OxyFile #166

Human B Lymphocytes Show Greater Susceptibility to H2O2 Toxicity Than 
T Lymphocytes

Journal of Immunology, Vol. 132, No. 5, May 1994

C.M. Farber, L.F. Liebes, D.N. Kanganis, and R. Silber


Lymphocytes from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and 
from normal subjects were incubated with a glucose-glucose oxidase 
hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generating system to study the effect of 
oxidant stress on these cells.  Within 4 hr, 90% of normal but only 
21% of CLL lymphocytes remained viable.  When normal and CLL 
preparations enriched in B or T cells were exposed to H2O2, B 
lymphocytes from both groups were highly susceptible to oxidative 
damage while T lymphocytes were relatively resistant.  The H2O2 
scavenger catalase prevented the cytotoxicity.  The present work 
identifies the human B lymphocyte as a cell that should be a suitable 
target for selective killing by H2O2 generating systems.