Effect of O2 partial pressure on the myeloperoxidase pathway of neutrophils

W. B. Davis, R. M. Husney, M. D. Wewers, D. J. Herzyk, A. L. Sagone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Neutrophils recruited to different tissues undergo respiratory burst activity at widely different PO2 levels. The present study investigated the in vitro effects of PO2 on neutrophil oxidative metabolism. When neutrophils were stimulated with either zymosan or phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) under different PO2's (0-700 Torr), hexose monophosphate shunt activity, H2O2, and hydroxyl radical (OH·) production were directly related to the level of PO2. Neutrophils functioned surprisingly well at PO2's as low as 10 Torr, where metabolic burst activity was prolonged and usually exceeded 50% of maximal values. The production of neutrophil stable oxidants and hypochlorous acid (HOCl) by zymosan-stimulated neutrophils was also directly related to PO2. In contrast, the production of stable oxidants and HOCl by PMA-stimulated neutrophils was significantly higher at 10 Torr compared with 700 Torr. The decrease in stable oxidant production by PMA-stimulated neutrophils at elevated PCO2's was explained by both increased destruction of stable oxidant products and by decreased availability of the precursor HOCl. Superoxide dismutase and the OH· scavenger benzoate partially prevented the fall in stable oxidants at elevated PO2's. Measurements of stable oxidants in PMA-stimulated supernates generated at 10 and 700 Torr correlated with the ability of these supernates to decrease the elastase inhibitory capacity of the serum antiprotease α1-antitrypsin. These findings suggest that different PO2's alter the magnitude and pattern of neutrophil oxidative metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1995-2003
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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