PMID: 1757371Oct 1, 1991

Effects of perfusate buffer capacity on capillary CO2-HCO3(-)-H+ reactions: theory

Journal of Applied Physiology
A Bidani, T A Heming


The importance of perfusate nonbicarbonate buffer capacity (beta nonHCO3) to intracapillary CO2-HCO3(-)-H+ reactions was assessed by theoretical analysis of CO2 exchange in saline-perfused pulmonary capillaries. Time courses for perfusate PCO2, [HCO3-], and [H+] were computed for capillaries containing different activities of luminal vascular carbonic anhydrase and different amounts of perfusate nonbicarbonate buffers. Mobilization of perfusate HCO3- toward CO2 during capillary transit is determined by the availability of HCO3- and H+. A supply of protons from the nonbicarbonate buffer pool is necessary to maintain a high rate of HCO3- dehydration. The analyses indicate that beta nonHCO3 has marked nonlinear effects on transcapillary CO2 exchange and intravascular pH equilibration. These nonlinear effects differ from those previously computed for CO2 reactions in an open system because the present model system consists of a sequential combination of open (within capillary proper) and closed (within postcapillary vasculature) systems. The role of luminal vascular carbonic anhydrase in capillary CO2 reactions is strongly dependent on beta nonHCO3. Perfusate nonbicarbonate buffer capacity must be considered when the results of exp...Continue Reading


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