Is the short-term modulation of heart rate in teleost fish physiologically significant? Assessment by spectral analysis techniques.

J. Altimiras, A. Aissaoui, L. Tort

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    Heart rate is an important physiological variable in the control of cardiac output, even in fishes, where the importance of stroke volume has been overemphasized. Except for the myxinoids, the fish heart is innervated by cranial nerve X and the nature of this innervation is mainly inhibitory by parasympathetic fibers, although a sympathetic contribution has also been demonstrated. In mammals, cardiac innervation is not only responsible for the control of mean heart rate but it also modulates the beat-to-beat heart rate changes. These beat-to-beat changes are known as heart rate variability (HRV) and appear to be related to fluctuations in respiration and blood pressure. In this paper we demonstrate the link between cardiac innervation and HRV in several species of teleosts because HRV is greatly decreased after vagotomy or atropinization. In contrast, after abolishing the sympathetic influence with propranolol, only slight changes in total HRV are observed, indicating the restricted importance of the adrenergic innervation in determining phasic changes in HRV despite the significant tonic effect which has been demonstrated. Thus, it appears unlikely that the sympathetic influence will be present in any measured spectral component as suggested previously. Furthermore, clear spectral patterns do not always exist and this may be due to the erratic influence of respiration which is clearly faster than heart rate in all fish species studied. This differs from the slow ventilation frequency displayed by many mammalian species that exerts an influence on a beat-to-beat basis (respiratory sinus arrhythmia). Spectral patterns could also be affected by changing levels of circulating catecholamines, although this is still unproved.
    Idioma originalEnglish
    Pàgines (de-a)1197-1206
    RevistaBrazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas médicas e biológicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofísica ... [et al.]
    Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 1 de gen. 1995


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