Asked Nov 9, 2019

Why does hemoglobin have high affinity for oxygen in arterial blood and lower affinity in capillaries beds? Explain in terms of blood oxygen pressure. 


Expert Answer

Step 1

Hemoglobin is a protein present in red blood cells and is primarily responsible for the transport of oxygen throughout the body. This protein has two alpha and two beta subunits, and the two states of this protein are R state which is relaxed state and has high affinity for oxygen and T-state which is tense state and has low affinity for oxygen.

Step 2

The binding of oxygen with hemoglobin mainly depends on the states of hemoglobin and partial pressure of oxygen. The T state requires high partial pressure of oxygen while R state allows binding of oxygen even at low partial pressure.

The blood in arteries and capillary beds of pulmonary area have low partial pressure of oxygen as compared to the alveoli and thus hemoglobin has high affinity for it whereas in the s...

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