Respiratory‐cardiovascular physiology and chloroethane gill flux in the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus

J. M. McKim, John W Nichols, G. J. Lien, S. L. Bertelsen

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19 Scopus citations


A fish respirometer‐metabolism chamber was used to obtain in vivo respiratory‐cardiovascular and chloroethane gill flux data on transected channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Methods used for spinal transection, attachment of an oral membrane (respiratory mast), placement and attachment of blood cannulas and urine catheters are described. Respiratory physiology, cardiac output and chemical extraction efficiencies for 1,1,2,2‐tetrachloroethane (TCE), pentachloroethane (PCE), and hexachloroethane (HCE) were determined on 419–990 g catfish. The overall mean values (± s.d.) for ventilation volume (Qv), effective respiratory volume (Qw), oxygen consumption (Vo2 and percentage utilization of oxygen (U) were 17‐3 ±4–71 h−1 kg−1, 9·8±l·71 h−1 kg−1, 71·6±12·5mg h−1 kg−1, and 49± 10%, respectively, while cardiac output calculated via the Fick Method was 2·4±0·61 h−1 kg−1. Additional measurements were made on ventilation rate (Vr), total plasma protein, haematocrit (Hct), and urine volume; while both arterial and venous blood were analysed for pH, oxygen partial pressure (P02), carbon dioxide partial pressure (Pco2), total oxygen (To2), total carbon dioxide (Tco2) and total ammonia (TAMM). Physiological measurements taken at 24 h were not significantly different from those taken at 48 h and indicated no deterioration of the in vivo preparation. All of these values agreed well with literature values on UTitransected channel catfish, except for Hct which was lower for cannulated animals used in this study. Overall, these data provide strong support for the use of transected channel catfish for in vivo collection of physiological and chemical gill flux data. The mean initial chemical extraction efficiencies for TCE, PCE and HCE were 41, 61 and 73%, respectively. Chemical clearances (ClX) for these same three chemicals were 5·9, 9·3 and 10·8 1 h−1 kg−1, respectively. The approximate 1: 1 relationship between effective respiratory volume (Qw) and chemical clearance (Clx) indicated that branchial uptake of PCE and HCE was water flow‐limited. Chemical gill flux observed for channel catfish and chloroethanes was similar to that observed for rainbow trout in previous studies and provided further support for the flow‐limited model of chemical flux across fish gills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-547
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of fish biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1994


  • 1,1,2,2‐tetrachloroethane
  • channel catfish
  • gill chemical extraction efficiency
  • hexachloroethane
  • pentachloroethane
  • respiratory‐cardiovascular physiology


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