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Superoxide-dependent Formation Of Hydroxyl Radicals And Lipid Peroxidation In The Presence Of Iron Salts. Detection Of ‘catalytic’ Iron And Anti-oxidant Activity In Extracellular Fluids

John M. C. Gutteridge, David A. Rowley, Barry Halliwell

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Synovial fluid from rheumatoid patients and normal cerebrospinal fluid contains micromolar concentrations of non-protein-bound iron salts that can promote lipid peroxidation and also the superoxide-dependent formation of hydroxyl radicals from hydrogen peroxide. These iron catalysts of oxygen radical reactions cannot be detected by conventional assays unless interfering high-molecular-weight substances, probably proteins, are removed by ultrafiltration or inactivated by exposure to low pH values. The bleomycin assay for ‘catalytic’ iron [Gutteridge, Rowley & Halliwell (1981) Biochem. J.199, 263–265] does not suffer from these artifacts.