Aerobically generated CO2 stored during early exercise

Chuang, M. L. Ting, H. Otsuka, T. et al
J Appl Physiol 87:1087-1097; 1999
Previous studies have shown that a metabolic alkalosis develops in the muscle during early exercise. This has been linked to phosphocreatine hydrolysis. Over a similar time frame, the femoral vein blood pH and plasma K(+) and HCO(-)(3) concentrations increase without an increase in PCO(2). Thus CO(2) from aerobic metabolism is converted to HCO(-)(3) rather than being eliminated by the lungs. The purpose of this study was to quantify the increase in early CO(2) stores and the component due to the exercise-induced metabolic alkalosis (E-I Alk). To avoid masking the increase in CO(2) stores by CO(2) released as HCO(-)(3) buffers lactic acid, the transient increase in CO(2) stores was measured only for work rates (WRs) below the lactic acidosis threshold (LAT). The increase in CO(2) stores was evident at the airway starting at approximately 15 s; the increase reached a peak at approximately 60 s and was complete by approximately 3 min of exercise. The increase in CO(2) stores was greater, but the kinetics were unaffected at the higher WR. Three components of the change in aerobically generated CO(2) stores were considered relevant: the carbamate component of the Haldane effect, the increase in CO(2) stores due to increase in tissue PCO(2), and the E-I Alk. The Haldane effect was calculated to be approximately 5%. Physically dissolved CO(2) in the tissues was approximately 30% of the store increase. The remaining E-I Alk CO(2) stores averaged 61 and 68% for 60 and 80% LAT WRs, respectively. The kinetics of O(2) uptake correlated with the time course of the increase in CO(2) stores; the size of the O(2) deficit correlated with the size of the E-I Alk component of the CO(2) stores. We conclude that a major component of the aerobically generated increase in CO(2) stores is the new HCO(-)(3) generated as phosphocreatine is converted to creatine.

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