Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 305–315 | Cite as

Assay of superoxide dismutase activity in animal tissues

  • Anuradha Nandi
  • I. B. Chatterjee


Convenient assays for superoxide dismutase have necessarily been of the indirect type. It was observed that among the different methods used for the assay of superoxide dismutase in rat liver homogenate, namely the xanthine-xanthine oxidase ferricytochromec, xanthine-xanthine oxidase nitroblue tetrazolium, and pyrogallol autoxidation methods, a modified pyrogallol autoxidation method appeared to be simple, rapid and reproducible. The xanthine-xanthine oxidase ferricytochromec method was applicable only to dialysed crude tissue homogenates. The xanthine-xanthine oxidase nitroblue tetrazolium method, either with sodium carbonate solution, pH 10.2, or potassium phosphate buffer, pH 7·8, was not applicable to rat liver homogenate even after extensive dialysis. Using the modified pyrogallol autoxidation method, data have been obtained for superoxide dismutase activity in different tissues of rat. The effect of age, including neonatal and postnatal development on the activity, as well as activity in normal and cancerous human tissues were also studied. The pyrogallol method has also been used for the assay of iron-containing superoxide dismutase inEscherichia coli and for the identification of superoxide dismutase on polyacrylamide gels after electrophoresis.


Superoxide dismutase animal tissues erythrocyte human cancer tissues 

Abbreviations used


Superoxide dismutase




potassium cyanide


nitroblue tetrazolium




diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid


sodium dodecyl sulphate




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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anuradha Nandi
    • 1
  • I. B. Chatterjee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity College of ScienceCalcuttaIndia

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