The glutathione (GSH) content of mouse T- and B-cells was determined and compared with the GSH content of human peripheral blood lymphocytes and human erythrocytes. Owing to the difficulty of obtaining large numbers of purified lymphocytes, a technique was developed to measure picomolar quantities of GSH. By this technique, mouse T- and B-cells, as well as mouse peripheral-blood lymphocytes, were found to contain approx. 30% of the GSH found in human peripheral-blood lymphocytes. The concanavalin A response of human peripheral-blood lymphocytes and human spleen cells was insensitive to 2-mercaptoethanol as well as to culture in 17% O2, whereas mouse lymphocyte responses were altered by 2-mercaptoethanol and inhibited by 17% O2. The capacity of human peripheral-blood lymphocytes, human erythrocytes, mouse T-cells and mouse B-cells to regenerate GSH stores after chemical oxidation by diamide was tested, and it was found that mouse cells were less capable of regenerating GSH than human erythrocytes or human peripheral-blood lymphocytes. In addition, the latter lymphocytes were less sensitive to oxidation of GSH and to inhibition of proliferation by diamide.

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