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A Quantitative Study of Oxygen as a Metabolic RegulatorAn acute reduction in oxygen (O2) delivery to a tissue is generally associated with a decrease in phosphocreatine, increases in ADP, NADH/NAD, and inorganic phosphate, increased rates of glycolysis and lactate production, and reduced rates of pyruvate and fatty acid oxidation. However, given the complexity of the human bioenergetic system and its components, it is difficult to determine quantitatively how cellular metabolic processes interact to maintain ATP homeostasis during stress (e.g., hypoxia, ischemia, and exercise). Of special interest is the determination of mechanisms relating tissue oxygenation to observed metabolic responses at the tissue, organ, and whole body levels and the quantification of how changes in tissue O2 availability affect the pathways of ATP synthesis and the metabolites that control these pathways. In this study, we extend a previously developed mathematical model of human bioenergetics to provide a physicochemical framework that permits quantitative understanding of O2 as a metabolic regulator. Specifically, the enhancement permits studying the effects of variations in tissue oxygenation and in parameters controlling the rate of cellular respiration on glycolysis, lactate production, and pyruvate oxidation. The whole body is described as a bioenergetic system consisting of metabolically distinct tissue/organ subsystems that exchange materials with the blood. In order to study the dynamic response of each subsystem to stimuli, we solve the ordinary differential equations describing the temporal evolution of metabolite levels, given the initial concentrations. The solver used in the present study is the packaged code LSODE, as implemented in the NASA Lewis kinetics and sensitivity analysis code, LSENS. A major advantage of LSENS is the efficient procedures supporting systematic sensitivity analysis, which provides the basic methods for studying parameter sensitivities (i.e., changes in model behavior due to parameter variation). Sensitivity analysis establishes relationships between model predictions and problem parameters (i.e., initial concentrations, rate coefficients, etc). It helps determine the effects of uncertainties or changes in these input parameters on the predictions, which ultimately are compared with experimental observations in order to validate the model. Sensitivity analysis can identify parameters that must be determined accurately because of their large effect on the model predictions and parameters that need not be known with great precision because they have little or no effect on the solution. This capability may prove to be important in optimizing the design of experiments, thereby reducing the use of animals. This approach can be applied to study the metabolic effects of reduced oxygen delivery to cardiac muscle due to local myocardial ischemia and the effects of acute hypoxia on brain metabolism. Other important applications of sensitivity analysis include identification of quantitatively relevant pathways and biochemical species within an overall mechanism, when examining the effects of a genetic anomaly or pathological state on energetic system components and whole system behavior.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Radhakrishnan, Krishnan (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
LaManna, Joseph C. (Case Western Reserve Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Cabrera, Marco E. (Case Western Reserve Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
International Society of Oxygen Transport to Tissue 27th Annual Meeting(Hanover, NH)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.