The heat produced by Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells was measured microcalorimetrically to investigate the characteristics of the energetics of these cells. 2,4-Dinitrophenol and other inhibitors were used to obtain the standard thermograms. The heat level of starved Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells (endogenous) was almost constant and linear and depended on the cell number used in the experiments (about 1 cal/1 × 108 cells/hr). The endogenous heat generation was suppressed strongly by potassium cyanide but not by iodoacetic acid or 2,4-dinitrophenol.

On the other hand, heat evolution was directly related to the amount of glucose added to the medium but not to the number of cells (19 cal/mmol of glucose). The addition of iodoacetic acid markedly suppressed heat generation, but potassium cyanide did not. In contrast, glucose with dinitrophenol increased heat production markedly to about 10% higher than that of the control, possibly due to the uncoupled energy from oxidative phosphorylation. Malonic acid (1 mm) suppressed slightly the endogenous heat but caused a 15% reduction in exogenous heat.

The amount of heat produced by the addition of glucose (19 cal/mmol) was equivalent to 40% of the theoretical value of energy released through glycolysis (47 cal/mmol). Thus, the heat produced by exogenous glucose appears to be mainly dependent on glycolysis.


This work was supported by grants from the Anticancer Association in Okinawa, Japan.

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