Oxygen modulates the growth of skin fibroblasts

  • Arthur K. BalinEmail author
  • Loretta Pratt
Articles Cell Growth/Differentiation/Apoptosis


Elevated oxygen tensions are inhibitory to the growth of skin fibroblasts. Skin fibroblasts grow better at oxygen tensions below 137 mm Hg regardless of seeding density. A wide range of oxygen tensions, including those in the physiological range, strongly modulate the growth of human skin fibroblasts. There were no significant differences between the responses of fetal and postnatal cell lines to changes in ambient oxygen tension. In all cases, higher oxygen tensions significantly impeded cell growth. Seeding cells at 104 cells/cm2 afforded some protection from the deleterious effects of hyperoxia. Oxygen tensions exceeding the amount present in ambient room air also impeded cell growth at this higher seeding density, but the effect did, not become significant until the oxygen partial pressure reached 241 mm Hg. At lower oxygen tensions, cells seeded at 103 cells/cm2 grew more rapidly than did cells seeded at 104 cells/cm2. These findings may have implications for the treatment of poorly healing wounds with hyperbaric oxygen.

Key words

oxygen toxicity cell culture cell growth wound healing mitosis 


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Copyright information

© Society for In Vitro Biology 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Investigative DermatologyThe Rockefeller UniversityNew York

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