A low level of chemilumnescence by hemoglobin (Hb) was detected in the reaction with H2O2 and hydrogen donors such as gallic acid and catechins. The photon intensity was affected by the ferric state of Hb (methemoglobin > oxyhemoglobin), and was roughly correlated with the radical-scavenging potential of catechins. We hypothesized the reversible activation reaction of Hb as the chemiluminescence mechanism of the H2O2/gallic acid/Hb system. It is indicated that the oxidized-Hb (Hb-OOH) formation was a chemiluminescence-rate–determining step and one-electron reduction by a hydrogen donor of the compound-I–type intermediate ([·XFeIV] = O) proved a chemiluminescence-specificity–determining step. Spectral analysis showed that the photon emission from the H2O2/gallic acid/Hb system was produced without singlet oxygen generation. The concentration dependence of photon intensity suggests a high consumption ratio of H2O2 leading to protection from H2O2 toxicity. Albumin was defined as a hydrogen donor by the isolation of chemiluminescent substance in plasma using this chemiluminescence system.
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Vol. 73 • No. 5