Regulation of red cell 2,3-DPG and Hb-O2-affinity during acute exercise

  • H. MairbÄurl
  • W. Schobersberger
  • W. Hasibeder
  • G. Schwaberger
  • G. Gaesser
  • K. R. Tanaka


Reports from the literature and our own data on red cell 2,3-DPG and its importance for unloading O2 from Hb to the tissues during exhaustive exercise are contradictory. We investigated red cell metabolism during incremental bicycle ergometry of various durations. Furthermore changes in blood composition occurring during exercise were simulated under in vitro conditions. The effect of a moderate (11.2 mmol · l−1 lactate, pH=7.127) and severe (18 mmol · l−1 lactate, pH=6.943) lactacidosis on red cell 2,3-DPG concentration was compared with the effect of similar acidosis induced by HCl. Our data indicate that the concentration of 2,3-DPG in red cells depends on the degree of lactacidosis, but not on the duration of exercise. During moderate lactacidosis red cell 2,3-DPG remains unchanged. This can be explained by an interruption of red cell glycolysis on the PK and GAP-DH step caused by a lactate and pyruvate influx into the erythrocyte, as well as an intraerythrocytic acidosis and a drop in the NAD/NADH ratio. During severe lactacidosis and HCL-induced acidosis a decrease in 2,3-DPG due to an inhibition of 2,3-DPGmutase and other glycolytic enzymes can be found. Mathematical correction of the observed P-50 value for the decrease in 2,3-DPG occurring during severe lactacidosis showed that a decrease in Hb-O2-affinity during strenuous exercise depends on the degree of lactacidosis and temperature elevation.

Key words

Exercise Glycolysis 2,3-DPG Hb-O2-affinity Lactacidosis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bellingham AJ, Detter JC, Lenfant C (1971) Regulatory mechanisms of hemoglobin oxygen affinity in acidosis and alkalosis. J Clin Invest 50:700–706Google Scholar
  2. Beutler E (1975) Red cell metabolism. Grune & Stratton, New York, San Franzisco, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Böning D, Schweigart U, Tibes U, Hemmer B (1975) Influences of exercise and endurance training on the oxygen dissociation curve of blood under in vivo and in vitro conditions. Eur J Appl Physiol 34:1–10Google Scholar
  4. Böning D, Skipka W, Heedt P, Jenker W, Tibes U (1979) Effects and post-effects of two-hour exhausting exercise on composition and gas transport functions of blood. Eur J Appl Physiol 42:117–123Google Scholar
  5. Böswart J, Kuta I, Lisy Z, Kostiuk P (1980) 2,3-diphosphoglycerate during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 43:193–199Google Scholar
  6. Braumann KM, Böning D, Trost F (1979) Oxygen dissociation curves in trained and untrained subjects. Eur J Appl Physiol 42:51–60Google Scholar
  7. Deuticke B, Beyer E, Forst B (1982) Discrimination of three parallel pathways of lactate transport in the human erythrocyte membrane by inhibitors and kinetic properties. BBA 684:96–110Google Scholar
  8. Dill D, Graybiel A, Hurtado A, Taquini AC (1940) Der Gasaustausch in der Lunge im Alter. Z Altersforschung 2:20–33Google Scholar
  9. Dubinsky WP, Racker E (1978) The mechanism of lactate transport in human erythrocytes. J Membr Biol 44:25–36Google Scholar
  10. Jacobasch G, Minakami S, Rapoport SM (1974) Glycolysis of the erythrocyte. In: Yoshikawa H, Rapoport SM (ed) Cellular and molecular biology of erythrocytes. Urban & Schwarzenberg, München Berlin WienGoogle Scholar
  11. Katz A, Sharp RL, King DS, Costill DL, Fink WJ (1984) Effect of high intensity interval training on 2,3-diphosphoglycerate at rest and after maximal exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 52:331–335Google Scholar
  12. Kiener PA, Massaras ChV, Westhead EW (1979) Phosphorylation and inhibition of human erythrocyte pyruvate kinase by an erythrocyte membrane cAMP dependent proteinkinase. Biochem Biophys Res Com 91:50–55Google Scholar
  13. MairbÄurl H, Humpeler E (1981) The influence of adrenaline on the metabolism of erythrocytes in vitro. Biochem Soc Transactions 9:99–100Google Scholar
  14. MairbÄurl H, Schobersberger W, Schwaberger G, Tanaka KR (1984) Effects of duration of exercise on red cell metabolism and oxygen transport. Pflügers Arch 402:R14Google Scholar
  15. MairbÄurl H, Hasibeder W, Schobersberger W, Schwaberger G (1985) Adaptation of red cell function to acute exercise. Pflügers Arch 403:R71Google Scholar
  16. Meen HD, Holter PH, Refsum HE (1981) Changes in 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) after exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 46:177–184Google Scholar
  17. Minakami S, Yoshikawa H (1966) Studies on erythrocyte glycolysis III. J Biochem 59:145–150Google Scholar
  18. Ramsey JM, Pipoly Jr SW (1979) Response of erythrocytic 2,3-diphosphoglycerate to strenuous exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 40:227–233Google Scholar
  19. Rapoport I, Berger H, Eisner R, Rapoport SM (1977) pH-de-pendent changes of 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate. Acta Biol Med Germ 36:515–521Google Scholar
  20. Rapoport S (1968) The regulation of glycolysis in mammalian erythrocytes. Essays Biochem 4:69–103Google Scholar
  21. Rasmussen H, Lake W, Allen JE (1975) The effect of catecholamines and prostaglandins upon human and rat erythrocytes. BBA 411:63–73Google Scholar
  22. Remes K, Vuopio P, HÄrkönen M (1979) Effect of long term training and acute physical exercise on red cell 2,3-diphosphoglycerate. Eur J Appl Physiol 42:199–207Google Scholar
  23. Sachs L (1973) Angewandte Statistik. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Schwaberger G, Pessenhofer H, MairbÄurl H, Humpeler E (1982) Changes of parameters influencing the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin during exercise. Kongressbd Dtsch SportÄrztekongress, KölnGoogle Scholar
  25. Taunton JE, Taunton CA, Banister EW (1974) Alterations in 2,3-DPG and P-50 with maximal and submaximal exercise. Med Sci Sports 6:238–241Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. MairbÄurl
    • 1
  • W. Schobersberger
    • 1
  • W. Hasibeder
    • 1
  • G. Schwaberger
    • 2
  • G. Gaesser
    • 3
  • K. R. Tanaka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of GrazGrazAustria
  3. 3.Department of KinesiologyUCLALos Angeles
  4. 4.Department of MedicineHarbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA

Personalised recommendations