Oxygen transport in blood at high altitude: Role of the hemoglobin-oxygen affinity and impact of the phenomena related to hemoglobin allosterism and red cell function

Michele Samaja, Tiziano Crespi, Marco Guazzi, Kim D. Vandegriff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Altitude hypoxia is a major challenge to the blood O2 transport system, and adjustments of the blood-O2 affinity might contribute significantly to hypoxia adaptation. In principle, lowering the blood-O2 affinity is advantageous because it lowers the circulatory load required to assure adequate tissue oxygenation up to a threshold corresponding to about 5,000 m altitude, whereas at higher altitudes an increased blood-O2 affinity appears more advantageous. However, the rather contradictory experimental evidence raises the question whether other factors superimpose on the apparent changes of the blood-O2 affinity. The most important of these are as follows: (1) absolute temperature and temperature gradients within the body; (2) the intracapillary Bohr effect; (3) the red cell population heterogeneity in terms Of O2 affinity; (4) control of altitude alkalosis; (5) the possible role of hemoglobin as a carrier of the vasodilator nitric oxide; (6) the effect of varied red cell transit times through the capillaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume90
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003

Keywords

  • Altitude hypoxia
  • Hemoglobin allosterism
  • Oxygen equilibrium curve
  • Red cell function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Oxygen transport in blood at high altitude: Role of the hemoglobin-oxygen affinity and impact of the phenomena related to hemoglobin allosterism and red cell function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this