- Last Update On : 2013-02-21
Regulation of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in blood, or more precisely of the ratio of bicarbonate to dissolved carbon dioxide concentration, is essential for maintaining acid-base balance. CO2 is a major determinant of blood pH because of its conversion to carbonic acid. As CO2 concentration rises, so does hydrogen ion (H+) concentration. Respiration rate, which is controlled bypCO2 sensitive chemoreceptors in the brain stem and carotid artery, is increased ifpCO2 is rising and decreased ifpCO2 is declining. Increased respiratory rate results in increased rate of CO2 elimination and decreased respiratory rate promotes CO2 retention. A low CO2 level may be associated with metabolic acidosis or compensated respiratory alkalosis. High CO2 content may be associated with metabolic alkalosis or compensated respiratory acidosis.
All cells depend on aerobic metabolism for generation of energy, in the form of ATP. During this process, mitochondria consume oxygen and produce ca