Respiratory System


Respiration is a biochemical process of oxidation of assimilated food to produce energy. It is a catabolic process. Respiration involves external respiration (exchange of respiratory gases in between respiratory surface and blood), transportation of respiratory gases and internal respiration (oxidation of food in cells; cellular respiration; energy is produced along with water and carbon dioxide). The energy obtained is trapped as chemical energy in ATP molecules. ATPs are hydrolyzed and energy is released in required form. S.N. Aerobic Respiration 1. S.N. Anaerobic Respiration Oxidation of food takes place in absence of oxygen gas. Oxidation of food is incomplete and into lactic acid, ethanol or carbon dioxide along with energy. C 6 H 12 O 6 > 2C 3 H 6 O 3 + Energy C 6 H 12 O 6 > 2C 2 H 5 OH + 2CO 2 + Energy 3. It is more efficient. 686 kcal or 38 ATPs 3. of energy is produced from one 56 kcal or only 2 ATPs of energy is produced from one molecule of glucose.

Oxidation of food takes place in the 1. presence of oxygen.


Food is completely oxidized into CO 2 , 2. H 2 O and energy. C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 > 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O

molecule of glucose. 4. It takes place in cytoplasm and 4. Only in cytoplasm. Also occurs in RBCs of higher animals and skeletal muscles. Anaerobes – endoparasites like Ascaris, Taenia, Bacteria, Yeast, etc.

mitochondria. 5. Aerobes are the organisms which 5. perform aerobic respiration.

Respiratory Organs in Human

1. Nostrils aNd Nasal Chamber Nostrils are two in number and just above philtron; separated from each other by cartilaginous septum. The external nostrils lead into nasal chamber.

Nasal chamber is separated into two halves by a nasal septum which is cartilaginous anteriorly and bony posteriorly made up of vomer and ethmoid bones. Nasal bone internally bears turbinals called nasal turbinals which increase the surface area for olfaction. Nasal chamber is lined by sensory epithelium in the upper third, which bears nerve endings of olfactory nerves. Lower third is lined by ciliated columnar epithelium bearing some goblet cells. Vestibule of nasal chamber bears nasal hairs or vibrissae. Nasal chambers posteriorly open into Nasopharynx through internal nares.

• • •

Smelling (olfaction) Filtration of dust particles Secretion and Propulsion of mucus

2. PharyNx It is a common tube for respiratory tract and digestive tract. It is incompletely divided into three parts by soft pallet: A. Nasopharynx: It is the pharynx above soft palate towards nasal chamber. It has opening of internal nares and a pair of oval opening of Eustachian tubes. It also bears mass of lymph nodules called pharyngeal tonsil (also called adenoids). B. Oropharynx: It is present below soft pallet towards buccal chamber. C. Laryngopharynx: It is present below and behind uvula. It has the openings of glottis and gullet. Opening of glottis is guarded by a leaf like cartilage called epiglottis. It prevents entry of food towards respiratory tract. Pharynx is lined by stratified squamous epithelium. 3. laryNx The Laryngopharynx leads into larynx (voice box) through glottis, guarded by cartilaginous flap, the epiglottis. Size remains same in boys and girls before puberty. After puberty, larynx becomes larger in boys than girls. It is then called Adam’s apple.

The larynx is a cartilaginous box consisting of nine cartilages. The unpaired cartilages are epiglottis, thyroid cartilage (bilobed) and cricoids cartilage (below thyroid). The paired cartilages include arytenoid, corniculate and cuneiform. Larynx encloses a pair of vocal folds (cords) and a pair of vestibular folds (false vocal cords). The true vocal cords extend in between thyroid cartilage and arytenoid cartilage. Vocal cords produce sound. False vocal cords are supportive in function.

• • •

Pitch of the sound depends on length and tightness of vocal cord. Loudness depends on force of vibration. Quality of sound depends on position of mouth, lips and tongue. There is also the role of paranasal sinuses.

4. traChea Trachea is about 11 or 12 cm long tube which runs along the neck anterior to oesophagus in the median plane. It extends in between sixth cervical to fifth thoracic vertebra. The trachea is

supported by 16 to 20 C-shaped incomplete cartilaginous rings made of hyaline cartilage. These rings prevent the trachea from collapsing during expiration. The trachea is internally lined by ciliated columnar epithelium with goblet cells. At the level of fifth thoracic vertebra, trachea bifurcates into primary bronchi at carina. 5. broNChi aNd broNChioles Trachea bifurcates into right primary bronchus and left primary bronchus at carina. Each bronchus enters into the lungs of respective side at hilus.

