[MARMAM] New pubblication: Dynamics of blood circulation during diving in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): the role of the retia mirabilia

cinzia centelleghe cinzia.centelleghe at gmail.com
Tue Mar 19 07:58:27 PDT 2019

Dear colleagues, My co-authors and I are pleased to announce the following

Dynamics of blood circulation during diving in the bottlenose dolphin
truncatus*): the role of the retia mirabilia.
Marco Bonato, Paola Bagnoli, Cinzia Centelleghe, Mike Maric, Ginevra Brocca,
Sandro Mazzariol, Bruno Cozzi.

Abstract: The retia mirabilia are vascular nets composed of small vessels
dispersed among numerous veins, allowing blood storage, regulation of flow
and pressure damping effects. Here, we investigated their potential role
during the diving phase of the bottlenose dolphin (*Tursiops truncatus*).
To this effect, the whole vertebral retia mirabilia of a series of dolphins
were removed during post-mortem analysis and examined to assess vessel
diameters, and estimate vascular volume and flow rate. We formulated a new
hemodynamic model to help clarify vascular dynamics throughout the diving
phase, based on the total blood volume of a bottlenose dolphin, and using
data available about the perfusion of the main organs and body systems. We
computed the minimum blood perfusion necessary to the internal organs, and
the stroke volume and cardiac output during the surface state. We then
simulated breath-holding conditions and perfusion of the internal organs
under the diving-induced bradycardia and reduction of stroke volume and
cardiac output, using 10 beats min-1 as the limit for the heart rate for an
extended dive of over 3 min. Within these simulated conditions, the retia
mirabilia play a vital role as reservoirs of oxygenated blood that permit
functional performances and survival of the heart and brain. Our
theoretical model, based on the actual blood capacity of the retia
mirabilia and available data on organ perfusion, considers the dynamic
trend of vasoconstriction during the diving phase and may represent a
baseline for future studies on the diving physiology of dolphins and
especially for the blood supply to their brain.

The paper is available online on

Kind Regards

Cinzia Centelleghe
Cinzia Centelleghe, DVM, PhD

Dipartimento di Biomedicina Comparata e Alimentazione (BCA)
Università degli Studi di Padova
Cetaceans strandings Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Banca per i Tessuti dei Mammiferi Marini del Mediterraneo (BTMMM)

AGRIPOLIS - Ed. Prima Stecca
Viale dell'Università 16
35020 - Legnaro (PD)

cinzia.centelleghe at gmail.com <lleghe at gmail.com>
cinzia.centelleghe at unipd.it
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