An assay for the rate of removal of extracellular hydrogen peroxide by cells

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Cells have a wide range of capacities to remove extracellular hydrogen peroxide. At higher concentrations of extracellular H2O2 (micromolar) the rate of removal can be approximated by a rate equation that is first-order in the concentration of H2O2 and cell density. Here we present a method to determine the observed rate constant for the removal of extracellular H2O2 on a per cell basis. Ln the cells examined, when exposed to 20 μM H2O2,these rate constants (kcell) range from 0.46 × 10-12 s-1 cell-1 L for Mia-PaCa-2 cells (human pancreatic carcinoma) to 10.4 x 10-12 s-1 cell-1 L for U937 cells (human histiocytic lymphoma). For the relatively small red blood cell kcell=2.9 × 10-12s-1 cell-1 L. These rate constants, kcell, can be used to compare the capacity of cells to remove higher levels of extracellular H2O2, as often presented in cell culture experiments. They also provide a means to estimate the rate of removal of extracellular H2O2, rate= -kcell [H2O2] (cells L-1), and the half-life of a bolus of H2O2. This information is essential to optimize experimental design and interpret data from experiments that expose cells to extracellular H2O2. © 2013 The Authors.




Wagner, B. A., Witmer, J. R., van’t Erve, T. J., & Buettner, G. R. (2013). An assay for the rate of removal of extracellular hydrogen peroxide by cells. Redox Biology, 1(1), 210–217.

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