Contribution of active atrial contraction to cardiac output in anesthetized American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)

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  • William Joyce
  • Janna Crossley, Univ North Texas, University of North Texas System, University of North Texas Denton, Dept Biol Sci, Dev Integrat Biol Cluster, Ruth M. Elsey, Louisiana Dept Wildlife & Fisheries, Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge,
  • Tobias Wang
  • Dane A. Crossley, Univ North Texas, University of North Texas System, University of North Texas Denton, Dept Biol Sci, Dev Integrat Biol Cluster

Ventricular filling may occur directly from the venous circulation during early diastole or via atrial contraction in late diastole. The contribution of atrial contraction to ventricular filling is typically small in mammals (10-40%), but has been suggested to predominate in reptiles. We investigated the importance of atrial contraction in filling of the ventricle in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) by bypassing both atria (with the use of ligatures to prevent atrial filling) and measuring the resultant effects on cardiac output in anesthetized animals. Atrial ligation had no significant effects on total systemic blood flow before or after adrenaline injection. Unexpectedly, pulmonary flow was increased following atrial ligation prior to adrenaline treatment, but was unaffected after it. These findings suggest that the atria are non-essential (i.e. redundant) for ventricular filling in alligators, at least under anesthesia, but may serve as important volume reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number178194
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume221
Issue number8
Number of pages5
ISSN0022-0949
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

    Research areas

  • Cardiac filling, Crocodilian, Reptile, Adrenaline, ADRENERGIC-STIMULATION, CARDIOVASCULAR-SYSTEM, CROTALUS-DURISSUS, MAMMALIAN HEART, VENOUS RETURN, BLOOD-FLOW, VOLUME, PRESSURE, AUTOREGULATION, PERICARDIUM

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