The fish lab focuses on testing various exercise protocols and has the ability to record metabolic activity at rest (basal metabolism) as well as during exercise. All of this is achieved through the use of a Brett-type swimming tunnel (Loligo Systems Inc., Denmark), which has the capability to simulate an open, closed, or a flow-through respiratory system. Along with performance measurements, biochemical evaluation can be observed through the use of histology in addition to blood analysis to draw unique correlations between exercise procedures and physiological changes that occur within fish.
Currently, the lab is being utilized to evaluate the effect of two exercise protocols on heart muscle in naïve common Koi fish (Cyprinus Carpio). Specifically, one exercise protocol is characterized by bouts of chronic excessive endurance exercise (CEEE), while another method known as high intensity interval exercise (HIIE) requires sessions of intermittent work-rest intervals. In short, the purpose of this study will be to compare the effects of training methods (CEEE vs. HIIE) on cardiac muscle via histology and the measurement of circulating bio-markers (e.g. troponin and CK-MB) in Koi. This study is still in the piloting phase and will be fully executed in the summer of 2016.