CO2 is transported as bicarbonate ions in the blood

Delivering O2 to the tissues is only half of the respiratory function of the blood. The blood also must take carbon dioxide, a metabolic waste product, away from the tissues (Figure 48.14). CO2 is highly soluble and readily diffuses through cell membranes, moving from its site of production in the tissues into the blood, where the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (Pco2) is lower. However, very little dissolved CO2 is transported by the blood. Most CO2 produced by the tissues is transported to the lungs in the form of bicarbonate ions, HCO3-. CO2 is converted to HCO3-, transported to the lungs, and then converted back to CO2 in several steps.

When CO2 dissolves in water, some of it slowly reacts with the water molecules to form carbonic acid (H2CO3), some of which then dissociates into a proton (H+) and a bicarbonate ion (HCO3-). This reversible reaction is expressed as follows:

In the blood plasma, the reaction between CO2 and H2O proceeds slowly. But it is a different story in the endothelial cells of the capillaries and in the red blood cells, where the enzyme carbonic anhydrase speeds up the conversion of CO2 to H2CO3. The newly formed carbonic acid dissociates, and the resulting bicarbonate ions enter the plasma in exchange for Cl- (see Figure 48.14). By converting CO2 to H2CO3, carbonic anhydrase reduces the Pco2 in these cells and in the plasma, facilitating the diffusion of CO2 from tissue cells to endothelial

48.14 Carbon Dioxide Is Transported as Bicarbonate Ions

Carbonic anhydrase in capillary endothelial cells and in red blood cells facilitates conversion of CO2 produced by tissues into bicarbonate ions carried by the plasma. In lungs, the process is reversed as CO2 is exhaled.

I In body tissues,

CO2 diffuses fron cells into plasma and into the red blood cells (RBC).

mSome CO2 combines with nfln red blood cells and in the endothelium, CO2 is rapidly converted to bicarbonate ions because carbonic anhydrase is present.

I In body tissues,

CO2 diffuses fron cells into plasma and into the red blood cells (RBC).

mSome CO2 combines with nfln red blood cells and in the endothelium, CO2 is rapidly converted to bicarbonate ions because carbonic anhydrase is present.

Co2 Red Blood Cells

Body tissue

Blood capillary

Rj Bicarbonate ions enter the plasma in exchange for chloride ions.

^ In the lungs, these processes are reversed. Bicarbonate forms carbonic acid, which dissociates, releasing CO2.

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Responses

  • timba
    How convert co2 to h2co3?
    7 years ago
  • milla enestam
    How much co2 is carried in the blood as bicarbonate?
    7 years ago
  • pasqualina
    Which ions are transported in the blood?
    7 years ago
  • lily twofoot
    Why must co2 be converted to bicarbonate ion in the blood?
    7 years ago
  • LUCILLA
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    7 years ago
  • Pirkka
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    7 years ago
  • Enza
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    7 years ago
  • dina
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    7 years ago
  • angelica
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    6 years ago
  • aino
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    6 years ago
  • MICHELLE
    When CO2 enters blood it reacts wiht carbonic anhydrase to form what?
    6 years ago
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    6 years ago
  • daniel
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    5 years ago
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    4 years ago
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    3 years ago
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    3 years ago
  • ASSUNTA BENEVENTI
    Why co2 is carried in the form is bicarbonates?
    3 years ago
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    3 years ago
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    3 years ago
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    3 years ago
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    3 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
  • janina
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    2 years ago
  • callie
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    2 years ago
  • PEARL
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    2 years ago
  • DUENNA
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    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    Which Form Is Co2 Is Transpoted In The Body.?
    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
  • FIKRU BRHANE
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    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    2 years ago
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    How bicarbonate ions water body?
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    WHAT AND WHAT COMBINE IN THE BODY TO FORM BLOOD?
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