Low serum bilirubin levels are independently and inversely related to impaired flow-mediated vasodilation and increased carotid intima-media thickness in both men and women.
ABSTRACT Elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and its oxidative modification have been described to be involved in the process of atherogenesis. Bilirubin, an antioxidant, prevents oxidative modification of LDL and therefore may protect from atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (CHD). Impaired brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), which means endothelial dysfunction (ED) and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) are predictors for the development and progression of atherosclerosis. In the present study, FMD and IMT were studied in healthy subjects with lower and higher serum bilirubin concentrations in physiological ranges.
Ninety-one healthy subjects between 25 and 45 years of age (47 with lower and 44 with higher serum bilirubin concentrations) were included in this study. Carotid IMT and brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation was measured by means of high-resolution vascular ultrasound. FMD was assessed by establishing reactive hyperemia and endothelium-independent dilatation (EID) was determined by using sublingual isosorbide dinitrate.
EDD in subjects with lower serum bilirubin concentrations was significantly worse than in those with higher serum bilirubin concentrations (11.6+/-4.4% versus 7.2+/-4.7%, respectively, p<0.0001). EID measurements were not significantly different between the groups (16+/-5.1% versus 16.8+/-7%, respectively). In addition, carotid IMT was significantly greater in subjects with lower serum bilirubin concentrations (0.5+/-0.13 mm versus 0.42+/-0.07 mm, p<0.0001). Furthermore, FMD in women with lower serum bilirubin concentrations was significantly lower than in women with higher serum bilirubin concentrations (11.5+/-4.9% and 17.5+/-4.7%, respectively, p<0.001). Accordingly, men with lower serum bilirubin concentrations had significantly lower FMD as compared to hyperbilirubinemic ones (11.7+/-3.6% versus 16.7+/-4.8%, respectively, p=0.009). Conversely, carotid IMT was significantly greater in both women and men with lower serum bilirubin concentrations compared to the subjects with elevated serum bilirubin concentrations (0.51+/-0.08 versus 0.41+/-0.08, p<0.001; 0.55+/-0.12 versus 0.40+/-0.07, p=0.002, in women and men, respectively).
The healthy subjects with lower serum bilirubin concentrations show significant ED and increased carotid IMT, which are predictors for atherosclerosis.
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ABSTRACT: Bilirubin, when bound to human albumin and at concentrations present in normal human plasma, protects albumin-bound linoleic acid from peroxyl radical-induced oxidation in vitro. Initially, albumin-bound bilirubin (Alb-BR) is oxidized at the same rate as peroxyl radicals are formed and biliverdin is produced stoichiometrically as the oxidation product. On an equimolar basis, Alb-BR successfully competes with uric acid for peroxyl radicals but is less efficient in scavenging these radicals than vitamin C. These results show that 1 mol of Alb-BR can scavenge 2 mol of peroxyl radicals and that small amounts of plasma bilirubin are sufficient to prevent oxidation of albumin-bound fatty acids as well as of the protein itself. The data indicate a role for Alb-BR as a physiological antioxidant in plasma and the extravascular space.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/1987; 84(16):5918-22. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Angiotensin II is a powerful vasoconstrictor and proatherogenic factor. It was recently suggested that the endothelium may influence the actions of angiotensin II by production of, for example, nitric oxide and superoxide. By using venous occlusion plethysmography, forearm blood flow was measured in 26 healthy subjects during intraarterial cumulative infusion of angiotensin II. In 14 subjects, the interaction between angiotensin II and NO was studied by infusion of angiotensin II before and after clamping NO availability at a fixed basal level by using N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA) and nitroprusside. During a "free" NO system, blood flow decreased on angiotensin II infusion from 2.70+/-0.30 ml/100 ml forearm/min to 1.38+/-0.15 ml/100 ml forearm/min, whereas during NO-clamp vasoconstriction was significantly enhanced (blood flow from 2.56+/-0.25 to 1.19+/-0.13; p<0.05 saline vs. NO clamp). In 12 other subjects, the interaction between angiotensin II and superoxide was evaluated by comparison of the effects of angiotensin II before and after coinfusion of vitamin C. Angiotensin II-induced vasoconstriction was significantly attenuated by vitamin C at higher dosages of angiotensin (saline, blood flow from 3.08+/-0.33 to 1.12+/-0.09; vitamin C, blood flow from 3.01+/-0.23 to 1.61+/-0.13; p<0.05 saline vs. vitamin C). Vitamin C had no effect on baseline forearm blood flow. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the constrictor actions of angiotensin II are enhanced during NO clamp and attenuated during vitamin C, suggesting direct angiotensin II-associated stimulation of endothelial NO and of oxygen radicals, respectively, in humans in vivo.Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology 03/1999; 33(3):420-4. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Endothelial function is thought to be an important factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, hypertension and heart failure. In the 1990s, high-frequency ultrasonographic imaging of the brachial artery to assess endothelium-dependent flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) was developed. The technique provokes the release of nitric oxide, resulting in vasodilation that can be quantitated as an index of vasomotor function. The noninvasive nature of the technique allows repeated measurements over time to study the effectiveness of various interventions that may affect vascular health. However, despite its widespread use, there are technical and interpretive limitations of this technique. State-of-the-art information is presented and insights are provided into the strengths and limitations of high-resolution ultrasonography of the brachial artery to evaluate vasomotor function, with guidelines for its research application in the study of endothelial physiology.Journal of the American College of Cardiology 02/2002; 39(2):257-65. · 14.09 Impact Factor