The right primary bronchus is shorter (2.5 cm), wider and more vertical than the left one. After entering into the right lung, it divides into three secondary bronchi, each entering into a lobe of right lung. The left primary bronchus is longer (5 cm), narrower and less vertical. After entering into the left lung, it
gets divided into two secondary bronchi.

Secondary bronchus branches into third order tertiary bronchus. Further repeated branching takes place up to 23 orders forming bronchioles, terminal bronchioles, respiratory bronchioles and alveolar ducts. Such branching is called Bronchial tree.

6. luNgs
There are two lungs, one on each side occupying most space of thoracic cavity. The area between the two lungs is called media stinum. Each lung is soft, spongy, light and pink in colour. Each lung consists of rounded apex, concave base, convex outer (costal) surface and concave medial surface. Each lung is enclosed in a double layered epithelium called pleura. The outer layer is called parietal pleura and the inner layer is called visceral pleura. In between these layers, there is the presence of pleural cavity filled with small amount of pleural fluid. It reduces friction and allows contraction and expansion of lungs. The right lung is larger (700 grams) and broader than left lung. It is divided into three lobes by transverse and oblique fissures: 1. Right superior lobe 2. Right middle lobe 3. Right inferior lobe

The left lung is smaller (600 grams) , narrower and longer than right lung. It is divided into two lobes by oblique fissures: 1. Left superior lobe 2. Left inferior lobe The left lung bears cardiac notch on medial surface where heart is placed.

Each lung bears Bronchial tree and about 350 millions of alveoli or air sacs. The alveoli are the functional unit of lungs as gaseous exchange takes place in alveoli of lungs. Alveoli are richly supplied with blood capillaries. The alveoli are lined by simple squamous epithelium. The epithelium bears Type-I Pneumocytes which help in gaseous exchange. Type-II Pneumocytes produce phospholipid fluid called surfactant that prevents the lungs from collapsing by reducing surface tension. In addition, there are pneumatic macrophages which engulf germs.

Mechanism of Respiration 1. breathiNg or PulmoNary VeNtilatioN It involves inspiration and expiration. Inspiration is the process by which atmospheric air is taken into the respiratory surface. Expiration is the process by which air present in lungs is expelled out. These are possible by the change in volume of the thoracic cavity. Thoracic cavity bears vertebral column dorsally, sternum ventrally and ribs laterally. It posteriorly bears diaphragm. In between two successive ribs, there is the presence of intercostals muscles: external and internal.

INSPIRATION It is an active process involving energy. The external intercostals muscles contract due to which ribs are raised up and simultaneously sternum moves upward and then outward. Diaphragm contracts and lowers down. Thus, volume of thoracic cavity increases. Volume of lungs also increases. So, pulmonary air pressure in lungs decreases and atmospheric air rushes towards lungs through respiratory passage. EXPIRATION Expiration is a passive process and doesn’t need energy. External intercostals muscles get relaxed. Ribs and sternum retain their original position. Diaphragm relaxes and becomes dome shaped. Thus, volume of thoracic cavity and lungs decreases and pulmonary air pressure in lungs increases. Air rushes out through respiratory passage. During forceful expiration, there is contraction of abdominal muscles and internal intercostal muscles.

2. exChaNge of resPiratory gases The exchange of respiratory gases takes place between alveolar air and the blood in alveolar blood capillaries. It occurs by diffusion across the partial pressure gradient of oxygen and carbon dioxide until and equilibrium is attained. The respiratory membrane across which gaseous exchange takes place is formed from one cell thick layer of alveolar wall and blood capillary.

Partial pressure of oxygen in alveolar air is 105 mm Hg and in alveolar blood is 40 mm Hg. So, oxygen diffuses from alveolus to blood. Partial pressure of carbon dioxide in alveolar air is 40 mm Hg and in alveolar blood is 46 mm Hg. So, carbon dioxide diffuses from blood to alveolus. The blood that leaves the alveolus has P O2 = 100 mm Hg and P CO2 = 40 mm Hg.

3. traNsPortatioN of oxygeN Oxygen is transported in two ways. 98.5% oxygen is transported in chemical combination with hemoglobin forming oxyhaemoglobin. Hb 4 + 4O 2 = Hb 4 O 8 (Oxyhaemoglobin) Rest 1.5% oxygen is transported in solution form in plasma water. 4. iNterNal resPiratioN It involves oxidation of food in the presence of oxygen releasing energy. Oxyhaemoglobin is unstable compound that is dissociated in Haemoglobin and oxygen in low pH (less oxygen, more carbon dioxide) and raised temperature.

