Decreased oxidation of labeled glucose by dissociated brain cells in the presence of fetal bovine serum

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Science  25 May 1984:
Vol. 224, Issue 4651, pp. 903-904
DOI: 10.1126/science.6719124


The effect of serum on the rate of substrate oxidation by dissociated brain cells in vitro was examined. At a serum protein concentration of approximately 0.55 milligram per milliliter, oxidation of [6-14C]glucose to 14CO2 was decreased more than 50 percent. Oxidation of [3-14C]-3-hydroxybutyrate and [U-14C]glutamine was decreased much less. Serum from cows, rats, horses, and humans produced similar effects, as did serum from young and old animals and from both sexes. The effect on [6-14C]glucose oxidation was proportional to serum protein concentration, and significant inhibitory activity was obtained with dialyzed serum. Heating (80 degrees C for 10 minutes) significantly reduced the inhibitory activity. These results suggest the presence of a factor in serum that can preferentially decrease glucose oxidation. Such a factor would have profound implications for metabolic regulation in vivo and for studies of cells in vitro in which serum is included in the growth medium.