Mass transport: Circulatory system with emphasis on nonendothermic species

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Comprehensive Physiology





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Mass transport can be generally defined as movement of material matter. The circulatory system then is a biological example given its role in the movement in transporting gases, nutrients, wastes, and chemical signals. Comparative physiology has a long history of providing new insights and advancing our understanding of circulatory mass transport across a wide array of circulatory systems. Here we focus on circulatory function of nonmodel species. Invertebrates possess diverse convection systems; that at the most complex generate pressures and perform at a level comparable to vertebrates. Many invertebrates actively modulate cardiovascular function using neuronal, neurohormonal, and skeletal muscle activity. In vertebrates, our understanding of cardiac morphology, cardiomyocyte function, and contractile protein regulation by Ca2+ highlights a high degree of conservation, but differences between species exist and are coupled to variable environments and body temperatures. Key regulators of vertebrate cardiac function and systemic blood pressure include the autonomic nervous system, hormones, and ventricular filling. Further chemical factors regulating cardiovascular function include adenosine, natriuretic peptides, arginine vasotocin, endothelin 1, bradykinin, histamine, nitric oxide, and hydrogen sulfide, to name but a few. Diverse vascular morphologies and the regulation of blood flow in the coronary and cerebral circulations are also apparent in nonmammalian species. Dynamic adjustments of cardiovascular function are associated with exercise on land, flying at high altitude, prolonged dives by marine mammals, and unique morphology, such as the giraffe. Future studies should address limits of gas exchange and convective transport, the evolution of high arterial pressure across diverse taxa, and the importance of the cardiovascular system adaptations to extreme environments. © 2017 American Physiological Society.



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