Metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular responses to acute and chronic hypoxic exposure in tadpole shrimp Triops longicaudatus

J Exp Biol. 2006 May;209(Pt 9):1639-50. doi: 10.1242/jeb.02180.


Hypoxic exposure experienced during sensitive developmental periods can shape adult physiological capabilities and define regulatory limits. Tadpole shrimp were reared under normoxic (19-21 kPa O(2)), moderate (10-13 kPa O(2)) or severe (1-3 kPa O(2)) hypoxic conditions to investigate the influence of developmental oxygen partial pressure (P(O(2))) on adult metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular physiology. Developmental P(O(2)) had no effect on metabolic rate or metabolic response to hypoxic exposure in adults. All rearing groups decreased O(2) consumption as water P(O(2)) decreased. Heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output were independent of P(O(2)) down to 5 kPa O(2) in all rearing groups. Below this, cardiac output was maintained only in tadpole shrimp reared under severe hypoxic conditions. The enhanced ability to maintain cardiac output was attributed to an increase in hemoglobin concentration and O(2)-binding affinity in those animals. Oxygen-delivery potential was also significantly higher in the group reared under severe hypoxic conditions (1,336 microl O(2) min(-1)) when compared with the group reared under normoxic conditions (274 microl O(2) min(-1)). Differences among the rearing groups that were dependent on hemoglobin were not considered developmental effects because hemoglobin concentration could be increased within seven days of hypoxic exposure independent of developmental P(O(2)). Hypoxia-induced hemoglobin synthesis may be a compensatory mechanism that allows tadpole shrimp to regulate O(2) uptake and transport in euryoxic (O(2) variable) environments. The results of this study indicate that increased hemoglobin concentration, increased O(2)-binding affinity and transient decreases in metabolic demand may account for tadpole shrimp hypoxic tolerance.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Decapoda / metabolism
  • Decapoda / physiology*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Respiration
  • Time Factors


  • Hemoglobins
  • Oxygen