The Respiratory Burst of Phagocytes

  • Giorgio Berton
  • Stefano Dusi
  • Paolo Bellavite


Studies on the oxygen metabolism of phagocytes began in 1933 with the observation that during phagoytosis, white blood cells (WBC) undergo a striking increase in oxygen consumption.1,2 These observations did not attract much attention until the 1950s, when the metabolic activities of neutrophils during phagocytosis of foreign matter were reinvestigated.3–7 The key initial observations that led to further research in the field were that (1) stimulated oxygen consumption is accompanied by enhanced catabolism of glucose through the hexose monophosphate shunt,4, 6 (2) inhibitors of mitochondrial oxidative respiration do not block oxygen consumption,5,6 and (3) hydrogen peroxide is produced in parallel.8,9


NADPH Oxidase Human Neutrophil Respiratory Burst Chronic Granulomatous Disease Oxygen Metabolism 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Berton
    • 1
  • Stefano Dusi
    • 1
  • Paolo Bellavite
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of General PathologyUniversity of VeronaVeronaItaly

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