The anoxia-tolerant crucian carp (Carassius carassius) has been studied in detail for numerous years, with particular focus on unravelling the underlying physiological mechanisms of anoxia tolerance. However, relatively little work has been focused on what occurs beyond anoxia, and often the focus is a single organ or tissue type. In this study, we quantified more than 100 metabolites by capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) in brain, heart, liver, and blood plasma from four experimental groups, being normoxic (control) fish, anoxia-exposed fish, and two groups that had been exposed to anoxia followed by reoxygenation for either 3 h or 24 h. The heart, which maintains cardiac output during anoxia, unexpectedly, was slower to recover compared to the brain and liver, mainly due to a slower return to control concentrations of the energy-carrying compounds ATP, GTP, and phosphocreatine. Crucian carp accumulated amino acids in most tissues, and also surprisingly high levels of succinate in all tissues investigated during anoxia. Purine catabolism was enhanced, leading to accumulation of uric acid during anoxia and increasing urea formation that continued into 24 h of reoxygenation. These tissue-specific differences in accumulation and distribution of the metabolites may indicate an intricate system of transport between tissues, opening for new avenues of investigation of possible mechanisms aimed at reducing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and resultant tissue damage during reoxygenation.
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