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The oxygen–hemoglobin dissociation curve, also called the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve or oxygen dissociation curve (ODC), is a curve that plots the proportion of hemoglobin in its saturated (oxygen-laden) form on the vertical axis against the prevailing oxygen tension on the horizontal axis. This curve is an important tool for understanding how our blood carries and releases oxygen. Specifically, the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve relates oxygen saturation (SO2) and partial pressure of oxygen in the blood (PO2), and is determined by what is called "hemoglobin affinity for oxygen"; that is, how readily hemoglobin acquires and releases oxygen molecules into the fluid that surrounds it. Background Hemoglobin (Hb) is the primary vehicle for transporting oxygen in the blood. Each hemoglobin molecule has the capacity to carry four oxygen molecules. These molecules of oxygen bind to the iron of the heme prosthetic group.When hemoglobin has no bound oxygen, nor bound carbon dioxide, it has the unbound conformation (shape). The binding of the first oxygen molecule induces change in the shape of the hemoglobin that increases its ability to bind to the other three oxygen molecules. In the presence of dissolved carbon dioxide, the pH of the blood changes; this causes another change in the shape of hemoglobin, which increases its ability to bind carbon dioxide and decreases its ability to bind oxygen. With the loss of the first oxygen molecule, and the binding of the first carbon dioxide molecule, yet another change in shape occurs, which further decreases the ability to bind oxygen, and increases the ability to bind carbon dioxide. The oxygen bound to the hemoglobin is released into the blood's plasma and absorbed into the tissues, and the carbon dioxide in the tissues is bound to the hemoglobin. In the lungs the reverse of this process takes place. With the loss of the first carbon dioxide molecule the shape again changes and makes it easier to release the other three carbon dioxides. Oxygen is also carried dissolved in the blood's plasma, but to a much lesser degree. Hemoglobin is contained in red blood cells. Hemoglobin releases the bound oxygen when carbonic acid is present, as it is in the tissues. In the capillaries, where carbon dioxide is produced, oxygen bound to the hemoglobin is released into the blood's plasma and absorbed into the tissues. How much of that capacity is filled by oxygen at any time is called the oxygen saturation. Expressed as a percentage, the oxygen saturation is the ratio of the amount of oxygen bound to the hemoglobin, to the oxygen-carrying capacity of the hemoglobin. The oxygen-carrying capacity of hemoglobin is determined by the type of hemoglobin present in the blood. The amount of oxygen bound to the hemoglobin at any time is related, in large part, to the partial pressure of oxygen to which the hemoglobin is exposed. In the lungs, at the alveolar–capillary interface, the partial pressure of oxygen is typically high, and therefore the oxygen binds readily to hemoglobin that is present. As the blood circulates to other body tissue in which the partial pressure of oxygen is less, the hemoglobin releases the oxygen into the tissue because the hemoglobin cannot maintain its full bound capacity of oxygen in the presence of lower oxygen partial pressures. Sigmoid shape The curve is usually best described by a sigmoid plot, using a formula of the kind: S ( t ) = 1 1 + e − t . {\displaystyle S(t)={\frac {1}{1+e^{-t}}}.} A hemoglobin molecule can bind up to four oxygen molecules in a reversible method. The shape of the curve results from the interaction of bound oxygen molecules with incoming molecules. The binding of the first molecule is difficult. However, this facilitates the binding of the second, third and fourth, this is due to the induced conformational change in the structure of the hemoglobin molecule induced by the binding of an oxygen molecule. In its most simple form, the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve describes the relation between the partial pressure of oxygen (x axis) and the oxygen saturation (y axis). Hemoglobin's affinity for oxygen increases as successive molecules of oxygen bind. More molecules bind as the oxygen partial pressure increases until the maximum amount that can be bound is reached. As this limit is approached, very little additional binding occurs and the curve levels out as the hemoglobin becomes saturated with oxygen. Hence the curve has a sigmoidal or S-shape. At pressures above about 60 mmHg, the standard dissociation curve is relatively flat, which means that the oxygen content of the blood does not change significantly even with large increases in the oxygen partial pressure. To get more oxygen to the tissue would require blood transfusions to increase the hemoglobin count (and hence the oxygen-carrying capacity), or supplemental oxygen that would increase the oxygen dissolved in plasma. Although binding of oxygen to hemoglobin continues to some extent for pressures about 50 mmHg, as oxygen partial pressures decrease in this steep area of the curve, the oxygen is unloaded to peripheral tissue readily as the hemoglobin's affinity diminishes. The partial pressure of oxygen in the blood at which the hemoglobin is 50% saturated, typically about 26.6 mmHg (3.5 kPa) for a healthy person, is known as the P50. The P50 is a conventional measure of hemoglobin affinity for oxygen. In the presence of disease or other conditions that change the hemoglobin oxygen affinity and, consequently, shift the curve to the right or left, the P50 changes accordingly. An increased P50 indicates a rightward shift of the standard curve, which means that a larger partial pressure is necessary to maintain a 50% oxygen saturation. This indicates a decreased affinity. Conversely, a lower P50 indicates a leftward shift and a higher affinity. The 'plateau' portion of the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve is the range that exists at the pulmonary capillaries (minimal reduction of oxygen transported until the p(O2) falls 50 mmHg). The 'steep' portion of the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve is the range that exists at the systemic capillaries (a small drop in systemic capillary p(O2) can result in the release of large amounts of oxygen for the metabolically active cells). To see the relative affinities of each successive oxygen as you remove/add oxygen from/to the hemoglobin from the curve compare the relative increase/decrease in p(O2) needed for the corresponding increase/decrease in s(O2). 69 Factors that affect the standard dissociation curve The strength with which oxygen binds to hemoglobin is affected by several facto.... Discover the Kevin Ahern Indira Rajagopal popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Kevin Ahern Indira Rajagopal books.

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