The effects of xenon, argon, and hydrogen on the aerobic and anaerobic metabolism of mouse liver, brain, and sarcoma slices have been investigated. Xenon was found to alter the rates of metabolism of these tissues in a manner almost identical with helium. The gas increased the rate of oxygen consumption in all three tissues and significantly depressed that of anaerobic glycolysis in brain and liver. The depression of glycolysis in sarcoma was less pronounced and not highly significant.
Although both the magnitude and statistical significance of the effects observed with argon were much smaller, there was a seeming adherence to the general pattern established by xenon and helium. Hydrogen while remaining essentially ineffective insofar as oxygen uptake was concerned, depressed glycolysis in both liver and brain slices but did not significantly affect sarcoma slices.
The following points are stressed in the Discussion: (1) the magnitude and direction of effects exerted by helium, argon, xenon, hydrogen, and nitrogen do not conform with the relative values of molecular weight, density, and solubility of these gases; (2) the effect of these gases on tissue metabolism does not necessarily parallel that exerted upon the whole organism.