The level of Superoxide anion was found to be significantly elevated in polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) from diabetic subjects as compared with those from normal subjects. This elevation was attributed to the significant reduction in the activities of both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial Superoxide dismutase (SOD), the effect being more pronounced in the cytoplasmic fraction. Although the content of copper decreased considerably in the diabetic PMNL, the decrease in the zinc content was less significant, with an insignificant alteration in the content of manganese. PMNL obtained from insulin-treated diabetic patients showed considerable alleviation of SOD levels. The implication of these results are discussed herein.

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