The thiobarbituric acid (TBA) assay for measuring malonaldehyde (MDA) has been applied to many tissues as a simple means of detecting oxidative damage and prostaglandin synthesis. Human neutrophils, cells known to produce prostaglandins and toxic metabolites of oxygen, were studied to determine if this assay could provide a suitable, rapid, screening test to recognise states of metabolic activation, to monitor prostaglandin synthesis, or to identify the presence of oxidative damage. Malonaldehyde could not be detected after a variety of manipulations. Thus, it seems unlikely that the thiobarbituric acid assay, as performed here, will be useful for evaluating oxidative damage in human neutrophils.
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