Mitochondrial Production of Superoxide Radical and Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Alberto Boveris
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 78)


The development and application of sensitive methods for the determination of hydrogen peroxide led, a few years ago in the laboratories of the Johnson Research Foundation, to the recognition, of intact mitochondria as an effective source of H2O2 (Fig. 1; refs. 1–4). Previous observations by Jensen (5) and by Hinkle et al. (6) had indicated that the mitochondrial respiratory chain was capable of producing H2O2. However, these results were taken with caution, in the sense that they might reflect an artificial activity induced by the ultrasonic or alkaline treatment used in the preparation of the submitochondrial particles. In 1971, Chance and Oshino (1) demonstrated variations in the level of the catalase intermediate of the peroxisomal-mitochondrial fraction of rat liver following the addition of mitochondrial substrates and uncouplers. In the same year, Loschen et al. (2) showed H2O2 formation in pigeon heart mitochondria and its relationship to the mitochondrial metabolic state by using the peroxidase-scopoletin method. It was realized that this assay could be easily interfered by endogenous hydrogen donor of the horseradish peroxidase and by exogenous hydrogen donors in the mitochondrial preparations, and consequently, an alternative method was developed.


Succinate Dehydrogenase H202 Production Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Beef Heart Submitochondrial Particle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Boveris
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biochemistry, School of MedicineUniversity of Buenos AiresParaguay 2155, CF Buenos AiresArgentina

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