Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne ATP and Hemoglobin

Name: David
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2012-2913


Question:
What affect will raising the level of ATP in the cells have on your level of Hemoglobin and or Hemocrit ? If one has a high amount of ATP in the cells, might this cause the hemoglobin and hemocrit stores to be higher as well ? It seem like there might be a direct correlation between hemoglobin and ATP



Replies:
To my knowledge, there is no direct causal correlation between intracellular ATP levels and hemoglobin levels. While obviously ATP production is significantly dependent on oxygen supply to the cell, I doubt there is a strong connection between levels of the two.

The reason for this is because ATP is an extremely temporary store of cellular energy - the levels of ATP in a cell at any given time are relatively low, but it is continually being used up and recreated during various cellular processes. A single molecule of ATP is turned over many times a day. ATP levels have little to do with broader and longer-term measures of cellular energy storage since they have such rapid turnover. In contrast, hemoglobin levels (which are related to, but not the same as, hematocrit) are regulated on a long term basis - red blood cells are turned over every 3 months or so, meaning that the pace of change would be much slower and would have to do with the longer-term oxygen needs of the body. A well-known example is with athletic training at high altitudes - hematocrit levels increase over the course of a week or two as the body acclimates to the lower partial pressure of oxygen in the air, necessitating more oxygen-carrying capacity. Since red blood cell turnover (and, by extension, hemoglobin levels and hematocrit) is regulated on the order of weeks, it is highly unlikely that the body would use it to respond to transient changes in ATP levels that are continuously regulated throughout the day.

S. Unterman Ph.D



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: November 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory