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Biochem J. 1991 Apr 1;275 ( Pt 1):241-5.

Identification of a superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase system in human fibroblasts.

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  • 1Chemisches Institut, Tier√§rztliche Hochschule, Hannover, Federal Republic of Germany.


Human fibroblasts have the capacity to release superoxide radicals upon stimulation of an electron transport system similar to the NADPH oxidase of leukocytes. Two components of the NADPH oxidase system, (1) a flavoprotein of 45 kDa which binds diphenylene iodonium (a compound described as a specific inhibitor of the leukocyte NADPH oxidase), and (2) a low-potential cytochrome b, are present in fibroblast membranes. Fibroblasts exhibit these compounds at lower concentrations than do polymorphonuclear leukocytes or B-lymphocytes. The superoxide-generating system is rather uniformly associated with the outer cell membrane, as shown by light and electron microscopy. Superoxide release upon stimulation with various agents was prevented by the addition of micromolar concentrations of diphenylene iodonium, making an NADPH oxidase a likely source.

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