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Physiological development of the embryonic and larval crayfish heart.

TitlePhysiological development of the embryonic and larval crayfish heart.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHarper S, Reiber CL
JournalBiol Bull
Date Published2004 Apr
KeywordsAnimals, Astacoidea, Cardiac Output, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Energy Metabolism, Heart, Heart Rate, Larva, Microscopy, Video, Oxygen, Oxygen Consumption, Stroke Volume

The cardiovascular system is the first system to become functional in a developing animal and must perform key physiological functions even as it develops and grows. The ontogeny of cardiac physiology was studied throughout embryonic and larval developmental stages in the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii using videomicroscopic dimensional analysis. The heart begins to contract by day 13 of development (at 25 degrees C, 20 kPa O(2)). Cardiac output is primarily regulated by changes in heart rate because stroke volume remains relatively constant throughout embryogenesis. Prior to eclosion, heart rate and cardiac output decreased significantly. Previous data suggest that the decrease in cardiac parameters prior to hatching may be due to an oxygen limitation to the embryo. Throughout development, metabolizing mass and embryonic oxygen consumption increased, while egg surface area remained constant. The surface area of the egg membrane is a constraint on gas exchange; this limitation, in combination with the increasing oxygen demand of the embryo, results in an inadequate diffusive supply of oxygen to developing tissues. To determine if the decrease in cardiac function was the result of an internal hypoxia experienced during late embryonic development, early and late-stage embryos were exposed to hyperoxic water (PO(2) = 40 kPa O(2)). Heart rate in late-stage embryos exposed to hyperoxic water increased significantly over control values, which suggests that the suppression in cardiac function observed in late-stage embryos is due to a limited oxygen supply.

Alternate JournalBiol. Bull.
PubMed ID15111362

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