Comparative Physiology and Evolution of Acid-Base Regulatory Mechanisms
The primary role of acid-base homeostasis possibly concerns intracellular fluids, since functionally essential, pH-sensitive protein structures are mainly located within the cells. Control of acid-base status in the extracellular compartment, although probably not so imperative, may nevertheless be important. It has been demonstrated in some cell systems that the efficiency of intracellular pH regulation depends on a proper extracellular acid-base state, particularly on an appropriate bicarbonate concentration (e.g., Boron et al. 1979, 1981; Rodeau 1984). There are also important physiological properties, such as compartmental ion and water distribution, or oxygen-binding properties of respiratory pigments, that depend on extracellular pH or on the charge state of extracellular proteins. In addition, physiological mechanisms clearing the organism of excess acid or base affect first the acid-base status of the extracellular compartment.
KeywordsVentilatory Response Metabolic Alkalosis Respiratory Acidosis Ammonia Excretion Hypercapnic Acidosis
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