Extra-weak chemiluminescence was detected in the organ homogenate and blood of tocopherol-deficient rats by use of a newly devised single photon counting apparatus. The spectrum distribution showed that the chemiluminescence had emission peaks at wavelengths between 500 and 650nm corresponding to the simultaneous transition of singlet molecular oxygen (1O2), 2[1Δg]→2[3∑g]. This chemiluminescence was quenched by the presence of free radical scavengers, butyl hydroxytoluene and d-α-tocopherol. It was stimulated by D2O and 1O2-emission enhancer, 1, 4-diazabicyclo[2, 2, 2]octane. The chemiluminescent intensities in tissues of rats fed a tocopherol-free diet for seven months were higher than those of rats fed a normal diet which contained 15mg of tocopherol per 100g of diet. The considerable increase of light emission was observed especially in liver, kidney, heart, lung and brain homogenates. The intensity of tocopherol-deficient liver chemiluminescence corresponded to 22 x 103 photons per sec ˙ cm2. The results indicated that the chemiluminescence was directly related to the generation of 1O2 involving free radical reactions in the tocopherol-deficient rat tissues.
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