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

Hydrogen peroxide causes the fatal injury to human fibroblasts exposed to oxygen radicals.

Oxygen radicals are suspected as being a cause of the cellular damage that occurs at sites of inflammation. The phagocytic cells that accumulate in areas of inflammation produce superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radical, and probably singlet oxygen in the extracellular fluid. The mechanism by which these oxygen molecules kill cells is unknown. To determine which of the oxygen species is responsible for the cellular killing, we exposed human fibroblasts in culture to oxygen radicals generated by the enzymatic action of xanthine oxidase upon acetaldehyde. Using the amount of chromium-51 released from labeled fibroblasts as an index of cellular death, we found that cells were protected only by interventions that reduce hydrogen peroxide concentration. Agents that inactivate superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and singlet oxygen were ineffective in limiting oxygen radical-induced cellular death.[1]


  1. Hydrogen peroxide causes the fatal injury to human fibroblasts exposed to oxygen radicals. Simon, R.H., Scoggin, C.H., Patterson, D. J. Biol. Chem. (1981) [Pubmed]
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