A novel acidification mechanism for greatly enhanced oxygen supply to the fish retina

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  • Christian Damsgaard
  • Henrik Lauridsen
  • Till S Harter, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, United States
  • Garfield T. Kwan, Univ Calif San Diego, University of California San Diego, University of California System, Ctr Marine Biotechnol & Biomed, Scripps Inst Oceanog, Div Marine Biol Res
  • ,
  • Jesper Skovhus Thomsen
  • Anette Marianne Daa Funder
  • ,
  • Claudiu T Supuran, Università Degli Studi di Firenze, Italy
  • Martin Tresguerres, University of California, San Diego, United States
  • Phillip GD Matthews, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Colin J Brauner, University of British Columbia, Univ British Columbia, University of British Columbia, Dept Zool, Canada
Previously, we showed that the evolution of high acuity vision in fishes was directly associated with their unique pH-sensitive hemoglobins that allow O2 to be delivered to the retina at PO2s more than ten-fold that of arterial blood (Damsgaard et al., 2019). Here, we show strong evidence that vacuolar-type H+-ATPase and plasma-accessible carbonic anhydrase in the vascular structure supplying the retina act together to acidify the red blood cell leading to O2 secretion. In vivo data indicate that this pathway primarily affects the oxygenation of the inner retina involved in signal processing and transduction, and that the evolution of this pathway was tightly associated with the morphological expansion of the inner retina. We conclude that this mechanism for retinal oxygenation played a vital role in the adaptive evolution of vision in teleost fishes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere58995
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

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