colloid osmotic pressure of normal human plasma averages about 28 mm Hg; 19 mm of this is caused by molecular effects of the dissolved protein and 9 mm by the Donnan effect—that is, extra osmotic pressure caused by sodium, potassium, and the other cations held in the plasma by the proteins.
Effect of the Different Plasma Proteins on Colloid Osmotic Pressure. The plasma proteins are a mixture that contains albumin, with an average molecular weight of 69,000; globulins, 140,000; and fibrinogen, 400,000. Thus, 1 gram of globulin contains only half as many molecules as 1 gram of albumin, and 1 gram of fibrinogen contains only one sixth as many molecules as 1 gram of albumin. It should be recalled from the discussion of osmotic pressure in Chapter 4 that osmotic pressure is determined by the number of molecules dissolved in a fluid rather than by the mass of these molecules. Therefore, when corrected for number of molecules rather than mass, the following chart gives both the relative mass concentrations (g/dl) of the different types of proteins in normal plasma and their respective contributions to the total plasma colloid osmotic pressure (np).
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.