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Cardiorespiratory adaptations in small cetaceans and marine mammals
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Global Diving Res SL, Spain; Fdn Oceanog Comunidad Valenciana, Spain; Kolmarden Wildlife Pk, Sweden.
2023 (English)In: Experimental Physiology, ISSN 0958-0670, E-ISSN 1469-445XArticle, review/survey (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The dive response, or the master switch of life, is probably the most studied physiological trait in marine mammals and is thought to conserve the available O-2 for the heart and brain. Although generally thought to be an autonomic reflex, several studies indicate that the cardiovascular changes during diving are anticipatory and can be conditioned. The respiratory adaptations, where the aquatic breathing pattern resembles intermittent breathing in land mammals, with expiratory flow exceeding 160 litres s(-1) has been measured in cetaceans, and where exposure to extreme pressures results in alveolar collapse (atelectasis) and recruitment upon ascent. Cardiorespiratory coupling, where breathing results in changes in heart rate, has been proposed to improve gas exchange. Cardiorespiratory coupling has also been reported in marine mammals, and in the bottlenose dolphin, where it alters both heart rate and stroke volume. When accounting for this respiratory dependence on cardiac function, several studies have reported an absence of a diving-related bradycardia except during dives that exceed the duration that is fuelled by aerobic metabolism. This review summarizes what is known about the respiratory physiology in marine mammals, with a special focus on cetaceans. The cardiorespiratory coupling is reviewed, and the selective gas exchange hypothesis is summarized, which provides a testable mechanism for how breath-hold diving vertebrates may actively prevent uptake of N-2 during routine dives, and how stress results in failure of this mechanism, which results in diving-related gas emboli.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
WILEY , 2023.
Keywords [en]
cetacean; diving physiology; heart rate; marine mammal; perfusion
National Category
Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-199430DOI: 10.1113/EP091095ISI: 001102545400001PubMedID: 37968859OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-199430DiVA, id: diva2:1816825
Note

Funding Agencies|Office of Naval Research Award [N000142312002N000142112652]

Available from: 2023-12-04 Created: 2023-12-04 Last updated: 2023-12-04

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