, Volume 46, Issue 11–12, pp 1160–1162 | Cite as

Contribution of diffusion to the oxygen dependence of energy metabolism in cells

  • D. F. Wilson


In suspensions of normally respiring human neuroblastoma cells, respiration has an oxygen dependence similar to that of suspensions of isolated mitochondria in medium with a comparable phosphorylation state ratio. When mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation is uncoupled, the metabolically imposed oxygen dependence is very small. The respiration of uncoupler treated cells at limiting oxygen pressures is indicative of the diffusion induced oxygen pressure difference between the extracellular medium and the mitochondria. This P50 is proportional to the cellular respiratory rate, with a value of 0.15 Torr for the respiratory rate of normal neuroblastoma cells. The oxygen pressure difference between the cytoplasm surrounding the mitochondria and the mitochondria is probable only a few tens of milliTorr.


Oxygen Respiration Respiratory Rate Energy Metabolism Neuroblastoma 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. F. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Medical SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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