Respiration and Circulation in Vertebrates: Overview


Respiration provides cells with oxygen for their metabolic needs by transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues via the circulation of the blood. The cellular target of the oxygen is the mitochondria, where the cell's energy transduction takes place.

Keywords: mitochondria; lungs; capillary; muscle; aerobic metabolism; heart; exercise

Figure 1.

Model diagram showing the connections of the different parts of the respiratory system. Hb, haemoglobin.

Figure 2.

Increase in oxygen consumption, blood flow, heart rate and stroke volume with exercise intensity in trained and untrained subjects.


Further Reading

Weibel ER (1984) The Pathway for Oxygen. Structure and Function in the Mammalian Respiratory System. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Weibel ER, Taylor CR, Weber JM, Vock R, Roberts TJ and Hoppeler H (1996) Design of the oxygen and substrate pathways. VII. Different structural limits for oxygen and substrate supply to muscle mitochondria. Journal of Experimental Biology 199: 1699–1709.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Hoppeler, Hans, and Weibel, Ewald R(Apr 2001) Respiration and Circulation in Vertebrates: Overview. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001827]