In fishes, exploitation of aerial gas exchange has evolved independently many times, involving a variety of air-breathing organs. Indeed, air-breathing occurs in at least 49 known families of fish (Graham, 1997). The present review examines the evolutionary implications of air-breathing organs in fishes and the morphology of the peripheral receptors and the neurotransmitter content of the cells involved in the control of air-breathing. The breathing control is influenced by feedback from peripheral and/or central nervous system receptors that respond to changes in PO2, PCO2 and/or pH. Although the specific chemoreceptors mediating the respiratory reflexes have not been conclusively identified, studies in water breathing teleosts have implicated the neuro-epithelial cells (NECs) existing in gill tissues as the O2 sensitive chemoreceptors that initiate the cardiorespiratory reflexes in aquatic vertebrates. NECs have been also reported in the specialized respiratory epithelia of accessory respiratory organs (ARO’s) of some catfish species and in the gill and skin of the Channa punctatus. Unlike teleosts matching an O2-oriented ventilation to ambient O2 levels, lungfishes have central and peripheral H+/CO2 receptors that control the acid-base status of the blood.
Cite this article:
Deepak Kumar. Air-breathing organs and Nervous control of respiration in Freshwater fishes. Research J. Science and Tech. 2020; 12(2): 143-146. doi: 10.5958/2349-2988.2020.00018.2