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The Respiratory System

5 Functions of the
Respiratory System
1. Provides extensive gas exchange surface area
between air and circulating blood
2. Moves air to and from exchange surfaces of
3. Protects respiratory surfaces from outside
4. Produces sounds-speaking, singing
5. Participates in olfactory sense
Components of the Respiratory System

Figure 231
The Respiratory Epithelium

Figure 232
The Respiratory Epithelium

For gases to exchange efficiently:

alveoli walls must be very thin (< 1 m)
surface area must be very great (about 35 times the
surface area of the body)
Bronchi and Lobules

Figure 239
bronchioles are
connected to
alveoli along
alveolar ducts
Alveolar ducts end
at alveolar sacs:
common chambers
connected to many
individual alveoli
An Alveolus
Has an
network of
Is surrounded
by elastic
Mechanisms of Pulmonary Ventilation

Figure 2314

Causes volume changes that create changes in

Volume of thoracic cavity changes:
with expansion or contraction of diaphragm or rib
The Respiratory Muscles

Figure 2316a, b
The Respiratory Muscles

Figure 2316c, d
Respiratory Volumes
Tidal volume (TV) air that moves into and out
of the lungs during a quiet breathing (around
500 ml)
Inspiratory reserve volume (IRV) air that can
inspired forcibly after a tidal inspiration (2100
3200 ml)
Expiratory reserve volume (ERV) air that can
be expired forcefully after a normal expiration
(10001200 ml)
Residual volume (RV) air left in the lungs after
a forceful expiration (1200 ml)
Respiratory Capacities
Inspiratory capacity (IC) total amount of air that
can be inspired after a tidal expiration (IRV + TV)
Functional residual capacity (FRC) amount of air
remaining in the lungs after a tidal expiration
(RV + ERV)
Vital capacity (VC) the total amount of
exchangeable air (TV + IRV + ERV)
Total lung capacity (TLC) maximal amount of air
that the lung is able to hold (approximately 6000 ml
in males)
Pulmonary Function Tests

Spirometer an instrument consisting of a

hollow bell inverted over water, used to
evaluate respiratory function
Transport and Exchange of
Carbon Dioxide

At the tissues:
Bicarbonate quickly diffuses from RBCs into
the plasma
The chloride shift to counterbalance the out
rush of negative bicarbonate ions from the
RBCs, chloride ions (Cl) move from the
plasma into the erythrocytes
Transport and Exchange of
Carbon Dioxide - tissues
Transport and Exchange of
Carbon Dioxide
At the lungs, these processes are reversed
Bicarbonate ions move into the RBCs and bin
with hydrogen ions to form carbonic acid
Carbonic acid is then split by carbonic
anhydrase to release carbon dioxide and water
Carbon dioxide then diffuses from the blood
into the alveoli
Transport and Exchange of
Carbon Dioxide - lungs
Medullary Respiratory Centers
Depth and rate of Breathing

Changing PCO2 levels are monitored by
chemoreceptors of the brain stem
Carbon dioxide in the blood diffuses into the
cerebrospinal fluid
Resulting carbonic acid dissociates, releasing
hydrogen ions
PCO2 levels rise (hypercapnia) resulting in
increased depth and rate of breathing