Physiological consequences of oxygen-dependent chloride binding to hemoglobin

H. D. Prange, J. L. Shoemaker, E. A. Westen, D. G. Horstkotte, B. Pinshow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The Po2-dependent binding of chloride to Hb decreases the Cl- concentration of the red blood cell (RBC) intracellular fluid in venous blood to ∼1-3 mmol/l less than that in arterial blood. This change is physiologically important because 1) Cl- is a negative heterotropic allosteric effector of Hb that competes for binding sites with 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate and CO2 and decreases oxyhemoglobin affinity in several species; 2) it may help reconcile several longstanding problems with measured values of the Donnan ratios for Cl-, HCO3-, and H+ across the RBC membrane that are used to calculate total CO2 carriage, ion flux rates, and membrane potentials; 3) it is a factor in the change in the dissociation constant for the combined nonvolatile weak acids of Hb associated with the Haldane effect; and 4) it diminishes the decrease in strong ion difference in the RBC intracellular fluid that would otherwise occur from the chloride shift and prevent the known increase of HCO3- concentration in that compartment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-38
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001


  • Bicarbonate
  • Blood-gas transport
  • Bohr effect
  • Chloride shift
  • Donnan ratio
  • Erythrocyte
  • Haldane effect
  • Strong ion difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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