Chemiluminescence, as a direct measure of oxygen free radical production, induced in isolated cells, hepatocytes, and red cells by the action of alloxan has been measured. The assay system used luminol, 3 μM, for signal amplification. The buffer used was Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate with 16 mM Hepes, pH 7.4. This buffer did not react with alloxan in the absence of cells. Some chemiluminescence was noted from all cells in the absence of alloxan. In the presence of alloxan, reactions occurred within seconds and islet cells were significantly more reactive to alloxan than either red cells or hepatocytes as defined by alloxan dose-response curves with fixed cell numbers or fixed surface areas. These data indicate a cell specificity for an early action of alloxan perhaps mediated at the cell membrane.

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