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July 1930


Author Affiliations


From the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory of the Boston City Hospital and the Medical Service of the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Hospital of Harvard University.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1930;46(1):46-66. doi:10.1001/archinte.1930.00140130049004

It has been recognized for some time that leukocytes have a remarkable power of transforming dextrose into lactic acid1 and that they consume a considerable amount of oxygen.2 In normal blood, the leukocytes are present in such small numbers that their oxygen consumption is difficult to measure. The erythrocytes, enormously outnumbering them, also show a small but definite oxygen consumption.3 The sugar consumption of normal blood is due in a large part to the erythrocytes.4 When the number of white blood cells is increased, as in leukemia, the blood shows a greatly augmented consumption of oxygen,5 and a rapid consumption of sugar,6 due to the metabolism of the white blood cells. The metabolism of the blood platelets is comparatively insignificant because of their small size.

Warburg7 and his associates have shown that it is possible to demonstrate fundamental differences of metabolism between cancer, embryonic and normal adult tissues by a