Oxygen consumption of the chick embryo's respiratory organ, the chorioallantoic membrane

Amos Ar, Henri Girard*, Pierre Dejours

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A new technique based on stopping the chick embryo's blood circulation in the intact egg was used to measure in situ the chorioallantoic (CA) oxygen consumption, caO2, from incubation day 12 to 20. Total egg O2, totO2 and wet and dry masses of embryo and CA were also measured daily. Embryo O2, embO2, was calculated. Mean caO2 decreased from 71 μmol·h-1 (17% of totO2, 24% of embO2) at 12 days to 62μmol·h-1 (5% of totO2) at 20 days. Dry mass of CA did not change significantly. Water remained at a high level in CA (88-94%), but embryo water decreased from 93% to 82% between days 12 and 20. The fairly high level of caO2, more marked at young stages, calls for corrections in respiratory and circulatory embryonic variables derived from totO2, such as CA blood flow, CA diffusive capacity for O2, and CA arterio-venous shunt. Mass specific values and intra-specific allometric relations in bird embryos should be recalculated on the basis of embo2, instead of totO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-388
Number of pages12
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Allometry
  • Chick embryo
  • Chorioallantois
  • Egg
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Yolk sac


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