1. Several cardiovascular and respiratory measurements have been performed in eels before and after intravenous injections of adrenaline. These experiments have allowed a comparison to be made of values for the cardiac output determined directly (Q) and using the Fick principle (QF) on individual fish under these two conditions. 2. Under control conditions it was shown that QF/Q = 0.72, indicating that about 30% of the mixed venous blood afferent to the gills is returned directly to the heart and bypasses the lamellar circulation via veno-venous anastomoses between the afferent filament arteries and the central venous space of the gill filaments. 3. Adrenaline, which during winter only has its action due to stimulation of alpha-adrenoreceptors, induced a hypoventilation but no changes in cardiac output in spite of a bradycardia. The oxygen content of the mixed venous blood was markedly increased whereas Ca,O2 remained unchanged as did the percentage utilization of oxygen from the water as it passed over the gills. The efferent blood flow from the gills after injection of adrenaline was almost equal to the total cardiac output. It is suggested that such a circulatory change was due to adrenaline-mediated constriction of veno-venous anastomoses in the gills of the eel.
Physiological evidence for the occurrence of pathways shunting blood away from the secondary lamellae of eel gills
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G. M. Hughes, C. Peyraud, M. Peyraud-Waitzenegger, P. Soulier; Physiological evidence for the occurrence of pathways shunting blood away from the secondary lamellae of eel gills. J Exp Biol 1 June 1982; 98 (1): 277–288. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.98.1.277
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