Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 26 (8), 688-696

Bilirubin and Endothelial Function

Affiliations
Review

Bilirubin and Endothelial Function

Tatsuya Maruhashi et al. J Atheroscler Thromb.

Abstract

Bilirubin is a fundamental metabolic end product of heme degradation. Despite acting as a cytotoxic metabolite at high concentrations, bilirubin at physiological concentrations has antioxidant effects, such as scavenging reactive oxygen species, leading to a decrease in oxidative stress. Endothelial dysfunction is an early feature of and plays an important role in the development and progression of atherosclerosis, leading to cardiovascular complications. One mechanism of endothelial dysfunction is an increase in oxidative stress, by which the bioavailability of nitric oxide is decreased. Therefore, bilirubin is expected to improve endothelial function, to inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis, and to reduce cardiovascular complications by inactivating oxidative stress through its antioxidant effects. In this review, we will focus on the clinical associations of the antioxidant bilirubin with endothelial function and cardiovascular complications.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Bilirubin; Endothelial function; Gilbert's syndrome; Oxidative stress.

Conflict of interest statement

None.

Figures

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.
Measurement of flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery Modified from Higashi Y, et al. Int Heart J 2015; 56: 633–638 10).
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.
Heme degradation pathway HO-1: heme oxygenase-1; CO: carbon monoxide; UGT1A1: UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1. Modified from Higashi Y, et al. Trends Cardiovasc Med 2014; 24: 165–169 17).
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.
Flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery (A), serum malondialdehyde-modified low-density lipoprotein (MDA-LDL) (B), and urinary excretion of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) in control subjects and patients with Gilbert's syndrome Modified from Maruhashi T, et al. Circulation 2012; 126: 598–603 40).

Similar articles

See all similar articles

References

    1. Stocker R, Yamamoto Y, McDonagh AF, Glazer AN, Ames BN: Bilirubin is an antioxidant of possible physiological importance. Science, 1987; 235; 1043-1046 - PubMed
    1. Stocker R, Glazer AN, Ames BN: Antioxidant activity of albumin-bound bilirubin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 1987; 84: 5918-5922 - PMC - PubMed
    1. Kwak JY, Takeshige K, Cheung BS, Minakami S: Bilirubin inhibits the activation of superoxide-producing NADPH oxidase in a neutrophil cell-free system. Biochimica et biophysica acta, 1991; 1076: 369-373 - PubMed
    1. Vane JR, Anggard EE, Botting RM: Regulatory functions of the vascular endothelium. The New England journal of medicine, 1990; 323: 27-36 - PubMed
    1. Ross R: Atherosclerosis--an inflammatory disease. The New England journal of medicine, 1999; 340: 115-126 - PubMed
Feedback