Antioxidant Defense Mechanisms in Human Neutrophils
AbstractNeutrophils have a short half-life and high tendency to undergo apoptosis. One feature that may influence these characteristics is the antioxidant/oxidant balance of these cells. There are few studies on the levels of antioxidant enzymes in human neutrophils. We have analyzed by immunohistochemistry of paraffin-embedded cells and from cytospin preparations the most important antioxidant proteins in human neutrophils, and compared their levels with those in blood monocytes. Neutrophils showed moderate to high catalase, weak to moderate extracellular superoxide dismutase, and weak copper zinc superoxide dismutase and γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase immunoreactivities. There were no detectable levels of manganese superoxide dismutase, thioredoxin, and heme oxygenase 1. Some differences were observed between the samples prepared by embedding in paraffin or by cytospin. These results, in combination with a recent study from this laboratory, suggest that a prominent feature in neutrophils is their high catalase activity but lower level of glutathione-dependent antioxidant enzymes. The differences in antioxidant profiles in neutrophils and monocytes may have important effects on the life span of human neutrophils, in both healthy and diseased tissues.