Low oxygen stimulates proliferation of fibroblasts seeded as single cells

J Cell Physiol. 1993 Mar;154(3):506-10. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041540308.


In standard tissue culture conditions (20% oxygen), single human dermal fibroblasts (one cell per well) do not proliferate. We now report that low oxygen tension is a potent stimulus for the proliferation and expansion of human adult and neonatal dermal fibroblasts seeded as single cells. This preferential single-cell proliferation in low oxygen is shown to be also a feature of human lung and dermal rodent fibroblasts, but not of human fibrosarcoma and immortalized 3T3 cells, which proliferate without difficulty in standard oxygen conditions. It is suggested that single-cell proliferation and its dramatic stimulation in low oxygen may represent a fundamental biologic process with an opportunity to better understand mammalian cell growth regulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Division*
  • Cell Hypoxia*
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Culture Media