The Superoxide-Generating NADPH Oxidase of White Blood Cells

  • Owen T. G. Jones


Blood contains a number of cell types with very varied functions. Red blood cells (erythrocytes), which have the principal function of transferring oxygen to the tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs, are much the most abundant. The white blood cells (or leucocytes) make up about 0.1% of the cells of blood and are largely involved in the processes of identifying and killing infecting microorganisms (Table 1). As indicated in Table 1, one group of leucocytes, the monocytes, are capable of leaving the blood and develop further into a group of cells known as macrophages. They are found in such tissues as lung, peritoneum, liver (the Kupfer cells) where they can phagocytose cell debris and other particles and, perhaps, participate in the recognition and killing of foreign cells. Macrophages have different physical form and functions in different tissues. The eosinophils, neutrophils and monocytes and those macrophages concerned in direct microbicidal activity, release O2 - when stimulated, and this O2 - is important in microbicidal (Babior, 1984) and tumourjcidal activity (Hafeman & Lucas, 1979).


NADPH Oxidase Human Neutrophil Respiratory Burst Chronic Granulomatous Disease Phorbol Myristate Acetate 
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General Reading

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Owen T. G. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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