Up to the present, most of the available reviews on red cell function have been heavily biased towards mammalian, especially human, red cells. As a result, most physiologists’ picture of the red cell is overly simplistic — the nucleated red cells of all nonmammalian vertebrates are metabolically more versatile than mammalian red cells. They produce energy aerobically, their membrane transport pathways are more varied than those of the human erythrocytes and their function is often under hormonal control. The major aim of the present book is to relate our current knowledge about nucleated red cell function to the wealth of information about the function of mammalian red cells. In many instances this amounts to pointing out gaps in our knowledge, in others to presenting personal views on the basis of a limited amount of experimental data. Current knowledge about red cell function in many vertebrate groups is minimal. For example, very little information is available on the red cells of reptiles. Also, the information on fish is limited to a few species, especially rainbow trout.
KeywordsDioxide Hydration Respiration Dehydration Bicarbonate
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