Synopses & Reviews
The extracellular acid-base state of an animal organism provides information about various processes: respiration, metabolism, ionic exchanges. Therefore, it has become customary to measure blood pH in many physiological experiments. This book presents the necessary background for the understanding of the acid-base state in animal organisms facing various environmental and physiological situations. Particular emphasis is put on the fundamental differences between water- and air- breathers and on the acid-base and respiratory problems arising at the transition from aquatic to terrestial life. In addition to technical and methodological advice, the reader will find the basic physico-chemical and physiological information required to interpret measurements, a critical assessment of current concepts in acid-base physiology, and many useful comments on environmental adaptation and physiological evolution.
Interest in comparative acid-base physiology has considerably grown during last decades even in the absence of major technical or conceptual advances. This is firstly because it has become clear that the extracellular acid-base state reflects the performance of many exchange functions at the organism level: respiration and ventilation of the gas exchange surfaces, metab- olism, iono-and osmoregulation. Such functions are much in- fluenced by ambient conditions, and the measurement of acid- base parameters thus provides useful information about the organism's responses to environmental challenges. Secondly, many processes at the molecular level are now known to be pH- sensitive, and acid-base regulation thus appears to be a major requirement for the functional integrity of cells and organisms. How extracellular acid-base balance can be maintained in a wide variety of animals living in different conditions is the sub- ject of this book. The approach is comparative and environ- mental throughout. All body fluids share similar buffer proper- ties, and common physicochemical principles apply to any acid- base system. However, in accord with differing designs and con- straints along animal evolution, varying effector organs and mechanisms are at work to maintain an appropriate acid-base state in the organism. Particular emphasis is placed on the fun- damental differences between water and air breathers and on the acid-base and respiratory problems arising at the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial life. Also the complex array of factors influencing the acid-base state in water-dwelling animals is thoroughly discussed.
Table of Contents
Contents: General Properties of Water and Body Fluids as Acid-Base Systems.- Methodological Approaches and Problems.- Extracellular Acid-Base Status and the Nature of the Respiratory Medium.- Acid-Base Balance and Respiratory Gases in the Ambient Medium.- Extracellular Acid-Base Balance in Aquatic Animals as a Function of the Ionic Composition and the Acid-Base Balance of the Ambient Water.- Extracellular Acid-Base Balance and Body Temperature.- Comparative Physiology and Evolution of Acid-Base Regulatory Mechanisms.- Extracellular Acid-Base Balance in Some Specific Physiological Situations.- References.- Notes Added in Proof.- References Added in Proof.- Subject and Species Index.