Human eosinophils preferentially utilize bromide to generate a brominating agent, even at physiological halide concentrations, where chloride (140 mM) is over 1000-fold greater than bromide (20-100 microM). Under the same conditions, neutrophils use chloride to generate a chlorinating agent. The total amount of active halogen trapped by 1,3,5-trimethoxybenzene from eosinophils increases by over 2-fold as the added bromide concentration increases from 0 to 100 microM, with approximately 40 nmol of halogen trapped per million cells at the highest bromide level. At least 25-35% of the oxygen consumed by stimulated eosinophils is directed toward the generation of halogenating species. Since the relative halogenating behavior of eosinophil peroxidase and neutrophil myeloperoxidase in this bromide range is essentially identical to that of the cells, the specificity of eosinophils toward bromide is intrinsic to eosinophil peroxidase and not to any special cellular properties. These results suggest that human eosinophils use bromide in vivo and that a deficiency of bromide may influence their ability to produce halogenating agents.
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