Quantitative estimates of intracellular fluxes and measurements of intracellular concentrations were used to evaluate the effect of dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration on CRL 1606 hybridoma cells in batch culture. The estimates of intracellular fluxes were generated by combining material balances with measurements of extracellular metabolite rates of change. Experiments were performed at DO levels of 60% and 1% air saturation, as well as under oxygen-limited conditions. Cell extracts were analyzed to evaluate the effect of DO on the intracellular concentrations of the glutamate dehydrogenase reactants, as well as the redox state of the pyridine nucleotides in the cytosol and mitochondria. The relationship between cell density and pyridine nucleotide redox state was also investigated. Dissolved oxygen concentration had a significant effect on nitrogen metabolism and the flux through glutamate dehydrogenase was found to reverse at low DO, favoring glutamate formation. The NAD in the cytosol and mitochondria was more reduced under low DO conditions while the cytosolic NAD was more oxidized at low DO. Cytosolic NAD was reduced at higher cell densities while the redox states of cytosolic NADP and mitochondrial NAD did not exhibit significant variation with cell density. These results point to the fundamental role of the intracellular oxidation/reduction state in cell physiology and the possibility of controlling physiological processes through modulation of the dissolved oxygen level or the oxidation/reduction potential of the culture.
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