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Adrenergic and adenosinergic regulation of the cardiovascular system in an Antarctic icefish: Insight into central and peripheral determinants of cardiac output

Journal article
Authors W. Joyce
S. Egginton
A. P. Farrell
Michael Axelsson
Published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology a-Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Volume 230
Pages 28-38
ISSN 1095-6433
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 28-38
Language en
Keywords Channichthyidae, Adrenaline, Adenosine, Heart rate, Conductance, heart-rate, rainbow-trout, blood-pressure, vascular-resistance, stress-response, atlantic cod, fish, performance, adrenaline, receptors
Subject categories Animal physiology


Icefishes characteristically lack the oxygen-binding protein haemoglobin and therefore are especially reliant on cardiovascular regulation to augment oxygen transport when oxygen demand increases, such as during activity and warming. Using both in vivo and in vitro experiments, we evaluated the roles for adrenaline and adenosine, two well-established cardio- and vasoactive molecules, in regulating the cardiovascular system of the blackfin icefish, Chaenocephalus aceratus. Despite increasing cardiac contractility (increasing twitch force and contraction kinetics in isometric myocardial strip preparations) and accelerating heart rate (f(H)), adrenaline (5 nmol kg(-1) bolus infra-arterial injection) did not significantly increase cardiac output ((Q) over dot) in vivo because it elicited a large decrease in vascular conductance (G(sys)). In contrast, and despite preliminary data suggesting a direct negative inotropic effect of adenosine on isolated atria and little effect on isolated ventricle strips, adenosine (500 nmol kg-1) generated a large increase in (Q) over dot by increasing G(sys), a change reminiscent of that previously reported during both acute warming and invoked activity. Our data thus illustrate how (Q) over dot in C. aceratus may be much more dependent on peripheral control of vasomotor tone than direct regulation of the heart.

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