Lung ventilation in salamanders and the evolution of vertebrate air‐breathing mechanisms
ABSTRACT Functional analysis of lung ventilation in salamanders combined with historical analysis of respiratory pumps provides new perspectives on the evolution of breathing mechanisms in vertebrates. Lung ventilation in the aquatic salamander Necturus maculosus was examined by means of cineradiography, measurement of buccal and pleuroperitoneal cavity pressures, and electromyography of hypaxial musculature. In deoxygenated water Necturus periodically rises to the surface, opens its mouth, expands its buccal cavity to draw in fresh air, exhales air from the lungs, closes its mouth, and then compresses its buccal cavity and pumps air into the lungs. Thus Necturus produces only two buccal movements per breath: one expansion and one compression. Necturus shares the use of this two-stroke buccal pump with lungfishes, frogs and other salamanders. The ubiquitous use of this system by basal sarcopterygians is evidence that a two-stroke buccal pump is the primitive lung ventilation mechanism for sarcopterygian vertebrates. In contrast, basal actinopterygian fishes use a four-stroke buccal pump. In these fishes the buccal cavity expands to fill with expired air, compresses to expel the pulmonary air, expands to fill with fresh air, and then compresses for a second time to pump air into the lungs. Whether the sarcopterygian two-stroke buccal pump and the actinopterygian four-stroke buccal pump arose independently, whether both are derived from a single, primitive osteichthyian breathing mechanism, or whether one might be the primitive pattern and the other derived, cannot be determined.Although Necturus and lungfishes both use a two-stroke buccal pump, they differ in their expiration mechanics. Unlike a lungfish (Protopterus), Necturus exhales by contracting a portion of its hypaxial trunk musculature (the m. Iransversus abdominis) to increase pleuroperitoneal pressure. The occurrence of this same expiratory mechanism in amniotes is evidence that the use of hypaxial musculature for expiration, but not for inspiration, is a primitive tetrapod feature. From this observation we hypothesize that aspiration breathing may have evolved in two stages: initially, from pure buccal pumping to the use of trunk musculature for exhalation but not for inspiration (as in Necturus); and secondarily, to the use of trunk musculature for both exhalation and inhalation by costal aspiration (as in amniotes).
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Article: Mechanics of Respiratory PumpsFish Physiology. 01/2005; 23:1-28.
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ABSTRACT: Studying vascular anatomy, especially in the context of relationships with hard tissues, is of great interest to biologists. Vascular studies have provided significant insight into physiology, function, phylogenetic relationships, and evolutionary patterns. Injection of resin or latex into the vascular system has been a standard technique for decades. There has been a recent surge in popularity of more modern methods, especially radiopaque latex vascular injection followed by CT scanning and digital "dissection." This technique best displays both blood vessels and bone, and allows injections to be performed on cadaveric specimens. Vascular injection is risky, however, because it is not a standardizable technique, as each specimen is variable with regard to injection pressure and timing. Moreover, it is not possible to view the perfusion of injection medium throughout the vascular system of interest. Both data and rare specimens can therefore be lost due to poor or excessive perfusion. Here, we use biplanar video fluoroscopy as a technique to guide craniovascular radiopaque latex injection. Cadaveric domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) were injected with radiopaque latex under guidance of fluoroscopy. This method was found to enable adjustments, in real-time, to the rate, location, and pressure at which latex is injected in order to avoid data and specimen loss. In addition to visualizing the injection process, this technique can be used to determine flow patterns, and has facilitated the development of consistent markers for complete perfusion.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e97940. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Life originated in anoxia, but many organisms came to depend upon oxygen for survival, independently evolving diverse respiratory systems for acquiring oxygen from the environment. Ambient oxygen tension (PO2 ) fluctuated through the ages in correlation with biodiversity and body size, enabling organisms to migrate from water to land and air and sometimes in the opposite direction. Habitat expansion compels the use of different gas exchangers, for example, skin, gills, tracheae, lungs, and their intermediate stages, that may coexist within the same species; coexistence may be temporally disjunct (e.g., larval gills vs. adult lungs) or simultaneous (e.g., skin, gills, and lungs in some salamanders). Disparate systems exhibit similar directions of adaptation: toward larger diffusion interfaces, thinner barriers, finer dynamic regulation, and reduced cost of breathing. Efficient respiratory gas exchange, coupled to downstream convective and diffusive resistances, comprise the “oxygen cascade”—step-down of PO2 that balances supply against toxicity. Here, we review the origin of oxygen homeostasis, a primal selection factor for all respiratory systems, which in turn function as gatekeepers of the cascade. Within an organism’s lifespan, the respiratory apparatus adapts in various ways to upregulate oxygen uptake in hypoxia and restrict uptake in hyperoxia. In an evolutionary context, certain species also become adapted to environmental conditions or habitual organismic demands. We, therefore, survey the comparative anatomy and physiology of respiratory systems from invertebrates to vertebrates, water to air breathers, and terrestrial to aerial inhabitants. Through the evolutionary directions and variety of gas exchangers, their shared features and individual compromises may be appreciated.Comprehensive Physiology. 04/2013; 3(2):849-915.