Vascular corrosion replicas of chemo-baroreceptors in fish: The carotid labyrinth in Ictaluridae and Clariidae

K. R. Olson, K. B. Flint, R. B. Budde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Scanning electron microscopy of vascular corrosion replicas and light microscopy revealed a pair of highly vascularized tissues, the carotid labyrinths, in the dorsal head region of the channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, the black bullhead, I. melas, and the walking catfish, Clarias batrachus. The labyrinth consists of a myriad of arterioles that arise from the common carotid artery immediately distal to the origin of the common carotid from the efferent branchial (epibranchial) artery of the first gill arch. The arterioles anastomose with each other to form: (1) the internal carotid artery which supplies the brain, and (2) several anteriolateral arteries that extend into the anterior head. In the ictalurids the common carotid artery emerges from the labyrinth intact and continues anteriorly as the large olfactory artery, whereas in Clarias all postlabyrinthine vessels result from arborization of the common carotid and subsequent anastomosis of the arterioles. Similarities between piscine and amphibian carotid labyrinths and the anatomical proximity of the former with the gills suggest that, in Ictaluridae, the labyrinth has a chemoor baroreceptor function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-541
Number of pages7
JournalCell And Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1981


  • Baroreceptors
  • Carotid labyrinth
  • Chemoreceptors
  • Clariidae
  • Ictaluridae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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