Effects of swimming and environmental hypoxia on coronary blood flow in rainbow trout

Am J Physiol. 1995 Nov;269(5 Pt 2):R1258-66. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1995.269.5.R1258.


Previous studies have suggested that trout cardiac performance is highly dependent on coronary blood flow during periods of increased activity or hypoxia. To examine the relationship between coronary perfusion and cardiac performance in swimming trout, cardiac output (Q), coronary blood flow (qcor), and dorsal aortic blood pressure were measured in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) during normoxia and hypoxia (PO2 approximately 9 kPa). In normoxic trout, stepwise changes in cardiovascular variables were observed as the swimming speed was incrementally increased from 0.15 body lengths (bl)/s to 1.0 bl/s. At 1.0 bl/s, qcor and cardiac power output had both increased by approximately 110%, and coronary artery resistance (Rcor) had decreased by 40%. During hypoxia, resting qcor was 35% higher, and Rcor was 20% lower, compared with normoxic values. In hypoxic swimming trout, the maximum changes in qcor (155% increase) and Rcor (50% decrease) were recorded at 0.75 bl/s. In contrast, cardiac power output and Q increased by an additional 40 and 20%, respectively, as swimming speed was increased from 0.75 to 1.0 bl/s. The results indicate that 1) increases in qcor parallel changes in cardiac power output; 2) during hypoxia there are compensatory increases in cardiac performance and coronary perfusion; and 3) the scope for increasing qcor in swimming trout is approximately 150%. In addition, results from preliminary experiments suggest that beta-adrenergic, but not cholinergic, mechanisms are involved in the regulation of coronary blood flow during exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / physiology
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiac Output / drug effects
  • Coronary Circulation* / drug effects
  • Environment
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology*
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / physiology*
  • Propranolol / pharmacology
  • Swimming


  • Atropine
  • Propranolol