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Reducing the hypoxic fraction of a tumour model by growth in low glucose.

  • Author(s): Hlatky, L
  • SACHS, Rainer K.
  • Ring, C
  • et al.
Abstract

The question of whether growth under low glucose conditions leads to a reduced amount of cell hypoxia was investigated using an in vitro tumour analogue, the sandwich system. In this multicellular system, the interplay between diffusion and consumption of oxygen and nutrients results in spatial gradients of these environmental factors. Gradients in the environment lead to biological heterogeneity within the cell population. A necrotic centre, surrounded by a viable cell border, subsequently develops. Cells adjacent to the necrotic centre in sandwiches are hypoxic and are in an environment somewhat analogous to that of cells adjacent to necrotic regions in solid tumours. Using sandwiches of the 9L and V79 cell lines, the effects of growth under low glucose conditions on the degree of hypoxia in regions adjacent to the necrotic centre were investigated. Per-cell binding of 3H-misonidazole, assessed by autoradiography, was used as an indicator of oxygen deprivation. It was found that the extent of the hypoxic region and the severity of hypoxia were considerably reduced by growing sandwiches in a glucose concentration of 0.6 mM rather than 6.5 mM. This reduction was found in conjunction with a smaller viable border; it occurred despite the fact that the average per-cell oxygen consumption is higher in the low glucose sandwiches. The data are qualitatively consistent with a joint oxygen-glucose deprivation model for cell necrosis.

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