to lack a similar circulating storage pool, although the diverse effects of 5-HT in teleosts likely necessitate an alternative method of tigh...
Article
Due to ineffective wastewater treatment technologies, pharmaceuticals such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)-a common class of antidepressants which inhibit the serotonin transporter (SERT)-can be found in surface waters and marine receiving waters near wastewater effluents. Understanding how exposure to these chemicals might i...
Article
The serotonin transporter (SERT) functions in the uptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) from the extracellular milieu and is the molecular target of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a common group of antidepressants. The current study comprehensively assesses the sequence, tissue distribution, transport kinetics, and p...
Article
Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) can switch from continuously excreting ammonia as their primary nitrogenous waste to excreting predominantly urea in distinct pulses. Previous studies have shown that the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) is involved in controlling this process, but it is unknown if 5-HT availability is under central nervous control or...
Article
The objective of the present study was to determine whether the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill impacted the stress response of teleost fish. The hypothesis was that intraperitoneal (IP) treatment with PAHs associated with the DWH oil spill or waterborne exposure to DWH oil high energy w...
Article
Full-text available
Yellowtail snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus) is an important part of the reef fish assemblage in the western, tropical Atlantic and is caught by both recreational and commercial fisheries in south Florida and the Bahamas. It is estimated that 80% of snapper caught within southeastern Florida waters are discarded due to minimum size restrictions. Neglecti...
Article
The Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) has a fully functional ornithine urea cycle (O-UC) that allows it to excrete nitrogenous waste in the form of urea. Interestingly, urea is excreted in a pulse across the gill that lasts 1-3 h and occurs once or twice a day. Both the stress hormone, cortisol, and the neurotransmitter, serotonin (5-HT) are involved in...
Article
Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are found in measureable quantities within the aquatic environment. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants are one class of pharmaceutical compound that has received a lot of attention. Consistent with most PPCPs, the pharmacokinetics and physiological impacts of SSRI treatme...
Article
Full-text available
The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (FLX), the active ingredient of the antidepressant drug Prozac, inhibits reuptake of the neurotransmitter, serotonin (5-HT; 5-hydroxytryptamine), into cells by the 5-HT transporter (SERT). Given the role of 5-HT in oxygen detection and the cardiovascular and ventilatory responses of fish...
Article
Full-text available
Stimulation of the serotonin 1A (5-HT1A) receptor subtype by 5-HT has been shown to result in an elevation in plasma corticosteroid levels in both mammals and several species of teleost fish, including the Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta); however, in the case of teleost fish, it is not clearly known at which level of the hypothalamic-pituitary-interre...
Article
Full-text available
Two human hemoglobin (Hb) variants, Hb C and Hb S, are known to protect against Plasmodium falciparum malaria and have evolved repeatedly in malaria endemic areas. Both aggregate to insoluble crystals (Hb C) or polymers (Hb S) under certain physiological conditions, impair parasite growth and may facilitate retention of infected red blood cells (RB...
Article
The goal of this study was to determine the relationship between cortisol and the toadfish serotonin 2A (5-HT2A ) receptor, which is believed to be responsible for the activation of the toadfish urea transporter, tUT. We hypothesize that elevations in cortisol would play a role in the regulation of the 5-HT2A receptor at the level of mRNA expressio...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to illustrate potential transport mechanisms behind the divergent approaches to nitrogen excretion seen in the ureotelic toadfish (Opsanus beta) and the ammoniotelic plainfin midshipman (Porichthys notatus). Specifically, we wish to confirm the expression of a urea transporter (UT), which is found in the gill of the toadfish and whi...
Article
Stimulation of the toadfish 5-HT(1A) receptor by serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) or 8-OH-DPAT, a 5-HT(1A) receptor agonist, results in a significant elevation in plasma cortisol. Conversely, chronic elevation of plasma cortisol has been shown to decrease brain 5-HT(1A) receptor mRNA and protein levels via the glucocorticoid receptor (GR); how...
Article
Not long ago, urea was believed to freely diffuse across plasma membranes. The discovery of specialized proteins to facilitate the movement of urea across the fish gill, similar to those found in mammalian kidney, was exciting, and at the same time, perplexing; especially considering the fact that, aside from elasmobranchs, most fish do not produce...
Article
When stressed, toadfish become ureotelic and excrete almost all of their nitrogenous waste in 1-3 daily pulses of urea-N across the gills. Intravascular injections of 5-hydroxytyptamine (5-HT; serotonin) and analogues also elicit marked excretory pulses of urea-N from toadfish in vivo, suggesting that 5-HT release is the proximate trigger for spont...
Article
Full-text available
Models of branchial transport in teleosts have been reshaped by the recent discovery of Rhesus (Rh) glycoproteins, a family of proteins that facilitate the movement of NH(3) across cell membranes. This study examines the effects of crowding and feeding on ammonia excretion in gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) within the context of Rh glycoproteins and t...
