Ontogenesis of oxygen chemoreception in aquatic vertebrates Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • In aquatic vertebrates, peripheral O(2) chemoreceptors initiate compensatory physiological and behavioural responses to hypoxia, beginning at very early stages of development, to maintain sufficient gas exchange across the skin or gills. This review highlights the morphological and physiological studies, particularly those of zebrafish, that have contributed to the current understanding of the development of O(2) chemoreception and the response to hypoxic challenges in embryonic and larval stages of fish and amphibians. The gills appear to be the primary site of O(2) chemoreception in developing aquatic vertebrates and initiate ventilatory changes, and adult-like O(2)-sensitive neuroepithelial cells (NECs) are found in the gills in larval stages of zebrafish and Xenopus laevis. However, evidence from zebrafish studies indicates that extrabranchial O(2) chemoreceptors appear before gill NECs and regulate responses to hypoxia that develop earlier. The developmental and evolutionary significance of the internal migration of O(2)-chemoreceptive sites with changes in respiratory organs is also discussed.

publication date

  • November 2006