The interchange of oxygen coming inwards and the carbon dioxide going outwards forms the process of respiration. Amoeba has no special respiratory organs and no respiratory pigments but there is a free exchange of gases by diffusion through the general body surface which is permeable to the gases dissolved in water. Oxygen constantly diffuses into the cytoplasm for its concentration in water is always higher than in the cytoplasm. The oxygen brings about enzymatically assisted oxidation of carbohydrates, fats and even proteins and breaks them into simpler compounds. The energy liberated in the oxidation reactions is stcred in the high energy bonds of adenosine-triphosphate(ATP) . The ATP, like that of any other cell, is the formation of metabolic wastes, carbon dioxide and water. In amoeba, the by-product of the oxidation of proteins is ammonia. Carbon dioxide and ammonia are excreted out by diffusion in the surrounding water as well as in the water discharged by the contractile vacuole.
The protoplasm of A. proteus is of higher concentration than the fresh water of its environment. This causes the entrance of water into semi-permeable plasmalemma. Not only does water enter in by endosmosis but also some water is formed within the cytoplasm as a result of metabolic activity and some gets in along with ingested food organism. This nessecitates the getting rid of the excess water to prevent the swelling and thus the rupture of amoebas body. The mechanism which affects the water regulation is called osmo regulation. The role of osmoregulation is assigned to the contractile vacuole. Some waste substances are also excreted through the vacuole.
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