Hemoglobin affinity in Andean rodents
Blood hemoglobin oxygen affinity (P50) was measured in three Andean species and in the laboratory rat (control), all raised near sea level. Chinchilla lanigera (Molina, 1792) has an altitudinal habitat range from low Andean slopes up to 3000 m., while Chinchilla brevicaudata (Waterhouse, 1848) has an altitudinal range from 3000 to 5000 m. The laboratory type guinea pig, wild type guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), (Waterhouse, 1748), and laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus) were also raised at sea level. The Andean species had high hemoglobin oxygen affinities (low P50) compared with the rat. Chinchilla brevicaudata had a higher affinity than Chinchilla lanigera. The wild type guinea pig had a higher affinity than the laboratory type. As has been shown in other species, this is another example of an inverse correlation between the altitude level and the P50 values. This is the first hemoglobin oxygen affinity study in Chinchilla brevicaudata.