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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1990 May 22;1052(3):379-85.

Superoxide enhances hypochlorous acid production by stimulated human neutrophils.

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Department of Pathology, Christchurch School of Medicine, Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand.


Stimulated neutrophils undergo a respiratory burst discharging large quantities of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide. They also release myeloperoxidase, which catalyses the conversion of hydrogen peroxide and Cl- to hypochlorous acid. Human neutrophils stimulated with opsonized zymosan promoted the loss of monochlorodimedon. This loss was entirely due to hypochlorous acid, since it did not occur in Cl(-)-free buffer, was inhibited by azide and cyanide, and was enhanced by adding exogenous myeloperoxidase. It was not inhibited by desferal, diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid, mannitol or dimethylsulfoxide, which excluded involvement of the hydroxyl radical. Approx. 30% of the detectable superoxide generated was converted to hypochlorous acid. As expected, formation of hypochlorous acid was completely inhibited by catalase, but it was also inhibited by up to 70% by superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase also inhibited the production of hypochlorous acid by neutrophils stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate. Our results indicate that generation of superoxide by neutrophils enables these cells to enhance their production of hypochlorous acid. Furthermore, inhibition of neutrophil processes by superoxide dismutase and catalase does not necessarily implicate the hydroxyl radical. It is proposed that superoxide may potentiate oxidant damage at inflammatory sites by optimizing the myeloperoxidase-dependent production of hypochlorous acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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