Effect of High Pressures of Pure Oxygen on Tissues


IN the course of some investigations carried out in the Botany School, Cambridge, between 1927 and 1930, it was found that pressures of the order of 5 atmospheres and more of pure oxygen had an unexpected effect on the production of carbon dioxide from the tissues of higher plants. I postulated that the effect of the pressures was to inhibit completely the activity of the respiratory enzyme systems since carbon dioxide production ceased. This theory was elaborated, by me in 19311. At a much later date, these findings were further developed2. This inhibitory effect of high pressures of pure oxygen was confirmed by subsequent workers and later work showed that the respiratory enzyme systems were inhibited3,4. Other workers showed that similar effects were found in experiments with animal tissues5,6.

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  1. 1

    Caldwell, J., thesis, Cambridge (1931).

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    Caldwell, J., J. Exp. Bot., 7, 326 (1956).

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    Barker, J., and Mapson, L. W., Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 143, 523 (1955).

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    Pritchard, G. G., J. Exp. Bot., 12, (36) 353 (1961).

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    Stadie, W. C., Riggs, B. C., and Haugaard, N., J. Biol. Chem., 160, 191 (1945).

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    Dickens, F., Biochem. J., 40, 171 (1946).

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    Caldwell, J., Nature, 197, 772 (1963).

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CALDWELL, J. Effect of High Pressures of Pure Oxygen on Tissues. Nature 201, 514–515 (1964). https://doi.org/10.1038/201514a0

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