Carp (Cyprinus carpio) red cells do not show beta-adrenergic responses when incubated with 10(−5) mol l-1 adrenaline at atmospheric oxygen tension and a pH value close to the in vivo resting pH (approx. 8.1). However, when either the pH or the oxygen tension of the incubation medium is decreased, the adrenergic responses appear, showing that oxygen or an oxygen-linked phenomenon has a direct influence on the response. Once present, the adrenergic red cell response is similar to that of trout: cellular water content, sodium content and intracellular pH all increase. Quantitatively the effect appears to be much smaller in carp than in trout. Adrenaline induces an increase in red cell oxygen content when the oxygen content is plotted as a function of extracellular pH. This effect coincides with the onset of the Root effect and is caused by the adrenaline-induced increase in intracellular pH, since it disappears when the oxygen content is plotted as a function of intracellular pH. The red cell ATP content decreases metabolically during adrenaline incubations. In contrast, cellular GTP content is not metabolically reduced in adrenaline-treated cells, showing that the rapid and selective decrease in red cell GTP concentration, observed in hypoxic cyprinids, is not adrenergically induced.

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