We describe a simple colorimetric method to measure 30 to 300 M concentrations of sulfinic acids in biologic samples. The procedure employs the coupling reaction of an aromatic diazonium salt (Ar-N=N+) with the sulfinic acids (RSOOH) to produce a colored diazosulfone derivative (Ar-N=N-SOOR), which can be selectively extracted into an organic solvent. Linearity and noninterference by liver homogenate, phenols, amines, and thousand-fold or greater excesses of sulfate, thiol, and dimethyl sulfoxide are demonstrated. Sensitivity of the method is about 10 nmol per sample. Because methanesulfinic acid is the principal product of the action of hydroxyl radicals upon dimethyl sulfoxide, and because intact animals can tolerate dimethyl sulfoxide in millimolar concentrations, the method may prove widely useful for detecting the involvement of hydroxyl radicals in pathologic processes in vivo.


This is the author accepted manuscript of Babbs C.F., Gale M.J., Colorimetric assay for methane sulfinic acid in biological samples, Analytical Biochemistry 163, 67-73, 1987. Copyright Elsevier, this version is made available CC-BY-NC-ND, and the version of record is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0003-2697(87)90093-5.


diazonium salts; diazosulfones; Fast Blue BB; hydroxyl radical trap; sulfinic acids

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