Blood gases, and parameters of the extracellular and intracellular acid-base status, were measured in the anuran amphibians Bufo marinus and Xenopus laevis acclimated to temperatures of 10, 20 and 30°C for 12 days. Arterial POO2 rose with temperature so that approximately constant oxygen saturation of the blood was maintained, a phenomenon explained on the basis of models for O2 transport in animals with central vascular shunts and temperature-dependent shifts in O2 equilibrium characteristics. Arterial plasma pH of both species varied inversely with temperature, the pH/temperature coefficient being not significantly different from that required for constant relative alkalinity or dissociation of imidazole. The change in plasma pH was brought about mainly by changes in PCOCO2 although plasma bicarbonate concentration also changed significantly. Intracellular pH/temperature relationships were found to be non-linear in most of the tissues. There was considerable variability among body tissue compartments and between the two species. These data confirm that the various tissue compartments in ectotherms maintain unique ΔpH/Δt relationships, and indicate that measurement of extracellular pH as a function of temperature is not a good indicator for alphastat-type, temperature-dependent, acid-base regulation.

This content is only available via PDF.