Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Circ Res. 1996 Aug;79(2):358-62.

Disruption of hemoglobin oxygen transport does not impact oxygen-dependent physiological processes in developing embryos of zebra fish (Danio rerio).

Author information

  • 1Institut für Zoologie und Limnologie, Leopold-Franzens-Universität, Innsbruck, Austria.


Embryonic hemoglobin circulated by the developing heart in the early vertebrate embryo is widely assumed (without substantiation) to perform the same vital role of O2 carriage that it does in fetuses and adults. In order to challenge this assumption, we measured highly O2-dependent physiological variables like O2 consumption, cardiac performance, and initial swim bladder filling in the presence and absence of functional hemoglobin in the embryos and early larvae of the zebra fish, Danio ( = Brachydanio) rerio. Functional ablation of hemoglobin by carbon monoxide or phenylhydrazine did not reduce whole-animal O2 consumption, which was approximately 85 to 90 mumol.g-1.h-1. Similarly, no differences in heart variables like ventricular pressure development or heart rate, which increased from 135 to 175 bpm between stages 36h and 96h (indicating developmental stages 36 and 96 hours after fertilization, respectively), were observed in these experiments. Initial opening of the swim bladder was not influenced in the presence of CO-occupied hemoglobin but was significantly impaired when the embryonic hemoglobin was chemically modified by incubation with phenylhydrazine. That aerobic processes continue without hemoglobin O2 transport indicates the adequacy in the embryo of simple O2 diffusion alone even in developmental stages with extensive convective blood circulation generated by the heart.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk