By using published experimental values of the standard oxygen (O2) equilibrium curve and the in vivo arterial and venous O2 pressure (PO2) of fetal and maternal blood in five mammalian species (human, cow, pig, sheep, and horse), we investigated the relationship between the efficiency of O2 delivery and the effectiveness of the Bohr shift, and discussed the significance of cooperativity for mammalian Hb. The O2 delivery of fetal blood was more efficient than that of maternal blood, and the effectiveness of the Bohr shift at both O2 loading and release sites of fetal blood was high. A linear relationship was observed between the efficiency of O2 delivery and the effectiveness of the Bohr shift at O2 loading sites of the five mammalian species. In both fetal and maternal blood, the theoretically obtained optimal P50 value for O2 delivery (optP50(OD)) was nearly equal to the optimal P50 value for the effectiveness of the Bohr shift at the O2 loading site (optP50(BS)(loading)). This phenomenon was favorable for fetal blood to uptake O2 from maternal blood with the aid of the Bohr shift and to deliver a large amount of O2 to the tissues. The optP50s for the effectiveness of the Bohr shift at given arterial PO2 (PaO2) and venous PO2 (PvMO2) were derived as follows: optP50(BS)(loading) = PaO2((n 1)/(n-1))1/n, and optP50(BS)(release) = PvO2((n 1)/(n-1))1/n. The relationship between in vivo PO2s and n, PaO2/PvO2 = ((n 1)/(n-1))2/n, was derived by letting optP50 for the efficiency of O2 delivery be equal to that for the effectiveness of the Bohr shift.
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