Cardiac rhythms of late pre-pipped and pipped chick embryos exposed to altered oxygen environments

A. H. Khandoker, E. M. Dzialowski, W. W. Burggren, H. Tazawa

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21 Scopus citations


During the final stages of embryonic development in chickens, diffusive gas exchange through the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is progressively replaced by pulmonary respiration that begins with internal pipping (IP) of the CAM. Late chick embryos going through the transition from CAM respiration to pulmonary respiration were exposed to hyperoxic (100% O2) and hypoxic (10% O2/N2) environments for 2-h and the responses of baseline heart rate (HR), and HR fluctuation patterns were investigated. 16- and 18-day-old (referred to as 18-d) embryos and 20-d externally pipped (EP) embryos were examined as pre-pipped embryos and pipped embryos, respectively. 19-d embryos were divided into two groups: embryos that had not yet internally pipped (Pre-IP embryos) and embryos that had internally pipped (IP embryos). IP was identified by detecting the breathing signal with a condenser microphone attached hermetically on the eggshell (i.e. acoustorespirogram) on day 19 of incubation. In the hyperoxic environment, HR baseline of pre-pipped embryos remained unchanged and that of pipped embryos was depressed. In the hypoxic environment, HR baseline of 16-d pre-pipped embryos was depressed and that of pipped (IP and EP) embryos elevated. These different responses in pipped embryos might be partially attributed to increased cholinergic input from the vagus nerve in hyperoxia and increased adrenergic response in hypoxia. While hyperoxia did not induce marked modification of instantaneous heart rate (IHR) fluctuation patterns, hypoxia tended to augment transient decelerations of IHR in late pre-pipped embryos and markedly depressed HR fluctuations in pipped embryos.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2003


  • Gas exchange
  • Heart rate baseline
  • Heart rate fluctuation
  • Hyperoxia
  • Hypoxia
  • Instantaneous heart rate
  • Pipped embryos
  • Pre-pipped embryos
  • Response of heart rate


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