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Severe Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia in Crigler-Najjar Syndrome Model Mice Can Be Reversed With Zinc Protoporphyrin.

ABSTRACT: Neurotoxic bilirubin is solely conjugated by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A1. Due to an inadequate function of UGT1A1, human neonates develop mild to severe physiological hyperbilirubinemia. Accumulation of bilirubin in the brain leads to the onset of irreversible brain damage called kernicterus. Breastfeeding is one of the most significant factors that increase the risk of developing kernicterus in infants. Why does the most natural way of feeding increase the risk of brain damage or even death? This question leads to the hypothesis that breast milk-induced neonatal hyperbilirubinemia might bring certain benefits to the body. One of the barriers to answering the above question is the lack of animal models that display mild to severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. A mouse model that develops neonatal hyperbilirubinemia was previously developed by a knockout of the Ugt1 locus. Deletion of Ugt1a1 results in neonatal lethality from bilirubin neurotoxicity. Bilirubin is the end product of heme catabolism in which heme oxygenase-I is largely involved. When zinc protoporphyrin, an inhibitor of heme oxygenase I, was administered to newborn Ugt1-/- mice, serum bilirubin levels dropped dramatically, rescuing the mice from bilirubin-induced neonatal lethality. Zinc protoporphyrin-treated Ugt1-/- mice developed normally as adults capable of reproducing, but their newborns showed even more severe hyperbilirubinemia. Microarray analysis of the hyperbilirubinemic livers indicated that a number of genes associated with nucleotide, transport, and immune response were significantly down-regulated in a serum bilirubin level-dependent manner. Conclusion: Our study provides an opportunity to advance the development of effective therapeutics to effectively and rapidly prevent bilirubin-induced toxicity. Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia has various impacts on the body that could be driven by the antioxidant property of bilirubin.

SUBMITTER: Fujiwara R 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5678921 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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