Stimulation of microsomal chemiluminescence by ferritin

Susana Puntarulo, Arthur I. Cederbaum

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The ability of ferritin to catalyze rat liver microsomal chemiluminescence was determined in the absence and presence of the redox cycling agent paraquat, and with either NADPH or NADH as reductant. Microsomal chemiluminescence was used as a index of lipid peroxidation. In the absence of added ferritin, NADPH-dependent microsomal light emission was 4-fold greater than the NADH-dependent reaction, and was not sensitive to superoxide dismutase, catalase or DMSO. Ferritin stimulated NADPH-, but not NADH-dependent chemiluminescence in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. The stimulation by ferritin was completely sensitive to superoxide dismutase, but not to catalase or DMSO, suggesting the requirement for superoxide to mobilize iron from ferritin. An iron ligand was not required for the stimulation by ferritin; the addition of certain ligands such as EDTA, DETAPAC or desferrioxamine resulted in inhibition of the stimulation by ferritin. Paraquat potentiated the effect of ferritin on microsomal chemiluminescence with NADPH as cofactor and was weakly stimulatory with NADH. The potentiation by paraquat plus ferritin was prevented by superoxide dismutase and was further elevated by ligands such as ATP. Chemiluminescence proved to be a more sensitive parameter than production of thiobarbituric acid-reactive components to evaluate the stimulation of oxygwen radical production by iron released from ferritin, in the absence or in the presence of paraquat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 May 1993


  • Chemiluminescence
  • Ferritin
  • Light emission
  • Oxygen radical
  • Paraquat
  • Rat liver microsome


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