Oxygen Sensitivity of Gill Neuroepithelial Cells in the Anoxia-Tolerant Goldfish

  • Peter C. Zachar
  • Michael G. JonzEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 758)


In the zebrafish, O2-chemoreceptive neuroepithelial cells (NECs) of the gill arches detect changes in PO2 and are believed to initiate cardiorespiratory responses to hypoxia. Goldfish have gill NECs of similar morphology and innervation, yet these animals are naturally tolerant to prolonged periods of anoxia. Whole-cell, voltage-clamp experiments indicated that goldfish NECs express a variety of membrane ion channels, including background and Ca2+-activated K+ channels. Our initial studies suggest that goldfish NECs do not respond equally to hypoxia (N2, 25 mmHg) as do those of zebrafish; however, current-clamp recordings indicated that anoxia produced membrane depolarization. In addition, we found that cyanide, which mimics hypoxia, depolarized NECs. Our goal is to further characterize these membrane conductances and determine their potential contribution to O2 sensing in NECs of the anoxia-tolerant goldfish.


Goldfish Neuroepithelial cells Chemoreceptors Oxygen sensing Hypoxia Anoxia tolerance Cyanide Electrophysiology Patch-clamp Calcium-activated potassium channels 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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