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Pittman RN. Regulation of Tissue Oxygenation. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2011.

Cover of Regulation of Tissue Oxygenation

Regulation of Tissue Oxygenation.

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Chapter 1Introduction

In order to carry out the variety of activities required of cells which make up an organism, a continuous supply of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is required. Cells prefer to make ATP by the process of oxidative phosphorylation which takes place inside the mitochondria and which has an absolute requirement for oxygen. Thus, the regulation of tissue oxygenation is a critical feature for survival of an organism, and various mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that all cells in the organism are afforded a supply of oxygen which is adequate to carry out cellular activities. The regulation of tissue oxygenation can be studied at several different levels of organization, ranging from the intact organism, to the collection of organs which make up the organism, to the cells which make up each organ and finally to the molecules which are involved in the regulatory processes, from oxygen itself to various transport and signaling molecules that are at the smallest scale in the regulatory pathways. Understanding how oxygen transport works at the molecular scale and integrating the behavior at one level of organization to achieve the next level ultimately lead to an overall understanding of how tissue oxygenation is regulated. Although much can be learned at each level of organization, we will find that studies at the level of the microcirculation provide an interface between organ and cellular behavior, since it is at this level that one first has integration of vascular, blood and cellular function.

Although the title of this monograph is Regulation of Tissue Oxygenation, it is not clear if “regulation” is the appropriate term to use when dealing with the lowest level of organization involving cells and signaling molecules, the microcirculation. Does the traditional approach of describing regulation in terms of one or more feedback loops linked to specific chemical mediators apply here or is this a procrustean approach with no clear endpoint? Additional research at this level is needed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how tissue oxygenation is determined.

What is clear is that the maintenance of an adequate supply of oxygen requires the coordinated operation of the three major systems involved in oxygen transport: cardiovascular system, respiratory system and blood. The supply of an adequate amount of oxygen to all cells of the body is one of the most important functions of the cardiorespiratory system. Because complete descriptions of the cardiovascular system, the respiratory system and blood can be found elsewhere [6,10,54], this presentation will focus on the most important aspects of these three systems that pertain to the topic of regulation of tissue oxygenation.

Copyright © 2011 by Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK54109
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