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Free Radic Biol Med. 2001 Oct 1;31(7):894-901.

A real-time electrochemical technique for measurement of cellular hydrogen peroxide generation and consumption: evaluation in human polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

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Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Laboratories, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


There has been a long-standing need for sensitive and specific techniques for hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) measurement. We describe the development and application of a highly sensitive electrochemical sensor, utilizing a membrane-coated platinum microelectrode, suitable for real-time measurement of hydrogen peroxide generation and consumption in biochemical or cellular systems. This sensor provides high sensitivity enabling measurement of hydrogen peroxide down to 5-10 nM concentrations. We demonstrate that it can be used to measure the magnitude and time course of H(2)O(2) generation from the NADPH oxidase in leukocytes as well as the rate of H(2)O(2) degradation. After human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) were activated by phorbol 12-myristate acetate, H(2)O(2) concentration increased with time and reached a peak concentration, from 5 to 15 microM in PMNs prepared from different individuals, within 3 to 8 min, then decreased slowly. The H(2)O(2) concentration in the solution is less than the total H(2)O(2) generation from the activated PMNs because a part of H(2)O(2) generated is decomposed. H(2)O(2) in solution, generated from the PMNs, was rapidly consumed after the activated PMNs were treated with 10 microM diphenylene iodonium (DPI). The rate of H(2)O(2) consumption was measured following the addition of exogenous H(2)O(2). The total production of H(2)O(2) from the activated PMNs was calculated from the measured H(2)O(2) concentration and the rate of H(2)O(2) consumption. This technique enables sensitive and continuous real-time measurement of H(2)O(2) concentration and total H(2)O(2) generation in cellular or enzyme systems without addition of any detection reagents.

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