The Bohr effect of the blood in rainbow trout (Salmo gairdnerii). A comparative study with human blood, using precise oxygen equilibrium curves and the Adair model

Comp Biochem Physiol A Comp Physiol. 1985;82(4):915-24. doi: 10.1016/0300-9629(85)90505-5.


1. The Bohr effects of trout blood (which exhibits the Root effect) and of human blood were compared. Precise oxygen equilibria were measured with an automatic recording system, on normal trout red blood cell suspensions at pH 7.6 - 8.6, at 10 and 20 degrees C, and on normal human red blood cell suspensions at pH 6.8 - 8.0, at 37 degrees C. 2. The data were fitted to the Adair's stepwise oxygenation model which describes experimental curves with four constants ki (i = 1-4). 3. Adair's scheme successfully fits the equilibrium data for trout and human blood, in the range of conditions examined. 4. The R-state Bohr effect (d log k4/ d pH), is very large in trout blood, indicating a large pH dependence of the R structure, as opposed to human blood. 5. The T-state Bohr effect (d log k1/ d pH), and the overall Bohr effect (d log Pm/ d pH), are equivalent in trout and human blood. 6. The overall Bohr effect is essentially accounted for by the first and fourth oxygenation steps in trout blood and shows a significant effect of temperature. 7. The data attribute a major role to Hb4 in trout blood isotherms and confirm the importance of the C-termini of Beta chains in Bohr and Root effects.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Models, Biological
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss / blood*
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Oxyhemoglobins / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity


  • Oxyhemoglobins
  • Oxygen