Anion exchange in the giant erythrocytes of African lungfish

FB Jensen, J Brahm, P Koldkjaer, Tobias Wang, DJ McKenzie, Edwin Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon dioxide transport in African lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus blood conformed to the typical vertebrate scheme, implying a crucial and rate-limiting role of erythrocyte Cl-/HCO3- exchange. The rate coefficient for unidirectional Cl- efflux via the anion exchanger (k, s(-1)) increased with temperature in African lungfish, but values were well below those reported in other species. The erythrocytes of African lungfish were, however, very large (mean cellular volume 6940 mum(3)), and the ratio of cell water volume to membrane surface area was high (V(w)A(m)(-1) = 1.89). Hence, the apparent Cl- permeability (P-Cl = kV(w)A(m)(-1), mum s(-1)) was close to that in other vertebrates. The plot of InPCl against the inverse absolute temperature was left-shifted in the tropical African lungfish compared to the temperate rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, which supports the idea that P-Cl is similar among animals when compared at their preferred temperatures. Also, Q(10) for anion exchange calculated from P-Cl values in African lungfish was 2.0, supporting the idea that the temperature sensitivity of erythrocyte anion exchange matches the temperature sensitivity of CO2 production and transport in ectothermic vertebrates. (C) 2003 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044-1052
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2003


  • erythrocytes lungfish
  • anion exchange
  • Protopterus
  • chloride transport
  • temperature effects


Dive into the research topics of 'Anion exchange in the giant erythrocytes of African lungfish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this