Release of Superoxide Anion and Hydrogen Peroxide by Macrophages in Response to Asbestos

  • K. Donaldson
  • J. Slight
  • R. E. Bolton
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 3)


The multiple roles of the macrophage in the inflammatory response are well documented (Nathan et al. 1980). In particular the importance of reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) during inflammatory defence against microbes has been recognized (Klebanoff 1980). However, it has also been suggested that inappropriate ROI release by phagocytes during non microbially induced inflammation may, under some circumstances, prolong and exacerbate tissue damage and inflammation (Fantone and Ward 1982). The possibility that the deposition of pathogenic dusts in tissue could result in just such a build up of potentially toxic ROI has been suggested (Gee and Walker-Smith 1984). Using mouse peritoneal macrophages elicited with asbestos we have found support for this contention in the raised oxidative status of asbestos activated macrophages as measured by chemiluminescence (Donaldson and Cullen 1984). In the present paper we report on the levels of superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide released by asbestos-activated macrophages. We also describe the effect of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion on the functional activity of lymphocytes as an indicator cell population.


Phorbol Myristate Acetate Reactive Oxygen Intermediate Mouse Peritoneal Macrophage Splenic Lymphocyte Chrysotile Asbestos 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Donaldson
    • 1
  • J. Slight
    • 1
  • R. E. Bolton
    • 1
  1. 1.Pathology BranchInstitute of Occupational MedicineEdinburghScotland

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