Main Article Content


Objectives: This study investigated the feasibility of using a phosphorescence oxygen analyser to measure cellular respiration (mitochondrial O2 consumption) in foreskin samples and their fibroblast-rich cultures.Methods: Foreskin specimens from normal infants were collected immediately after circumcision and processed for measuring cellular respiration and for culture. Cellular mitochondrial O2 consumption was determined as a function of time from the phosphorescence decay of the Pd (II) meso-tetra-(4-sulfonatophenyl)-tetrabenzoporphyrin. Results: In sealed vials containing a foreskin specimen and glucose, O2 concentration decreased linearly with time, confirming the zero-order kinetics of O2 consumption by cytochrome oxidase. Cyanide inhibited O2 consumption, confirming that the oxidation occurred mainly in the mitochondrial respiratory chain. The rate of foreskin respiration (mean ± SD) was 0.074 ± 0.02 μM O2 min-1 mg-1 (n = 23). The corresponding rate for fibroblast-rich cultures was 9.84 ± 2.43 μM O2 min-1 per 107 cells (n = 15). Fibroblast respiration was significantly lower in a male infant with dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase gene mutations, but normalised with the addition of thiamine or carnitine. Conclusion: The foreskin and its fibroblast-rich culture are suitable for assessment of cellular respiration. However, the clinical utility of foreskin specimens to detect disorders of impaired cellular bioenergetics requires further investigation.


Oxygen Mitochondria Foreskin Respiration Fibroblasts Dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase Thiamine Carnitine

Article Details

How to Cite
Al-Jasmi, F., Pramathan, T., Swid, A., Sahari, B., Penefsky, H. S., & Souid, A.-K. (2013). Mitochondrial Oxygen Consumption by the Foreskin and its Fibroblast-rich Culture. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 13(3), 411–416. Retrieved from

Most read articles by the same author(s)