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MCAT Question A Day - 8/13/14 - Answer!

Which of the following would most likely occur in the presence of a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor?

A.  The blood pH would increase.
B.  The carbamino hemoglobin concentration inside erythrocytes would decrease.
C.  The rate of gas exchange in the lungs would decrease.
D.  The oxy hemoglobin concentration inside erythrocytes would increase.

C is correct. Carbonic anhydrase is a catalyst. Catalysts increase the rate of a reaction . If the catalyst iinhibited, the rate decreases. Since the reaction moves in one direction in the lungs, and the oppositdirection in the tissues, answer choice A is ambiguous. Unless one believes that a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor will affect transcription or degradation of hemoglobin, choices B and D are equivalent. If one were true, the other should also be true.

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