Lucigenin chemiluminescence and its relationship to mitochondrial respiration in phagocytic cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Mar 15;159(2):584-91. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(89)90034-x.


Unstimulated alveolar macrophages, but not polymorphonuclear leukocytes, elicit chemiluminescence from lucigenin which cannot be entirely accounted for by the resting level of superoxide generation. This chemiluminescence was inhibited by both superoxide scavengers and inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration. Although 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate addition resulted in a significant increase in cellular superoxide generation, an unexpected decrease in lucigenin chemiluminescence was noted. These results suggest that mitochondria in alveolar macrophages may be a site of lucigenin accumulation and dioxygenation and that 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate may modulate this activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acridines*
  • Animals
  • Luminescent Measurements*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption* / drug effects
  • Pulmonary Alveoli
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Submitochondrial Particles / drug effects
  • Submitochondrial Particles / metabolism
  • Superoxides / biosynthesis
  • Superoxides / physiology


  • Acridines
  • Superoxides
  • 10,10'-dimethyl-9,9'-biacridinium