Variations in tumor cell growth rates and metabolism with oxygen concentration, glucose concentration, and extracellular pH
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
Copyright © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Cellular Physiology
Volume 151, Issue 2, pages 386–394, May 1992
How to Cite
Casciari, J. J., Sotirchos, S. V. and Sutherland, R. M. (1992), Variations in tumor cell growth rates and metabolism with oxygen concentration, glucose concentration, and extracellular pH. J. Cell. Physiol., 151: 386–394. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041510220
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2005
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 DEC 1991
- Manuscript Received: 12 APR 1990
Tumors and multicellular tumor spheroids can develop gradients in oxygen concentration, glucose concentration, and extracellular pH as they grow. In order to calculate these gradients and assess their impact on tumor growth, it is necessary to quantify the effect of these variables on tumor cell metabolism and growth. In this work, the oxygen consumption rates, glucose consumption rates, and growth rates of EMT6/Ro mouse mammary tumor cells were measured at a variety of oxygen concentrations, glucose concentrations, and extracellular pH levels. At an extracellular pH of 7.25, the oxygen consumption rate of EMT6/Ro cells increased by nearly a factor of 2 as the glucose concentration was decreased from 5.5 mM to 0.4 mM. This effect of glucose concentration on oxygen consumption rate, however, was slight at an extracellular pH of 6.95 and disappeared completely at an extracellular pH of 6.60. The glucose consumption rate of EMT6/Ro cells increased by roughly 40% when the oxygen concentration was reduced from 0.21 mM to 0.023 mM and decreased by roughly 60% when the extracellular pH was decreased from 7.25 to 6.95. The growth rate of EMT6/Ro cells decreased with decreasing oxygen concentration and extracellular pH; however, severe conditions were required to stop cell growth (0.0082 mM oxygen and an extracellular pH of 6.60). Empirical correlations were developed from these data to express EMT6/Ro cell growth rates, oxygen consumption rates, and glucose consumption rates, as functions of oxygen concentration, glucose concentration, and extracellular pH. These empirical correlations make it possible to mathematically model the gradients in oxygen concentration, glucose concentration, and extracellular pH in EMT6/Ro multicellular spheroids by solution of the diffusion/reaction equations. Computations such as these, along with oxygen and pH microelectrode measurements in EMT6/Ro multicellular spheroids, indicated that nutrient concentration and pH levels in the inner regions of spheroids were low enough to cause significant changes in nutrient consumption rates and cell growth rates. However, pH and oxygen concentrations measured or calculated in EMT6/Ro spheroids where quiescent cells have been observed were not low enough to cause the cessation of cell growth, indicating that the observed quiescence must have been due to factors other than acidic pH, oxygen depletion, or glucose depletion. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.