Influence of Oxygen Supply on Metabolism and Energetics in FishMuscles
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The five discrete, but related studies presented in this thesis investigate several aspects of the physiology and biochemistry of whole animals, perfused and isolated tissues from fishes and other vertebrates. Important fundamental questions about tissue metabolism and energy supply and utilisation in relation to oxygen supply, in addition to applied questions relating to commercial harvesting and post-mortem muscle physiology were addressed. Oxyconformance of oxygen consumption (VO2) at low oxygen delivery rates was shown using an isolated, perfused salmon tail preparation, composed primarily of skeletal muscle. Addition of pig red blood cells to the perfusing solution at a haematocrit of 5 or 10%, increasing the capacitance, resulted in oxyregulation of VO2 by the tail tissues. Below c.60 ml O2.kg-1.h-1 of oxygen delivery, VO2 was delivery dependent. Above this value additional oxygen delivery did not increase VO2 of resting muscle above c.35 ml O2 kg-1.h-1. The preparation was validated by measuring mitochondrial activity using MTT and blood flow distribution to the red and white muscle using fluorescent microspheres. Evidence of both O2-independence of VO2 in the vasculature and strict O2-dependence of VO2 in striated muscles of fishes and a mammal is presented using isolated vascular tissue and an in vitro tissue slice model. VO2 by vessels from rat, salmon and hagfish showed varying degrees of independence between PO2s of 15-95 mmHg in vitro (1 mmHg = 0.133 kPa). Above and below these values, VO2 was highly PO2-dependent. VO2 by cardiac and skeletal muscles from rat, salmon, snapper and hagfish were shown to relate linearly to PO2 between zero and 125 mmHg. VO2 in these tissues was highly dependent on tissue type (cardiac, red and white muscle) which correlated with haem protein concentration. The increase in VO2 in muscle slice mitochondria uncoupled with FCCP and DNP ruled out diffusion-limitation as a constraint on VO2. Mitochondrial activity was constant over time and reoxygenation of the Ringer bathing the tissues after the initial run down in PO2 resulted in VO2 rates that were unchanged from the starting values, demonstrating that the tissues remained viable over time. ATP turnover in red muscle was significantly increased at 100 mmHg relative to 30 mmHg, and increased in both treatments from values at the start. Our data suggest that ATP supply and ATP demand were reduced in conjunction with falling PO2. The effects of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) (derived from Na2S) and isoeugenol exposure on activity, VO2 and ventilation frequency (Vf) in a teleost fish are reported. In the H2S treatment group (200 μM Na2S) both resting VO2 and Vf decreased after 30 minutes of exposure, concurrent with narcosis and a loss of equilibrium. These events corresponded with a significant fall in VO2 (33%) and Vf (20%) by 15 minutes, both declining further to a nadir of 40% of resting values at 30 minutes. After flushing, VO2 increased to resting levels, with Vf remaining significantly depressed until 30 minutes of recovery. Recovery was accompanied by regained mobility and equilibrium and significantly increased VO2 and Vf. Isoeugenol anaesthetised fish (0.011 g.L-1) reached stage 4-5 of anaesthesia accompanied by significant decreases in VO2 (45%) and Vf (25%) at 25 minutes, both parameters declining further to around 64% and 38% respectively by 35 minutes. Similar to H2S exposed fish, VO2 increased to resting values after flushing, followed by a significant rise in VO2. Likewise, Vf had risen to resting values post-flushing, subsequently increasing significantly during recovery. Overall, VO2 in relation to resting rate was reduced in the isoeugenol treated animals, while in H2S treated fish, exposure there was increased oxygen usage, possibly associated with a toxic effect. H2S significantly reduced cytochrome c oxidase activity in muscle and gill tissue in vitro between 69-79% at 20 μM and 77-97% at 200 μM Na2S, while isoeugenol had no effect on activity in any tissue. Calorimetric and biochemical profiles of anoxic, post-mortem white muscle from Chinook salmon subjected to rested and exhausted harvesting regimens at their acclimation temperature (10°C) are reported. Prior to harvest rested animals were anaesthetised with 0.012 g.L-1 isoeugenol without disturbance. The muscle of these animals had a high metabolic rate at the time of death, at around 400 μW.g-1, which declined rapidly over the first 12 hours to15 μW.g-1. Exhausted animals were forced to swim and were crowded before capture, resulting in an initial heat output of <10 μW.g-1. Heat output was significantly greater in the rested group at the time of death and for 7 hours post-mortem. In both groups there was an exothermic event, occurring between 4 and 6 hours post-mortem amounting to a rise of around 35 μW.g-1. A one-phase exponential decay model appropriately described the net heat output of the rested profile minus the exhausted data. Rested animals had significantly higher initial cut surface pH (7.5 vs 6.7), tissue glycogen (16 vs 2 μmol.g-1), creatine phosphate (18 vs 0.1 μmol.g-1), ATP (6 vs 3.5 μmol.g-1) and potential energy (30 vs 7 μmol.g-1) than the exhausted group, which had significantly elevated tissue concentrations of lactate (43 vs 18 μmol.g-1) and glucose (5 vs 2 μmol.g-1). Potential energy in the form of ATP, glycogen and creatine phosphate remained elevated for an extended period post-mortem in rested animals while catabolites further down the chain such as inosine, hypoxanthine and uric acid accumulated at similar rates in both groups. We examined the relationship between exogenous and endogenous H2S and oxygen partial pressure in isolated hagfish and lamprey vessels that exhibit profound hypoxic vasoconstriction (HVC). In myography studies, H2S (Na2S) dose-dependently constricted dorsal aortas (DA) and efferent branchial arteries but did not affect ventral aortas or afferent branchial arteries, which was similar to the effects produced by hypoxia. Sensitivity of H2S-mediated contraction in hagfish and lamprey DA was enhanced by hypoxia. HVC in hagfish DA was enhanced by the H2S precursor cysteine and inhibited by amino-oxyacetate (AOA), an inhibitor of the H2S-synthesising enzyme, cystathionine β-synthase, and unaffected by propargyl glycine, an inhibitor of cystathionine λ-lyase. Oxygen consumption (MO2) of hagfish DA was constant between a PO2 of 15 and 115•mmHg, decreased when PO2 <15•mmHg, and increased if PO2 exceeded 115•mmHg. 10 μmol.l-1 H2S increased and concentrations above 100 μmol.l-1 H2S decreased MO2. Consistent with the effects on HVC, cysteine increased and AOA and hydroxylamine, an inhibitor of pyridoxyl 5’-phosphate-dependent enzymes, decreased MO2. These data show that H2S is a monophasic vasoconstrictor of specific cyclostome vessels and because hagfish lack vascular NO, and vascular sensitivity to H2S was enhanced at low PO2, it is unlikely that H2S contractions are mediated by either an H2S-NO interaction or an oxidation product of H2S. These experiments provide additional support for the hypothesis that the metabolism of H2S is involved in oxygen sensing/signal transduction in vertebrate vascular smooth muscle. Together the findings of this thesis contribute to the understanding of oxygen utilisation and energetics in relation to oxygen supply in a number of tissues. These data further our understanding of respiratory physiology and may have practical applications in the seafood industry.