Investigating antibody-catalyzed ozone generation by human neutrophils

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Mar 18;100(6):3031-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0530251100. Epub 2003 Feb 24.


Recent studies have suggested that antibodies can catalyze the generation of previously unknown oxidants including dihydrogen trioxide (H(2)O(3)) and ozone (O(3)) from singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)(*)) and water. Given that neutrophils have the potential both to produce (1)O(2)(*) and to bind antibodies, we considered that these cells could be a biological source of O(3). We report here further analytical evidence that antibody-coated neutrophils, after activation, produce an oxidant with the chemical signature of O(3). This process is independent of surface antibody concentration down to 50% of the resting concentration, suggesting that surface IgG is highly efficient at intercepting the neutrophil-generated (1)O(2)(*). Vinylbenzoic acid, an orthogonal probe for ozone detection, is oxidized by activated neutrophils to 4-carboxybenzaldehyde in a manner analogous to that obtained for its oxidation by ozone in solution. This discovery of the production of such a powerful oxidant in a biological context raises questions about not only the capacity of O(3) to kill invading microorganisms but also its role in amplification of the inflammatory response by signaling and gene activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / metabolism*
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Indigo Carmine / metabolism
  • Isatin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Isatin / metabolism
  • Molecular Probes / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Ozone / metabolism*
  • Styrenes / metabolism


  • Antibodies
  • Molecular Probes
  • Styrenes
  • Ozone
  • isatin-5-sulfonic acid
  • Isatin
  • Indigo Carmine
  • Catalase
  • 4-vinylbenzoic acid