Crucian carp (Carassius carassius L.) is an exceptionally anoxia-tolerant vertebrate. To determine whether isolated crucian carp brain tissue survives anoxia and whether it displays anoxic metabolic depression, heat production (using microcalorimetry), lactate production, ethanol production and the maintenance of ATP, ADP and AMP levels and energy charge were measured in telencephalic brain slices during anoxia. In response to anoxia, heat output decreased by 37 %, corresponding to a 31 % fall in ATP turnover rate. Adenylate phosphates and energy charge were well maintained and no ethanol was produced during anoxia. It is concluded that crucian carp brain tissue has an intrinsic capacity to tolerate anoxia and that it responds to anoxia by depressing metabolic rate and elevating the glycolytic rate, thereby maintaining ATP levels.

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