Terrestrial locomotion does not constrain venous return in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

Munns, Suzanne L, Hartzler, Lynn K, Bennett, Albert F, and Hicks, James W (2005) Terrestrial locomotion does not constrain venous return in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. Journal of Experimental Biology, 208 (17). pp. 3331-3339.

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The effects of treadmill exercise on components of the cardiovascular (heart rate, mean arterial blood pressure, central venous pressure, venous return) and respiratory (minute ventilation, tidal volume, breathing frequency, rate of oxygen consumption, rate of carbon dioxide production) and intra-abdominal pressure were measured in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, at 30ºC. Alligators show speed dependent increases in tidal volume and minute ventilation, demonstrating that the inhibition of ventilation during locomotion present in some varanid and iguanid lizards was not present in alligators. Exercise significantly increases intra-abdominal pressure; however, concomitant elevations in central venous pressure acted to increase the transmural pressure of the post caval vein and thus increased venous return. Therefore, despite elevated intra-abdominal pressure, venous return was not limited during exercise in alligators as was the case in Varanus exanthematicus and Iguana iguana. Respiratory cycle variations in intra-abdominal pressure, central venous pressure and venous return indicate that, at high tidal volumes, inspiration causes a net reduction in venous return during active ventilation and thus may act to limit venous return during exercise. These results suggest that while tonically elevated intra-abdominal pressure induced by exercise does not inhibit venous return, phasic fluctuations during each breath cycle may contribute to venous flow limitation during exercise.

Item ID: 610
Item Type: Article (UNSPECIFIED)
ISSN: 1477-9145
Keywords: Exercise, Hemodynamics, Intra-abdominal pressure, Locomotion, Oxygen consumption, Reptiles, Venous return, Ventilation, Central venous pressure, Heart rate
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© The Company of Biologists Ltd 2005

Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2006
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060604 Comparative Physiology @ 0%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060603 Animal Physiology Systems @ 0%
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