Microoxygen polarographic electrodes were constructed and used to measure oxygen tension (POO2) in the eyes of rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri). The values obtained are compared with arterial blood and environmental water POO2 and indicate that there is an oxygen-concentrating mechanism in the eye supplying oxygen to the avascular retina. Anatomically similar retes suggest that the mechanism is similar to the one which exists in the swim bladder. Elimination of the arterial blood supply to the choroidal gland rete mirabile of the eye (through pseudobranchectomy) and the consequent lowering of ocular oxygen tensions implicate the choroidal gland as one of the major components of the oxygen-concentrating mechanism. After pseudobranchectomy the presence of ocular POO2 above that of arterial blood is indicative of a secondary structure in the eye capable of concentrating oxygen. Inhibition of carbonic anhydrase, using acetazolamide, is shown to result in complete suppression of the oxygen-concentrating mechanism. A hypothesis is advanced for the participation of retinal-choroidal and erythrocyte carbonic anhydrase in the oxygen-concentrating mechanism.

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