Articles > Cardiac plasticity in fishes: environmental influences and intraspecific differences

Cardiac plasticity in fishes: environmental influences and intraspecific differences

Cardiac plasticity in fishes: environmental influences and intraspecific differences

A. Kurt Gamperl1,* and A. P. Farrell2

1Ocean Sciences Center, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada A1C 5S7
2Department of Biological Sciences, 8888 University Drive, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6

Fish cardiac physiology and anatomy show a multiplicity of intraspecific modifications when exposed to prolonged changes in environmentally relevant parameters such as temperature, hypoxia and food availability, and when meeting the increased demands associated with training/increased activity and sexual maturation. Further, there is evidence that rearing fish under intensive aquaculture conditions significantly alters some, but not all, aspects of cardiac anatomy and physiology. This review focuses on the responses of cardiac physiology and anatomy to these challenges, highlighting where applicable, the importance of hyperplastic (i.e. the production of new cells) vs hypertrophic (the enlargement of existing cells) growth to the adaptive response of the heart. In addition, we summarize recent studies that have explored the relationship between the myocardial protection afforded by preconditioning and myocardial hypoxia tolerance. This latter research clearly demonstrates the capacity of the fish heart to adjust to short-term perturbations, and shows that it can be difficult to predict how short-term and long-term alterations in cardiac physiology will interact.

Key words: intraspecific cardiac plasticity, fish, environment, heart, myocardium, hyperplasia, hypertrophy, preconditioning, hypoxia, temperature, maturation, food deprivation

Source: Journal of Experimental Biology 207, 2539-2550 (2004)


You will also like...