Cremer, Thomas; Werdan, K.; Stevenson, A. F. G.; Lehner, K.; Messerschmidt, O. (1981): Aging in vitro and D-glucose uptake kinetics of diploid human fibroblasts. In: Journal of Cellular Physiology, Vol. 106, Nr. 1: S. 99-108




By use of a rapid technique, initial rates of D-glucose transport were obtained during the lifespan in vitro of a commercially available strain of human embryo lung fibroblasts (Flow 2000). The apparent Km of the D-glucose carrier did not change during senescence in vitro: = 1.8 mM (range 1.3-2.3) in phase II, = 1.8 mM (range 1.5-2.2) in phase III. Transport rates remained constant in stationary phase II cultures, which had completed between 30% and 80% of their replicative lifespan. A wide variation, however, was observed in terminally differentiated cells (phase III), which showed a two- to threefold increase in average cell size and protein content. In some senescent cultures, glucose transport calculated on a per cell basis was also two-to threefold increased, while it was strongly decreased (-75%) in others. When calculated per unit of cell water, protein, and surface area, respectively, transport rates in phase III cultures ranged from values established for stationary phase II cultures down to very low values. Detaching cells flushed off from senescent cultures did not show measurable rates of glucose transport into the inulin impermeable cell space. Present evidence argues against the idea that an impairment of D-glucose transport might precede loss of replicative potential in aging human fibroblasts. Instead our data indicate that the transport capacity of cell membrane finally decreases during postreplicative senescence in terminally differentiated cells.