Send to

Choose Destination

Gut blood flow in fish during exercise and severe hypercapnia.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, V5A 1S6, Burnaby, BC, Canada.


This paper reviews the effects of exercise and hypercapnia on blood flow to the splanchnic circulation. Brief struggling behaviours are known to decrease blood flow to the gut (GBF). Likewise, prolonged swimming in unfed fish has been shown to reduce GBF in proportion to the increased oxygen uptake. Therefore, the normal postprandial increase in GBF theoretically should be impaired whenever fish are active. However, indirect evidence suggests that GBF is spared to some degree when fed fish swim continuously but at a cost (10-15%) to their critical swimming speed. Severe respiratory acidosis can be created by the new intensive aquaculture settings that use oxygen injection into re-circulated water. The only study so far to examine the effects of severe hypercapnia on GBF and its regulation showed that routine GBF and alpha-adrenergic control of GBF remained normal in unfed white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus). However, severe hypercapnia produced a hyperactive state and increased sensitivity of GBF to struggling. As a result, routine GBF was maintained for a short period of time. Thus, environmental changes such as severe hypercapnia can indirectly impact GBF through altered struggling behaviour, but the implications of the overall reduction in GBF to food assimilation have yet to be established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center