Cardiac activity, ventilation rate and acid-base regulation in rainbow trout exposed to hypoxia and combined hypoxia and hypercapnia

Kristian Borch, Frank B. Jensen, Bent B. Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A computerised system for non-invasive monitoring of heart and ventilation rates and the time intervals between heart beats and between breaths was developed and used to investigate cardio-respiratory changes in rainbow trout exposed to hypoxia and to combined hypoxia and hypercapnia. Upon exposure to hypoxia and hypoxia-hypercapnia the arterial 02 tension decreased from about 90 mmHg to about 30 mmHg. Acid-base changes were small in hypoxia whereas exposure to combined hypoxia-hypercapnia caused a large extracellular respiratory acidosis. This acidosis was completely compensated within 24h by accumulation of bicarbonate in plasma to concentrations twice the normoxic values. The ventilation rate was increased to higher values in hypoxic-hypercapnic trout than in hypoxic trout. In contrast to previous reports, the heart rate increased in hypoxia. On top of the tachycardia response to hypoxia, the heart rate was governed by circadian rhythms, with higher heart rates during the day than during the night. The time interval between heart beats varied considerably in normoxic fish. Hypoxia strongly reduced this variability, which may originate in a reduced cholinergic tone to the heart. The width of the frequency distribution of the time intervals between breaths was not affected by hypoxia. The degree of cardio-respiratory synchronization was low in both normoxic and in hypoxic and hypoxic-hypercapnic trout.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFish Physiology & Biochemistry
Volume12
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)101-110
ISSN0920-1742
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Heart rate
  • Heart rate variability
  • Ventilation
  • Acid-base status
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypoxia-hypercapnia

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