Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 159, Issue 6, pp 655–660

Oxygen transport in the blood of arctic mammals: adaptation to local heterothermia

  • Ole Brix
  • Astrid Bårdgard
  • Svein Mathisen
  • Nicholas Tyler
  • Matti Nuutinen
  • Sarveriò G. Condo
  • Bruno Giardina
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF00691710

Cite this article as:
Brix, O., Bårdgard, A., Mathisen, S. et al. J Comp Physiol B (1990) 159: 655. doi:10.1007/BF00691710

Summary

The oxygen binding of whole blood from humans and two arctic mammals, reindeer and muskox, has been studied as a function of carbon dioxide and temperature. All bloods display a marked Bohr effect with Bohr coefficients in the range −0.44–−0.73. The Bohr effect is more pronounced at 20°C. The temperature sensitivity of reindeer and muskox blood expressed by the apparent heat of oxygenation, δH, is almost three times lower than that of human HbA under the same experimental conditions. This thermodynamic difference gives special benefits to arctic mammals with large heterothermy by safeguarding oxygen unloading at very low ambient temperatures.

Key words

Arctic adaptation Hemoglobin Oxygen-binding Musk-ox Reindeer 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ole Brix
    • 1
  • Astrid Bårdgard
    • 1
  • Svein Mathisen
    • 2
  • Nicholas Tyler
    • 2
  • Matti Nuutinen
    • 3
  • Sarveriò G. Condo
    • 4
  • Bruno Giardina
    • 4
  1. 1.Zoological LaboratoryUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUniversity of OuluOulu 22Finland
  4. 4.Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical SciencesII University of RomeRomeItaly