The oxygen diffuses into tissues and is used in oxidation of food releasing energy, carbon dioxide and water. C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 = 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + Energy 5. traNsPortatioN of CarboN dioxide The carbon dioxide so produced is transported by three ways. a. AS CARBONIC ACID About 7 % carbon dioxide is transported as carbonic acid. H 2 O + CO 2 = H 2 CO 3 (Carbonic Acid) b. AS BICARBONATE About 70 % carbon dioxide is transported as bicarbonates. Carbon dioxide diffuses into RBCs where it combines with water to form carbonic acid in the presence of carbonic anhydrate (CA). CO 2 + H 2 O H 2 CO 3 H+ + CO 3 --

Most of Bicarbonate ions from RBCs diffuse out into blood plasma. To maintain electrical neutrality, equal number of chloride ions diffuses into RBCs from blood plasma. It is called Chloride Shift or Hamburger’s Phenomenon. H+ ions are buffered by haemoglobin. The bicarbonates in RBCs combine with K+ ions forming KHCO 3 . The bicarbonate ions in plasma combine with Na+ ions forming NaHCO 3 . Reverse reactions take place in capillaries of lungs and carbon dioxide is released in blood.

Halden’s Effect
Deoxygenated haemoglobin is better buffer to H+ ions than oxygenated haemoglobin. In tissue capillaries, deoxygenated haemoglobin is present that combines with hydrogen ions more efficiently. It facilitates the formation of hydrogen and bicarbonate from carbonic acid. Such facilitated formation is called Halden’s effect. c. AS CARBAMINO COMPOUND About 23% of carbon dioxide is transported by this method. Carbon dioxide combines with carbon dioxide with amino group of globin compound of haemoglobin and form Carbamino haemoglobin. Hb-NH 2 + CO 2 = Hb-NHCOOH (Carbamino Haemoglobin) Oxygen Dissociation Curve

It is the graphical representation of percentage saturation of Haemoglobin with oxygen at partial pressure of oxygen. This curve is sigmoid (S-shaped). In deoxygenated blood, partial pressure of oxygen is 40 mm Hg and percentage saturation of Haemoglobin is 75 %. In oxygenated blood, partial pressure of oxygen in 100 mm Hg and percentage saturation of haemoglobin is 97%. Bohr’s Effect Increase in partial pressure of carbon dioxide decreases the affinity of haemoglobin to oxygen. Thus, it shifts the oxygen dissociation curve to the right and this is called Bohr’s effect.

In the tissues, partial pressure of carbon dioxide is more. That decreases the affinity of haemoglobin to oxygen. Then, Hb 4 O 8 dissociates and oxygen diffuses into tissues. In the capillary of lungs, partial pressure of carbon dioxide is less. This increases the affinity of haemoglobin to oxygen. Then, haemoglobin combines with four molecules of oxygen to form Hb 4 O 8 . Lung Volumes and Capacities The normal breathing rate at rest is 12 to 16 times per minute. It is more during exercises and childhood. Spirometer is a device used to measure the volume of air inhaled or exhaled.

1. tidal Volume (tV): It is the volume of air normally inspired or expired in one breath without any effort. It is about 500 ml. for an average adult human male. DEAD SPACE: It is the area of respiratory tract in which air is present but exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with blood does not take place. Its volume is about 150 ml. Hence, only 350 ml. of air is available for gaseous exchange. 2. iNsPiratory reserVe Volume (irV): It is the volume of air that can be inhaled by maximum Inspiratory effort after an ordinary respiration. It amounts to about 3,100 ml. 3. exPiratory reserVe Volume (erV): The volume of air that can be exhaled by maximum expiratory effort after an ordinary respiration is known as ERV. It is about 1.200 ml. 4. residual Volume (rV): The RV is the amount of air which remains in the lungs after maximum expiration. It is about 1.200 ml.

total luNg CaPaCity (tlC): The amount of air present in lungs after forceful inspiration is called TLC. TLC = IRV + TV + ERV + RV = 6,000 ml. Vital CaPaCity: The amount of air that can be forcefully exhaled after forceful inspiration is called VC. VC = 80 % of TLC = TLC – RV = 4,800 ml.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful