Comparison of in vivo energy metabolism in the brain of rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri and bullhead catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus during anoxia

Comp Biochem Physiol B. 1987;88(1):297-303. doi: 10.1016/0305-0491(87)90118-0.


1. Rainbow trout and bullhead catfish (Ictalurus nebulosus) were exposed to anoxic water inside a plastic tube until death (12 min for trout; 62 min for catfish). Immediately upon death, the brain was removed and analyzed for metabolites, high energy phosphate compounds, and metabolic fuel while the blood was analyzed for metabolites. 2. Control bullhead brains had higher concentrations of glycogen, ATP, creatine phosphate (CrP), and glucose than control trout. 3. After anoxia bullheads showed a significant decrease in ATP, CrP, and glycogen while lactate more than doubled in concentration. 4. After anoxia trout showed a doubling in brain lactate and a decline in glycogen, but no decline in ATP or CrP. There were no changes in brain glucose, ketone bodies, or alternative anaerobic end-products in either species although an elevation in blood isobutyrate was noted. 5. Brain death in the catfish may be due to depletion of fuel for anaerobiosis and a subsequent loss of ATP. In the trout there may be other causes such as a greater permeability of its neuronal membranes and alterations in intracellular free calcium stores.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Catfishes / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Glycolysis
  • Hypoxia / metabolism*
  • Ictaluridae / metabolism*
  • Ketone Bodies / metabolism
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Salmonidae / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity
  • Trout / metabolism*


  • Ketone Bodies
  • Phosphocreatine
  • Adenosine Triphosphate