Comparative studies of the respiratory functions of mammalian blood II. Marsupialia: Great grey kangaroo and tasmanian devil

  • Bartels H
  • Riegel K
  • Kleihauer E
 et al. 
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Blood samples from two marsupials (the great grey kangaroo and the Tasmanian devil) were used to construct oxygen dissociation curves at pH 7.4 and 37 °C. Erythrocyte morphology was studied and hemoglobin was subjected to electrophoresis, potassium ferricyanide oxidation and alkali denaturation. The glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity in the erythrocytes was determined. These studies showed high oxygen-carrying capacities in the blood of both marsupials. The Tasmanian devil has small erythrocytes. Hemoglobin from the Tasmanian devil migrates slowly when subjected to starch block electrophoresis and contains an alkali-stable fraction of 55.7 %. Hemoglobin from both animals when subjected to oxidation by potassium ferricyanide showed slow and fast components.

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  • Hemoglobin Red blood cell Oxygen carrying capacity

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  • H. Bartels

  • K. Riegel

  • E. Kleihauer

  • E.M. Lang

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