Oxygen Transport: Physiological and Pharmacological Principles
Recent definition of the relationship between the hemoglobin affinity for oxygen and metabolic activity of erythrocytes has stimulated extensive studies into its physiological relevance. Although various conditions have been defined as associated with altered erythrocyte metabolism, the ultimate effect on the economy for oxygen turnover remains to be defined. Unfortunately the concept “oxygen transport” appears to mean many things to different people, a fact that further complicates the study of regulation. To sort this matter out I have divided the following presentation into three parts. First, I shall consider the terminology used to describe the hemoglobin-oxygen relationship and the principal factors which influence this interaction. Second, I will describe briefly a physiological model we have conceived to clarify the effect of altered affinity states on blood flow. Finally, I will conclude with a brief presentation of recent work designed to establish feasibility of pharmacological manipulation whenever changes in affinity appear warranted.
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