Previously, this laboratory has reported the characteristics of murine immortal lens-epithelial cells (alphaTN4-1) conditioned to survive either H2O2 or tertiary butyl hydroperoxide (TBOOH) stress. This communication now describes similar observations upon human HLE-B3 cells. It was found that the human cells are more sensitive to peroxides than their murine counterpart. Similar to the murine cells, conditioning to TBOOH endows the HLE-B3 cells with resistance to H2O2 but unlike the murine cells, conditioning to H2O2 gives the human cells resistance to TBOOH. Furthermore, while withdrawal of TBOOH stress from TBOOH-conditioned alphaTN4-1 cells causes a loss of resistance to this peroxide but not H2O2, with human cells resistance to both peroxides is retained. Examination of the antioxidative defense (AOD) enzyme activities show an extraordinary increase in catalase activity and significant augmentation of most other enzymes assayed in all conditioned human cell lines. In contrast, it was previously found that only catalase and glutathione-S-transferase have considerable increases in activity in the murine lines. However, in most cases, the AOD enzyme activity in murine-control cells is about 2-fold higher than in human control cells. The gene expression of human TBOOH-conditioned (Thum) and control (Chum) lines were also examined utilizing microarray analysis. Surprisingly, no significant change in gene expression was found for any of the prominent AOD enzymes. Such results differ from the response of murine cells where many AOD enzymes have increased expression. These observations suggest while the same AOD enzymes may be utilized in both murine and human lens-epithelial cells, the levels at which they are maintained and the manner in which they are recruited in response to stress may differ.