Oxygen Affinity and Electrolyte Distribution of Human Blood: Changes Induced by Propranolol

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Science  19 Oct 1973:
Vol. 182, Issue 4109, pp. 300-301
DOI: 10.1126/science.182.4109.300


Propranolol causes a massive leakage of potassium ions from red cells, which results in an alteration of the Gibbs-Donnan equilibrium across the red cell membrane. According to such a mechanism, the presence of propranolol significantly increases the hydrogen ion activity of the interior of the red cell, causing a decreased oxygen affinity of hemoglobin according to the classical Bohr effect. No release of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate which may be bound to the membrane is thus necessary to explain the effect of propranolol on the oxygen dissociation curve of blood.