Cardiac responses to anoxia in the Pacific hagfish, Eptatretus stoutii

G. K. Cox, E. Sandblom, A. P. Farrell
2010 Journal of Experimental Biology  
In the absence of any previous study of the cardiac status of hagfishes during prolonged anoxia and because of their propensity for oxygen-depleted environments, the present study tested the hypothesis that the Pacific hagfish Eptatretus stoutii maintains cardiac performance during prolonged anoxia. Heart rate was halved from the routine value of 10.4±1.3beatsmin -1 by the sixth hour of an anoxic period and then remained stable for a further 30h. Cardiac stroke volume increased from routine
more » ... eased from routine (1.3±0.1mlkg -1 ) to partially compensate the anoxic bradycardia, such that cardiac output decreased by only 33% from the routine value of 12.3±0.9mlmin -1 kg -1 . Cardiac power output decreased by only 25% from the routine value of 0.26±0.02mWg -1 . During recovery from prolonged anoxia, cardiac output and heart rate increased to peak values within 1.5h. Thus, the Pacific hagfish should be acknowledged as hypoxic tolerant in terms of its ability to maintain around 70% of their normoxic cardiac performance during prolonged anoxia. This is only the second fish species to be so classified.
doi:10.1242/jeb.046425 pmid:20952617 fatcat:khlktz35hjep3mffafcaqmghoy