Targeted O2 delivery by low-P50 hemoglobin: a new basis for O2 therapeutics

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2003 Oct;285(4):H1411-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00307.2003. Epub 2003 Jun 12.


To assess O2 delivery to tissue by a new surface-modified, polyethylene glycol-conjugated human hemoglobin [MP4; Po2 at 50% saturation of hemoglobin (P50); 5.4 mmHg], we studied microcirculatory hemodynamics and O2 release in golden Syrian hamsters hemodiluted with MP4 or polymerized bovine hemoglobin (PolyBvHb; P50 54.2 mmHg). Comparisons were made with the animals' hemodiluted blood with a non-O2 carrying plasma expander with similar solution properties (Dextran-70). Systemic hemodynamics (arterial blood pressure and heart rate) and acid-base parameters were not correlated with microhemodynamics (arteriolar and venular diameter, red blood cell velocity, and flow). Microscopic measurements of Po2 and the O2 equilibrium curves permitted analysis of O2 release in precapillary and capillary vessels by red blood cells and plasma hemoglobin separately. No significant differences between the groups of animals with respect to arteriolar diameter, flow, or flow velocity were observed, but the functional capillary density was significantly higher in the MP4-treated animals (67%) compared with PolyBvHb-treated animals (37%; P < 0.05) or dextran-treated animals (53%). In the PolyBvHb-treated animals, predominant O2 release (both red blood cells and plasma hemoglobin) occurred in precapillary vessels, whereas in MP4 animals most of the O2 was released from both red blood cells and plasma hemoglobin in capillaries. Base excess correlated directly with capillary O2 release but not systemic O2 content or total O2 release. Higher O2 extraction of both red blood cell and plasma hemoglobin in capillaries represents a new mechanism of action of cell-free hemoglobin. High O2 affinity appears to be an important property for cell-free hemoglobin solutions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium
  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood
  • Cricetinae
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Exchange Transfusion, Whole Blood
  • Hemoglobins* / metabolism
  • Mesocricetus
  • Microcirculation
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxyhemoglobins / metabolism
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Polymers* / metabolism
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Hemoglobins
  • Oxyhemoglobins
  • PEG-Hb conjugate, MP4
  • Polymers
  • polymerized bovine hemoglobin
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Oxygen