Fluoride Action Network


Since fish hearts are resistant to the effects of hypoxia, comparison of the effects of hypoxia and ischaemia on fish and mammalian hearts may lead to better understanding of ischaemic injury in mammalian hearts. The ultrastructure and levels of ATP, creatine phosphate, and lactic acid were examined in hearts obtained from largemouth bass. Bass hearts were subjected to conditions of normoxia, ischaemia, hypoxia, and hypoxia in the presence of fluoride and cyanide. ATP levels remained stable during hypoxia and ischaemia, but fell during hypoxia in the presence of fluoride or fluoride plus cyanide. Changes in creatine phosphate and lactic acid indicated ATP was produced during hypoxia and ischaemia by glycolysis, by rephosphorylation from creatine phosphate, and by oxidative phosphorylation with oxygen obtained from myoglobin or the atmosphere. Ultrastructural changes were found similar to those reported in ischaemic mammalian heart, consisting of inter- and intracellular swelling, glycogen depletion, and mitochondrial alterations. Comparison of metabolic rates between fish and mammalian hearts suggests the lower rate in fish hearts may be the chief factor which permits stable ATP levels during hypoxia and ischaemia, and thus provides resistance to these conditions.