The role of the liver in the cutaneous respiratory compensation of the frog (Rana esculenta)

Authors

  • G. Frangioni,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Animal Biology and Genetics, University of Florence, 50125 Florence, Italy
      *Prof. G. Frangioni, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica, Via Romana 17, 50125 Firenze, Italy
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  • G. Borgioli

    1. Department of Animal Biology and Genetics, University of Florence, 50125 Florence, Italy
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*Prof. G. Frangioni, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Genetica, Via Romana 17, 50125 Firenze, Italy

Abstract

Experiments on anaesthetized specimens of Rana esculenta (L.) demonstrate that at low temperatures (6°C) the liver of the frog-like the spleen of the newt-regulates cutaneous respiration, storing red blood cells when the animal is well oxygenated and releasing these into circulation under conditions of hypoxia. During the shift from the congested to decongested state, the liver is reduced to about two-thirds of its weight, while the erythrocyte concentration and correlated parameters in the bloodstream can increase by more than 50%. At higher temperatures (18°C) this compensatory mechanism becomes inefficient and the liver oversees the survival of the hypoxic organism for a fairly long period of time (about 5 hours) by releasing glucose for anaerobic glycolysis.

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