Electron spin resonance spectroscopy using the spin trap 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DMPO) was employed to detect the formation of hydroxyl radicals (OH.) by phagocytosing polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). An electron spin resonance signal with the identical g value and splitting characteristics of the DMPO/OH). adduct was detected on incubation of normal PMN with opsonized zymosan. Adduct formation was strongly inhibited by superoxide dismutase and by the OH. scavenger mannitol, but catalase had little or no effect. (DMPO/OH). was not formed by PMN from a patient with chronic granulomatous disease; in contrast, adduct formation by PMN which lack myeloperoxidase was greater than normal. These findings are discussed in relation to the formation of OH. by PMN.
H Rosen, S J Klebanoff