Luminol and lucigenin as detectors for O2.-

Free Radic Biol Med. 1993 Oct;15(4):447-51. doi: 10.1016/0891-5849(93)90044-u.


Univalent oxidation of luminol and univalent reduction of lucigenin must precede reaction with O2.- if that reaction is to lead to luminescence. The assumption that luminol or lucigenin, per se, reacts with O2.- in a way leading to luminescence is incorrect, and leads to misinterpretation of results. The chemical reactions leading to the O2(.-)-dependent luminescences of luminol and of lucigenin are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acridines / metabolism*
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Luminol / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Superoxides / analysis*
  • Superoxides / metabolism


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