D6  Transport of Respiratory Gases

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Essential Idea:

Red blood cells are vital in the

transport of respiratory gases


  • Oxygen dissociation curves show the affinity of haemoglobin for oxygen
  • Carbon dioxide is carried in solution and bound to haemoglobin in the blood
  • Carbon dioxide is transformed in red blood cells into hydrogen carbonate ions
  • The Bohr shift explains the increased release of oxygen by haemoglobin in respiring tissues
  • Chemoreceptors are sensitive to changes in blood pH
  • The rate of ventilation is controlled by the respiratory control centre in the medulla oblongata
  • During exercise the rate of ventilation changes in response to the amount of CO2 in the blood
  • Fetal haemoglobin is different from adult haemoglobin allowing the transfer of oxygen in the placenta onto the fatal haemoglobin


  • Consequences of high altitude for gas exchange
  • pH of blood is regulated to stay within the narrow range of 7.35 to 7.45
  • Causes and treatments of emphysema


  • Analysis of oxygen dissociation curves for haemoglobin and myoglobin
  • Identification of pneumocytes, capillary endothelium cells and blood cells in light micrographs and electron micrographs of lung tissue