O2 consumption in the in-vitro fetal side human placenta

Haya Mover-Lev*, David Dreval, Haim Zakut, Amos Ar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relative dependence of placental O2 consumption (Ṁ(O2),) on O2 supply (SupO2) parameters, and the fraction of aerobic O2 utilization, was studied by in-vitro perfusion of the fetal side of term human placental lobes. Placental Ṁ(O2), was a function of the combined effect of SupO2 parameters (P(O2), perfusate flow rate, perfusate effective O2 solubility) and not of each separately. At SupO2 greater than 800 μl/(min · lobe), Ṁ(O2) saturated at 260 μl/min · lobe). No accumulation of O2 debt could be detected even after 2 h anoxia. Adding CN- or CO to perfusate did not abolish Ṁ(O2), and a residual Ṁ(O2) of 31-37% of control Ṁ(O2) was measured. In its Ṁ(O2), the placenta is a typical conformer tissue. This conformity enables conservation of O2 transfer to the embryo even when placental SupO2 is radically reduced. Only about 60-70% of placental Ṁ(O2) is utilized in the aerobic respiratory pathway, while about 30-40% of the oxygen is used in other pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • Development, placenta
  • Mammals, humans
  • Metabolism
  • O consumption
  • Placenta, O consumption


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