Generation of nitric oxide by human neutrophils

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1989 Apr 28;160(2):813-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(89)92506-0.


Human neutrophils were evaluated for their ability to generate nitric oxide. Neutrophils incubated with superoxide dismutase at 37 degrees C produce nitrite anion at a rate of 1.8 nmols/2 x 10(6) cells/30 min, providing indirect evidence of nitric oxide production. Incubation of the neutrophils with concentrations of serum-opsonized zymosan, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine, or phorbol myristate acetate sufficient to stimulate the respiratory burst and lysosomal enzyme release caused no additional nitrite anion production. Glass wool-adherent neutrophils exhibited a similar dissociation of nitrite anion production from the respiratory burst and lysosomal enzyme release. Direct evidence for nitric oxide production was also obtained using nitric oxide-specific chemiluminescence. These results demonstrate that human neutrophils are capable of generating nitric oxide.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anions
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Free Radicals
  • Glass
  • Humans
  • Muramidase / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / enzymology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitrites / metabolism
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Anions
  • Free Radicals
  • Nitrites
  • Superoxides
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Muramidase