Advertisement

Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 59–65 | Cite as

Cardiorespiratory responses of snakes to experimental hemorrhage

  • Harvey B. Lillywhite
  • Ralph A. Ackerman
  • Luis Palacios
Article

Summary

Cardiovascular, respiratory and ventilatory responses were measured simultaneously in yellow rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata) subjected to acutely graded experimental hemorrhage. Unanesthetized snakes maintained arterial pressure and normal or greater levels of oxygen uptake during cumulative losses of whole blood averaging 90.3%. Oxygen delivery during hemorrhage was usually associated with high levels of arterial saturation, increased ventilation, increased arterialPO2, and stability of arterial pH and blood pressure. Arterial pressure eventually declined with increasing blood loss, but patterns were variable and some snakes maintained pressure at blood volume deficits exceeding 100% of the estimated prehemorrhage value. At severe blood losses (typically exceeding 50–80%) arterial pressure fell precipitously and at levels below 15–10 Torr was paralleled by arterial pH. Initially, blood levels of lactic acid were as low as a few mg% but increased dramatically (1–2 orders of magnitude) after severe blood loss when cardiorespiratory performance diminished. Snakes survived the experiments when allowed to drink water, in spite of significant levels of anemia. The observed relationships reflect well developed abilities of these reptiles to control hemodynamic and respiratory functions.

Keywords

Anemia Lactic Acid Arterial Pressure Oxygen Uptake Respiratory Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

HCT

hematocrit

HR

heart rate

IBV

initial blood volume

LA

lactate

References

  1. Burggren W (1977a) Circulation during intermittent lung ventilation in the garter snakeThamnophis. Can J Zool 55:1720–1725Google Scholar
  2. Burggren W (1977b) The pulmonary circulation of the chelonian reptile: morphology, haemodynamics and pharmacology. J Comp Physiol B 116:303–323Google Scholar
  3. Dessauer HD (1970) Blood chemistry of reptiles. In: Gans C, Parsons TS (eds) Biology of the Reptilia, vol 3. New York Academic Press, pp 1–54Google Scholar
  4. Grantz RK, Ar A, Geiser J (1981) Gas tension profile of the lung of the viperVipera xanthina palestinae. Resp Physiol 44:165–176Google Scholar
  5. Howell, BJ, Rahn H (1976) Regulation of acid-base balance in reptiles. In: Gans C, Dawson WR (eds) Biology of the Reptilia, vol 5. New York, Academic Press, pp 335–363Google Scholar
  6. Lillywhite HB, Pough FH (1983) Control of arterial pressure in aquatic sea snakes. Am J Physiol 244:R66–73Google Scholar
  7. Lillywhite HB, Seymour RS (1978) Regulation of arterial pressure in Australian tiger snakes. J Exp Biol 75:65–79Google Scholar
  8. Lillywhite HB, Smith LH (1981) Haemodynamic responses to haemorrhage in the snakeElaphe obsoleta obsoleta. J Exp Biol 94:275–283Google Scholar
  9. Luchtel DL, Kardong KV (1981) Ultrastructure of the lung of the rattlesnake,Crotalus viridis oreganus. J Morphol 169:29–47Google Scholar
  10. Rahn H, Garey WF (1973) Arterial CO2, O2, pH and HCO3 values of ectotherms living in the Amazon. Am J Physiol 225:735–738Google Scholar
  11. Reeves RB (1977) Temperature-induced changes in blood acid-base balance in ectothermic vertebrates. Ann Rev Biol 39:559–586Google Scholar
  12. Severinghaus JW (1965) Blood gas concentrations. In: Fenn WO, Rahn H (eds) Handbook of physiology, sect 3, Respiration, vol II. Washington, DC, American Physiological Society, pp 1475–1487Google Scholar
  13. Seymour RS (1978) Gas tensions and blood distribution in sea snakes at surface pressure and at simulated depth. Physiol Zool 51:388–407Google Scholar
  14. Seymour RS, Lillywhite HB (1976) Blood pressure in snakes from different habitats. Nature 264:664–666Google Scholar
  15. Wood CM, McMahon BR, McDonald DG (1979) Respiratory, ventilatory, and cardiovascular responses to experimental anaemia in the starry flounder,Platichthys stellatus. J Exp Biol 82:139–162Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harvey B. Lillywhite
    • 1
  • Ralph A. Ackerman
    • 1
  • Luis Palacios
    • 1
  1. 1.Physiological Research Laboratory, Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

Personalised recommendations