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What determines the size of teleost erythrocytes? Correlations with oxygen transport and nuclear volume

What determines the size of teleost erythrocytes? Correlations with oxygen transport and nuclear volume

Fish Physiology & Biochemistry 20(1): 31-35

An inverse relationship exists between erythrocyte size and the aerobic swimming ability of teleosts. A functional basis for this relationship is found in larger surface area to volume ratios and shorter diffusion distances allowing more rapid oxygen transfer as erythrocyte volume decreases. However, this apparently simple functional relationship is confounded by a more general direct relationship between cell size and nuclear volume. Nuclear DNA content, which is directly proportional to nuclear volume, is known to vary at least 11 fold among teleost species. Therefore a question arises as to the relative contributions of nuclear volume and the demands of the blood oxygen delivery system in determining erythrocyte volume. These relationships were investigated by regressing erythrocyte volume against nuclear volume and whole blood haemoglobin concentration (as an index of aerobic scope) for 52 species of teleost fish from 25 families. This analysis shows that erythrocyte volume is more highly correlated with oxygen delivery than with nuclear volume. However, much of the variation in erythrocyte volume is unexplained.

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Accession: 011650735

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DOI: 10.1023/a:1007785202280

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