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Adaptation of intestinal morphology in the temperature-acclimated carp, Cyprinus carpio L.

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The effects of temperature and photoperiod acclimation upon the morphology of carp intestinal mucosa have been studied using morphometric techniques. Carp intestine showed an absence of anatomical regionalisation. There was a gradual reduction in the dimensions of villi along the tract. The decrease in the dimensions of the villi was greatest in the anterior half. Temperature acclimation had no effect on intestinal-somatic indices. Acclimation to 10° C or 30° C resulted in large differences in the dimensions of villi. Cold acclimation produced significant increases in mean villus height and breadth along the entire intestine. These villus shape changes resulted in a 58% increase in total mucosal surface area and a 102% increase in total volume of villi in cold-acclimated fish relative to warm-acclimated fish. Surface area of the unmodified intestinal tube increased with cold acclimation by 28%. The total number of villi remained unchanged by thermal acclimation. Because normalisation to a nominal surface area does not take account of the possibility of differentially developed mucosal surfaces in differently acclimated animals, experiments comparing transepithelial transport rates of differently-acclimated fish, using unstripped preparations, overestimates the differences in area-specific transport capacity.

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Correspondence to Dr. Andrew R. Cossins.

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Lee, J.A.C., Cossins, A.R. Adaptation of intestinal morphology in the temperature-acclimated carp, Cyprinus carpio L.. Cell Tissue Res. 251, 451–456 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00215854

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Key words

  • Temperature acclimation
  • Intestine
  • Morphometry
  • Carp