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Cell Tissue Res. 1985;242(3):669-76.

Heart structure and ventricular ultrastructure of hemoglobin- and myoglobin-free icefish Channichthys rhinoceratus.


The structural and ultrastructural characteristics of the heart of Channichthys rhinoceratus, an antarctic teleost devoid of respiratory pigments, are described and compared with those obtained from the red-blooded related species Notothenia rossii. The heart of the icefish is characterized by a spongy myocardium supplied with a highly developed arterial coronary system. This vasculature includes a subepicardial system and an extensive intratrabecular capillary network. Arterial hilar network and Thebesian vessels may also be present. The bulbus arteriosus shows unusually large spheroid structures located in the middle layer of the wall. Both white- and red-blooded species display comparable myocardial cell morphology and organelle distribution. However, the mitochondrial cristae of the former are more densely packed and the sarcolemma possesses numerous caveolae. A large proportion of non-contractile cells is also found in the icefish ventricular wall.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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