Peritoneal macrophages were elicited in rats by using casein as a stimulus; when stimulated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) they produced O2.-. Nearly 60% of the total cytochrome b had a low Em,7.0 of -247 mV, typical of the cytochrome b component found in the NADPH-dependent O2(.-)-generating oxidase of neutrophils. The rate of O2.- generation by macrophages was 1.23 mol of O2.-/s per mol of cytochrome b. Treatment of intact macrophages with diphenyleniodonium (DPI) at 0.9 microM caused 50% inhibition of PMA-induced O2.- generation, with little effect on mitochondrial respiratory activity; KCN inhibited respiratory activity without affecting PMA-induced O2.- generation. A similar specificity of inhibition was found for di-2-thienyliodonium (50% inhibition of O2.- generation at 0.5 microM) and, at higher concentrations, for diphenyl iodonium. When macrophage suspensions were incubated with [125I]DPI followed by autoradiography of SDS/polyacrylamide-gel-electrophoresis-separated polypeptides, radioactivity was most strongly associated with a band of Mr 45,000, similar to that found in neutrophils [Cross & Jones (1986) Biochem. J. 237, 111-116]. The O2(.-)-generating oxidase of macrophages appears to have components in common with the NADPH oxidase of neutrophils, despite differences in activity. Its sensitivity to DPI suggests that selective prevention of radical generation by macrophages in vivo is possible.

This content is only available as a PDF.