Article
Full-text available
In their native environment, gulf toadfish excrete equal quantities of ammonia and urea. However, upon exposure to stressful conditions in the laboratory (i.e. crowding, confinement or air exposure), toadfish decrease branchial ammonia excretion and become ureotelic. The objective of this study was to determine the influences of cortisol and ammoni...
Article
Ureotelic Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) do not excrete urea continuously; instead, urea is accumulated internally until a branchial urea transport mechanism is activated to facilitate the excretion of urea in distinct pulses. This unusual pulsatile urea excretion pattern is regulated, in part, by permissive declines in circulating cortisol concentra...
Article
Full-text available
Marine teleosts constantly lose water to their surrounding environment, a problem exacerbated in fish exposed to salinity higher than normal seawater. Some fish undergo hypersaline exposures in their natural environments, such as short- and long-term increases in salinity occurring in small tidal pools and other isolated basins, lakes, or entire es...
Article
Nitrogen excretion by the gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) is of interest because of its high proportion of urea excretion compared with that of other teleosts. To better understand the factors influencing the timing of nitrogen excretion, the ratio of excreted urea∶ammonia, and the effector molecules regulating these processes, gulf toadfish were subj...
Article
It is well established that serotonin (5-HT; 5-hydroxytryptamine) plays a role in mammalian regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis via the 5-HT receptor subtype 1A (5-HT(1A)). To date, there has not been a comprehensive investigation of the molecular, pharmacological and physiological aspects of the 5-HT(1A) receptor and its ro...
Article
The following study set out to test the hypothesis that acute treatment with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine, would result in a rise in circulating 5-HT levels and consequently a decrease in territorial aggression in the Gulf toadfish, Opsanus beta. Size-matched pairs of toadfish were implanted intraperitoneally with the same...
Article
Marine teleosts drink seawater, and the digestive tract is a key organ of osmoregulation. The gastro-intestinal tract therefore offers a second site for the potential uptake and toxicity of waterborne metals, but how these processes might interact with the digestive functions of the tract has not been investigated previously. We therefore compared...
Article
The acute cardiovascular and respiratory responses of the gulf toadfish, Opsanus beta, to acute hypoxia or exposure to the O(2) chemoreceptor stimulant, sodium cyanide (NaCN) were characterized and the role of serotonin type 2 (5-HT(2)) receptors in mediating these responses was investigated. Toadfish responded to hypoxia or NaCN exposure with a de...
Article
Measurable quantities of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine, have been found in surface waters and more recently in the tissues of fish. This highly prescribed pharmaceutical inhibits the reuptake of the monoamine, serotonin (5-HT; 5-hydroxytryptamine), causing a local amplification of 5-HT concentrations. Serotonin is in...
Article
Full-text available
We developed quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays to distinguish each of the four clades (A–D) of dinoflagellate endosymbionts (genus Symbiodinium) commonly found in Caribbean corals. We applied these primer sets, which target portions of the multi-copy ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene family, to assess the presence/absence of symbionts in clade D (as indicated...
Article
Full-text available
The gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) is a facultatively ureotelic fish that excretes primarily urea under conditions of crowding or confinement. To examine the relationship between ammonia production, urea production and the ornithine-urea cycle (O-UC) enzyme activity and mRNA expression, we subjected toadfish to two-day and seven-day crowding regimes....
Article
We investigated possible biochemical pathways explaining extreme ammonia tolerance by the gulf toadfish and specifically tested the prediction that the gulf toadfish Opsanus beta is more tolerant than the plainfin midshipman Porichthys notatus, two confamilial species, because it reverses brain glutamine accumulation during high ammonia exposure. T...
Article
Full-text available
Gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) use a unique pulsatile urea excretion mechanism that allows urea to be voided in large pulses via the periodic insertion or activation of a branchial urea transporter. The precise cellular and subcellular location of the facilitated diffusion mechanism(s) remains unclear. An in vitro basolateral membrane vesicle (BLMV)...
Article
Full-text available
Gulf toadfish, Opsanus beta, are one among a group of unusual teleosts that excrete urea as their predominant nitrogen end product in response to stressful conditions. Under conditions of crowding or confinement, fasted toadfish excrete the majority of their nitrogen waste in large pulses of urea (>90% of total nitrogen) lasting up to 3 h. An earli...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the present study was to investigate the role of circulating cortisol and urea in the transcriptional regulation of branchial glutamine synthetase (GS), which incorporates NH(3) into glutamate to form glutamine, and the toadfish urea transporter, tUT, which is involved in urea excretion across the gill of the gulf toadfish. GS (of which...
Article
Full-text available
There is extensive variation in gene expression among individuals within and between populations. Accurate measures of the variation in mRNA expression using microarrays can be confounded by technical variation, which includes variation in RNA isolation procedures, day of hybridization and methods used to amplify and dye label RNA for hybridization...
