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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Detection of superoxide generated by endothelial cells.

Superoxide and lipid free-radical generation in cultured endothelial cells treated with menadione or nitrazepam were measured using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. Superoxide was detected both intracellularly and extracellularly. Extracellular generation of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide was also measured, either by spectrophotometric measurement of succinoylated cytochrome c reduction or by polarography. Extracellular superoxide was generated due to reduced menadione diffusing across the plasma membrane and reacting with oxygen to generate superoxide in the medium. Increased intracellular oxygen tension favored intracellular oxidation of reduced menadione, thus decreasing diffusion of reduced menadione from the cells and, hence, decreasing extracellular superoxide production. The nitro anion free radical of reduced nitrazepam, which cannot cross the plasma membrane, did not generate detectable extracellular superoxide. Our results show that intracellular superoxide can be spin-trapped using 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-1-oxide and that secondary free-radical injury to membrane lipids, due to excess production of partially reduced species of oxygen by intact cells, can be detected by spin-trapping lipid free radicals with phenyl N-tert-butylnitrone.[1]


  1. Detection of superoxide generated by endothelial cells. Rosen, G.M., Freeman, B.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1984) [Pubmed]
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