ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-060323-27
Chemoreceptor plasticity and respiratory acclimation in the zebrafish Danio rerio
Vulesevic, B., McNeill, B., and Perry, S.F.
Date: 2006
Source: The Journal of experimental biology   209(7): 1261-1273 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Perry, Steve F.
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Adaptation, Physiological/physiology*
  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide/administration & dosage
  • Cell Count
  • Chemoreceptor Cells/physiology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gills/chemistry
  • Gills/cytology
  • Gills/physiology
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Neuroepithelial Cells/cytology
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Oxygen/administration & dosage
  • Oxygen/analysis*
  • Sodium Cyanide/administration & dosage
  • Water/chemistry*
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
PubMed: 16547298 Full text @ J. Exp. Biol.
The goals of this study were to assess the respiratory consequences of exposing adult zebrafish Danio rerio to chronic changes in water gas composition (hypoxia, hyperoxia or hypercapnia) and to determine if any ensuing effects could be related to morphological changes in branchial chemoreceptors. To accomplish these goals, we first modified and validated an established non-invasive technique for continuous monitoring of breathing frequency and relative breathing amplitude in adult fish. Under normal conditions 20% of zebrafish exhibited an episodic breathing pattern that was composed of breathing and non-breathing (pausing/apneic) periods. The pausing frequency was reduced by acute hypoxia (Pw(O)2<130 mmHg) and increased by acute hyperoxia (Pw(O)2>300 mmHg), but was unaltered by acute hypercapnia. Fish were exposed for 28 days to hyperoxia (Pw(O)2>350 mmHg), or hypoxia (Pw(O)2=30 mmHg) or hypercapnia (Pw(CO)2=9 mmHg). Their responses to acute hypoxia or hypercapnia were then compared to the response of control fish kept for 28 days in normoxic and normocapnic water. In control fish, the ventilatory response to acute hypoxia consisted of an increase in breathing frequency while the response to acute hypercapnia was an increase in relative breathing amplitude. The stimulus promoting the hyperventilation during hypercapnia was increased Pw(CO)2 rather than decreased pH. Exposure to prolonged hyperoxia decreased the capacity of fish to increase breathing frequency during hypoxia and prevented the usual increase in breathing amplitude during acute hypercapnia. In fish previously exposed to hyperoxia, episodic breathing continued during acute hypoxia until Pw(O)2 had fallen below 70 mmHg. In fish chronically exposed to hypoxia, resting breathing frequency was significantly reduced (from 191+/-12 to 165+/-16 min(-1)); however, the ventilatory responses to hypoxia and hypercapnia were unaffected. Long-term exposure of fish to hypercapnic water did not markedly modify the breathing response to acute hypoxia and modestly blunted the response to hypercapnia. To determine whether branchial chemoreceptors were being influenced by long-term acclimation, all four groups of fish were acutely exposed to increasing doses of the O(2) chemoreceptor stimulant, sodium cyanide, dissolved in inspired water. Consistent with the blunting of the ventilatory response to hypoxia, the fish pre-exposed to hyperoxia also exhibited a blunted response to NaCN. Pre-exposure to hypoxia was without effect whereas prior exposure to hypercapnia increased the ventilatory responses to cyanide. To assess the impact of acclimation to varying gas levels on branchial O(2) chemoreceptors, the numbers of neuroepithelial cells (NECs) of the gill filament were quantified using confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. Consistent with the blunting of reflex ventilatory responses, fish exposed to chronic hyperoxia exhibited a significant decrease in the density of NECs from 36.8+/-2.8 to 22.7+/-2.3 filament(-1).