Evidence for hydroxyl radical production by human neutrophils

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
A I Tauber, B M Babior


The possibility that neutrophils produce the hydroxyl radical (OH-) was studied by examining the ability of these cells to support the release of ethylene from methional, a reaction in which it has been shown that OH-, but not O2- or H2O2, may serve as the oxidizing agent. When neutrophils were exposed to opsonized zymosan in the presence of 0.35 mM methional, ethylene was released in quantities amounting to 44.6+/-3.6 pmol/10(6) cells/40 min. Ethylene production required the presence of neutrophils, opsonized zymosan, and methional, indicating that it was formed from methional by stimulated but not resting neutrophils. Ethylene was not produced by zymosan-treated cells from patients with chronic granulomatous disease, confirming the requirement for respiratory burst activity in this process. Ethylene production was suppressed by benzoic acid, an OH- scavenger. Superoxide dismutase (3 microgram/ml) reduced ethylene production to 21% of control levels, but catalase had no significant effect in this system. These findings indicate that stimulated neutrophils produce a highly reactive oxidizing radical, possibly OH-, which releases ethylene from methional, and that the O2-generated during the respiratory burst is involved in the p...Continue Reading


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