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Trends Biochem Sci. 1990 Feb;15(2):69-72.

Turning on the respiratory burst.

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Theodor-Kocher Institute, University of Bern, Switzerland.


The respiratory burst is a distinguishing property of phagocytes. It is induced by chemotactic stimulation or phagocytosis and reflects the activation of a membrane-bound enzyme system that transfers electrons from cytosolic NADPH to extracellular oxygen, producing superoxide. The products of the burst are essential for the killing of microorganisms, but are also a cause of tissue damage and inflammation. Studies aimed at a better understanding of the regulation of the respiratory burst should help in the search for new ways to treat infections and inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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