Fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran (FITC-dextran) exchange between the primary (PCS) and secondary (SCS) circulatory systems in the Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua (Linnaeus, 1752), were studied using 20-kDa (n = 4) and 500-kDa (n = 4) FITC-dextran. In order to give a qualitative perspective of the general connection between the PCS and SCS, distribution of plasma-borne tracers (FITC-dextran) in the PCS and SCS were examined. In this study, a total of eight cod were cannulated in the ventral aorta (PCS) and dorsal cutaneous vessel (SCS), for investigation of FITC-dextran disappearance in the PCS and its subsequent appearance in the SCS. FITC-dextran of both sizes was found to be in equilibrium between the PCS and SCS in less than 20 min. This indicates a profound connection between the PCS and SCS in the Atlantic cod, and rapid mixing of tracers between the PCS and SCS. The destination of the injected 500-kDa FITC-dextran was also examined, and it was observed that of the 500-kDa FITC-dextran lost from the primary and secondary vascular systems, 63.0 +/- 9.2% could be recovered from the liver.