Our experiments demonstrate that proliferation of human lymphocytes as well as fibroblasts is inhibited by oxygen. It is not a toxic effect and it has not been possible to find an intermediary link in intracellular glycolysis, oxidative metabolism, or macromolecule synthesis. Accessory cells may reduce the inhibitory action of oxygen, thereby exerting an influence on the growth rate. In view of recent hypotheses on the mediation of hormone effects via a membrane dehydrogenase system our results may indicate that also the mitotic activation is dependent on the redox state of the membrane for the function of a proton gradient across the plasma membrane itself, delivering energy for glucos and amino acid transport.

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