Regulation of Acid-Base Balance
Regulation of hydrogen ion (H+) balance is similar in some ways to the regulation of other ions in the body. For instance, to achieve homeostasis, there must be a balance between the intake or production of H+ and the net removal of H+ from the body.And, as is true for other ions, the kidneys play a key role in regulating H+ removal. However, precise control of extracellular fluid H+ concentration involves much more than simple elimination of H+ by the kidneys. There are also multi-ple acid-base buffering mechanisms involving the blood, cells, and lungs that are essential in maintaining normal H+ concentrations in both the extracellular and the intracellular fluid.
The various mechanisms that contribute to the regulation of H+ concentration are discussed, with special emphasis on the control of renal H+ secretion and renal reabsorption, production, and excretion of bicarbonate ions (HCO3–), one of the key components of acid-base control systems in the body fluids.
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