Vascular Adaptations for a Low Pressure / High Flow Blood Supply to Locomotory Muscles of Antarctic Icefish
The extremely stable Antarctic environment may be expected to have produced a number of cardiovascular adaptations to offset increased blood viscosity and/or decreased oxygen diffusion rates in the cold [1,2]. The ichthyofauna is dominated by Notothenioids which have a modest haematocrit and a reduced blood haemoglobin concentration , a situation taken to the extreme in the icefish (channichthyids) that possess only a few vestigial erythrocytes and no respiratory pigment. Low blood pressure and large venous return reported for icefish  would best be accommodated by a relatively low afterload on the heart . Evidence for the origin of the assumed low peripheral resistance in icefish was sought in the morphology of the blood vascular system; preliminary results from this study were reported as abstracts [6,7].
KeywordsRainbow Trout Total Peripheral Resistance Pectoral Muscle Dorsal Aorta Antarctic Fish
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Eastman JT (1993) Antarctic fish biology. Academic Press LondonGoogle Scholar
- 2.Egginton S, Cordiner S (1994) Effect of fixation protocols on muscle preservation and in situ diffusion distances. J Fish Biol 47:59–69Google Scholar
- 6.Rankin JC, Harrison B, Airey AC (1987) Branchial vascular anatomy in the icefish Chaenocephalus aceratus Lönnberg. Proc V Congr Europ Ichthyol, Stockholm 1985, p 453Google Scholar
- 7.Egginton S, Rankin JC (1991) The vascular supply to skeletal muscle in fishes with and without respiratory pigments. Int J Microcirc Clin Exp 10:396Google Scholar
- 9.Stewart JB, Douglas EL (1973) Circulatory anatomy in the icefish family Chaenichthyidae. Antarct J US 8:204–205Google Scholar
- 13.Laurent P (1984) Gill internal morphology. In: Hoar W.S., Randall D.J. (eds) Fish physiology, Vol. 10A, Academic Press, London, pp 73–183Google Scholar
- 19.Egginton S (1990) Morphometric analysis of tissue capillary supply. In: Boutilier RG (ed.) Vertebrate gas exchange from environment to cell. Adv Comp Environ Physiol 6:73–141Google Scholar
- 21.Vogel W, Kock KH (1981) Morphometry of gill vessels in icefish. Archiv für Fischereiwissenschaft 31:139–150Google Scholar
- 22.Jakubowski M (1982) Dimensions of respiratory surfaces of the gills and skin in the Antarctic white-blooded fish, Chaenocephalus aceratus Lönnberg. Zeit für Mikrosk Anat Forsch 96:145–156Google Scholar