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Respir Physiol. 1998 Mar;111(3):311-23.

The ontogeny of cardio-respiratory function under chronically altered gas compositions in Xenopus laevis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas 89154-4004, USA.


The importance of diffusion and perfusion in terms of oxygen transport was evaluated by chronically altering environmental O2 availability (hypoxia or hyperoxia) and blood O2 content (carbon monoxide) through development in Xenopus laevis. Oxygen consumption (MO2), individual wet mass, heart rate (fH), and stroke volume (SV) were measured in animals raised from eggs to pre-metamorphic climax while maintained at 11, 21 and 35 kPa O2, combined with and without 2 kPa carbon monoxide. Additionally, cardiac output (Q), and a recently defined O2 consumption/transport quotient (MO2 x QO2(-1)) were calculated. Wet mass, MO2, and fH, were not significantly different between controls and experimental treatments at any developmental stage. However, with hemoglobin oxygen transport blocked by carbon monoxide, the exposed larvae showed an increased SV, Q and MO2 x QO2(-1). Combined, these data suggest that in spite of impaired blood O2 convection, normal aerobic metabolism was maintained, indicating that direct diffusion of O2 plays an important role in supplying oxygen during early development.

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