Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 31–41 | Cite as

Cardiac remodelling, blood chemistry, haematology and oxygen consumption of Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L., induced by experimental haemolytic anaemia with phenylhydrazine



Anaemia is a common pathology associated with many infectious and non-infectious diseases. The effects of haemolytic anaemia induced by i.p. injection of phenylhydrazine (PHZ) were studied in Atlantic cod. Phenylhydrazine injection (0.3 mg kg−1) in a DMSO and saline vehicle induced a reproducible and stable anaemia reducing haematocrit, (Hct) by 62% over 3 weeks. Controls consisted of fish injected with saline and DMSO/saline vehicle with minimal effects on Hct or whole blood haemoglobin (Hb). Although anaemia resulted in reduced blood lactate and glucose in PHZ injected fish, there were no effects of anaemia on blood, sodium, chloride or potassium. Similarly, there were no changes in the relative proportions of leucocytes in the blood although an increase in the number of immature erythrocytes was observed in the anaemic fish. Anaemic fish showed a 29 and 22% increase in cardiac somatic index (CSI) relative to saline and vehicle controls, respectively, although there were no significant differences in the linear dimensions of the ventricle. Changes in cardiac somatic and ventricular somatic index correlated positively and significantly with Hct but not with whole blood Hb concentration. Anaemic fish had significantly reduced resting routine oxygen consumption compared with vehicle controls but were not able to increase oxygen consumption following a bout of exhaustive exercise. Plasma lactate concentrations increased significantly after exercise to a greater extent in anaemic fish compared with vehicle control fish. Phenylhydrazine is a useful model for studying haemolytic anaemia in Atlantic cod with minimal effects on blood biochemistry and haematology and clearly reduces the aerobic capacity in Atlantic cod.


Atlantic cod Cardiac compensation Anaemia Haematocrit Hypertrophy Leucocytes 



The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Shelly Dwyer in sample collection and Anil Amin for assistance with photomicrography. We would like to acknowledge the input and suggestions made by two anonymous reviewers. This work was supported through a research grant from the Fisheries Society of the British Isles to MDP.


  1. Avilez IM, Altran AE, Aguiar LH, Morares G (2004) Hematological responses of the Neotropical teleost matrinxa (Brycon cephalus) to environmental nitrite. Comp Biochem Physiol C139:135–139Google Scholar
  2. Berger J (2007) Phenylhydrazine haemotoxicity. J Appl Biomed 5:125–130Google Scholar
  3. Beutler E (2005) Haemolytic anaemia resulting from chemical and physical agents. In: Lichtman MA, Williams WJ, Beutler E, Kaushansky K, Kipps TJ, Seligsohn U, Prchal J (eds) Williams hematology, 7th edn edn. McGraw-Hill Professional, Chicago, IL, pp 717–721Google Scholar
  4. Burke M (2009) Effects of simulated anaemia on the blood chemistry of Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut and Atlantic salmon. MSc thesis, Bodø University College, Bodø Norway, p66Google Scholar
  5. Cameron JN (1986) Principles of physiological measurements. Academic Press, London, p 278Google Scholar
  6. Cameron JN, Wolschlag DE (1969) Respiratory response to experimentally induced anaemia in the pinfish (Lagodon rhomboids). J Exp Biol 50:307–317PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Dornfest BS, Bush ME, Lapin DM, Adu S, Fulop A, Naughton BA (1990) Phenylhydrazine as a mitogen and activator of lymphoid cells. Ann Clin Lab Sci 20:353–370PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Jones DR (1971) The effect of hypoxia and anaemia on the swimming performance of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri). J Exp Biol 55:541–551PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Jones MA, Powell MD, Becker JA, Carter CG (2007) Effect of an acute necrotic bacterial gill infection and feed deprivation on the metabolic rate of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Dis Aquat Org 78:29–36PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Mansell B, Powell MD, Ernst I, Nowak BF (2005) Effects of the gill monogenean Zeuxapta seriolae (Mserve, 1938) and treatment with hydrogen peroxide on pathophysiology of kingfish, Seriola lalandi Valenciennes, 1833. J Fish Dis 28:253–262PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McClelland GB, Dalziel AC, Fragoso NM, Moyes CD (2005) Muscle remodelling in relation to blood supply: implications for seasonal changes in mitochondrial enzymes. J Exp Biol 208:515–522PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Olsen YA, Falk K, Reite OB (1992) Cortisol and lactate levels in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar developing infectious salmon anaemia (ISA). Dis Aquat Org 14:99–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Pillay TVR, Kutty MN (2005) Nutrition and feeds. In: Aquaculture principles and practices, 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp 117–165Google Scholar
  14. Powell MD, Nowak BF, Adams MB (2002) Cardiac morphology in relation to AGD history in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). J Fish Dis 25:209–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Powell MD, Speare DJ, Daley J, Lovy J (2005) Differences in metabolic response to Loma salmonae infection in juvenile rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis. Dis Aquat Org 67:233–237PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Prchal J (2005) Clinical manifestations and classification of erythrocyte disorders. In: Lichtman MA, Williams WJ, Beutler E, Kaushansky K, Kipps TJ, Seligsohn U, Prchal J (eds) Williams hematology, 7th edn. McGraw-Hill Professional, Chicago, IL, pp 411–418Google Scholar
  17. Reidy SP, Nelson JA, Tank Y, Kerr SR (1995) Post-exercise metabolic rate in Atlantic cod and its dependence upon the method of exhaustion. J Fish Biol 47:377–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Roberts RJ, Rodger HD (2001) The pathophysiological and systemic pathology of teleosts. In: Roberts RJ (ed) Fish pathology, 3rd edn. Elsevier Health Services, Amsterdam, Netherlands, pp 55–132Google Scholar
  19. Scarano G, Sargolia MG, Gray RH, Thibaldi E (1984) Hematological responses of seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) to sub lethal nitrite exposures. Trans Am Fish Soc 113:360–364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Shetler MD, Hill AO (1985) Reactions of haemoglobin with phenylhydrazine: a review of selected aspects. Env Hlth Persp 64:265–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Simonot DJ, Farrell AP (2007) Cardiac remodelling in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum in response to phenylhydrazine induced anaemia. J Exp Biol 210:2574–2584PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Simonot DJ, Farrell AP (2009) Coronary vascular volume remodelling in rainbow trout Ocorhynchus mykiss. J Fish Biol 75:1762–1772PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Smith CE, McLain LR, Zaugg WS (1971) Phenylhydrazine-induced anaemia in Chinook salmon. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 20:73–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Terova G, Rimoldi S, Cora S, Bernadini G, Gornati R, Saroglia M (2008) Acute and chronic hypoxia affects HIF-1α mRNA levels in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). Aquaculture 279:150–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Woo PTK, Bruno DW, Lim LHS (2003) Diseases and disorders of finfish in cage culture. CAB International publishers, Oxon p. 354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wood CM, Randall DJ (1971) The effects of anaemia on ion exchange in the southern flounder (Paralichthys lethostigma). Comp Biochem Physiol A39:391–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wood CM, McMahon BR, McDonald DG (1979) Respiratory, ventilatory and cardiovascular responses to experimental anaemia in the starry flounder, Platichthys stellatus. J Exp Biol 82:139–162PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Wood CM, McDonald DG, McMahon BR (1982) The influence of experimental anaemia on acid-base regulation in vivo and in vitro in the starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus) and the rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri). J Exp Biol 96:221–237Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark D. Powell
    • 1
  • Melissa S. Burke
    • 1
  • Dalia Dahle
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Biosciences and AquacultureBodø University CollegeBodøNorway

Personalised recommendations