1. Metal ion-chelating agents such as EDTA, o-phenanthroline or desferrioxamine inhibit lipid peroxide formation when rat liver microsomes prepared from homogenates made in pure sucrose are incubated with ascorbate or NADPH. 2. Microsomes treated with metal ion-chelating agents do not form peroxide on incubation unless inorganic iron (Fe2+ or Fe3+) in a low concentration is added subsequently. No other metal ion can replace inorganic iron adequately. 3. Microsomes prepared from sucrose homogenates containing EDTA (1mm) do not form lipid peroxide on incubation with ascorbate or NADPH unless Fe2+ is added. Washing the microsomes with sucrose after preparation restores most of the capacity to form lipid peroxide. 4. Lipid peroxide formation in microsomes prepared from sucrose is stimulated to a small extent by inorganic iron but to a greater extent if adenine nucleotides, containing iron compounds as a contaminant, are added. 5. The iron contained in normal microsome preparations exists in haem and in non-haem forms. One non-haem component in which the iron may be linked to phosphate is considered to be essential for both the ascorbate system and NADPH system that catalyse lipid peroxidation in microsomes.

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