Article
The goal of this study was to investigate the role of MgSO4 in aglomerular kidney function, independent of changes in NaCl. The renal handling of MgSO4 was manipulated by intravenous infusion of an isoosmotic solution containing 80 mmol/L MgSO4 or through exposure to an environment that was reduced in MgSO4 concentration by 90%. Intravenous infusio...
Article
Although the number of fish species that have been studied for both hypoxia/anoxia tolerance and ammonia tolerance are few, there appears to be a correlation between the ability to survive these two insults. After establishing this correlation with examples from the literature, and after examining the role Peter Lutz played in catalyzing this conve...
Article
The neurochemical, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) is involved in the regulation of toadfish pulsatile urea excretion as well as the teleost hypoxia response. Thus, the goal of this study was to determine whether environmental conditions that activate branchial chemoreceptors also trigger pulsatile urea excretion in toadfish, since environmen...
Article
The effects of acute Ni exposure on the marine gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta) were investigated via separate exposures to waterborne nickel (Ni) and arterially infused Ni. Of the plasma electrolytes measured after 72 h of waterborne exposure (215.3 and 606.1 microM Ni in SW (salinity of 34)), only plasma [Ca2+] was significantly impacted (approximate...
Article
![Figure][1] Animal reproduction is a complicated process involving the coordination of many systems that act at different levels to control behavior and gonad function. In teleost fish, steroids produced by the gonads are responsible for sexual behavior and sexual differentiation and also
Article
![Figure][1] Melatonin, probably best known for its influence on circadian and seasonal rhythms within vertebrates, is actually involved in many other physiological processes. Derived from the neurochemical serotonin, melatonin is a small molecule that can penetrate all tissues easily. For
Article
The gulf toadfish, Opsanus beta, is a marine teleost fish with an aglomerular kidney that is highly specialized to conserve water. Despite this adaptation, toadfish have the ability to survive when in dilute hypoosmotic seawater environments. The objectives of this study were to determine the joint role of the kidney and intestine in maintaining os...
Article
Full-text available
This review summarizes what is currently known about urea transporters in fishes in the context of their physiology and evolution within the vertebrates. The existence of urea transporters has been investigated in red blood cells and hepatocytes of fish as well as in renal and branchial cells. Little is known about urea transport in red blood cells...
Article
This study evaluated the hypothesis that the pulsatile excretion of urea by toadfish could serve as a social signal. In the first experiment, physiological parameters were measured in pairs of dominant and subordinate toadfish. Subordinate toadfish had elevated concentrations of circulating plasma cortisol, an effect maintained even after cannulati...
Article
Laboratory rodents made hyperammonemic by infusing ammonia into the blood show symptoms of brain cell swelling and increased intracranial pressure. These symptoms could be caused in part by an increase in brain glutamine formed when brain glutamine synthetase (GS) naturally detoxifies ammonia to glutamine. Previous studies on the Gulf toadfish (Ops...
Article
Full-text available
![Figure][1] Acute renal failure is a serious disease with high mortality rates that have not dropped over the past 40 years. This lack of advancement reflects the struggle to find a suitable model system to study the disease; current mammalian models used to study acute renal failure have
Article
Silver is taken up as a Na(+) analog (Ag(+)) by freshwater organisms, but little is known about its bioavailability in relation to salinity. Adult Opsanus beta were acclimated to 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100% seawater (Cl(-)=545 mM) and exposed for 24 h to 2.18 microg L(-1) silver as (110m)Ag-labelled AgNO(3), a concentration close to the U....
Article
Full-text available
The objectives of this study were to characterize the pattern of pulsatile urea excretion in the gulf toadfish in the wake of exogenous cortisol loading and to determine the receptors involved in the regulation of this mechanism. Toadfish were fitted with indwelling arterial catheters and were infused with isosmotic NaCl for 48 h after which fish w...
Article
Full-text available
![Figure][1] An exciting new discovery has been made in the Atlantic stingray that has implications for ion regulation in elasmobranchs. In mammals, an active transport protein (HKα1) is present in the stomach and kidney that mediates proton (H+ or acid) secretion in exchange for potassium
Article
Full-text available
![Figure][1] Discovered over 60 years ago, Rhesus (Rh) proteins are best known as antigens on red blood cells that cause immune reactions during blood transfusions and hemolytic disease in newborn babies. Studies over the past few years have shown that Rh proteins are not limited to red blood
Article
Acute (96 h) and prolonged (30 days) copper exposure induced osmoregulatory disturbance and impaired nitrogenous waste excretion in the marine teleost, the gulf toadfish (Opsanus beta), which was found to be extremely tolerant to acute copper exposure with a 96 h LC50 exceeding 340 microM but exhibited disturbed mineral balance in response to both...
Article
Gulf toadfish were exposed to sublethal levels of copper (12.8 or 55.2 microM) for 30 days. Drinking in control fish averaged 1 ml kg(-1)h(-1) but exposure to 55.2 microM copper resulted in a complex biophasic pattern with initial (3 h and 1 day) inhibition of drinking rate, followed by an elevation of drinking rate from day 3 onwards. Drinking led...