New food sources and substances are found every year to contain antioxidant properties. One such substance that has recently gained high interest in the scientific community is bilirubin – a bile pigment produced by the liver. Bilirubin is known to be a toxin as it is associated with neonatal jaundice but literature also shows that bilirubin has antioxidant properties. This research looked into the possible role of bilirubin in preventing vasoconstriction of coronary vessels induced by Protein Kinase C, which increases the production of reactive oxygen species. The hypothesis stated that bilirubin would inhibit vasoconstriction of the vessels by reducing the formation of reactive oxygen species. The experiment was conducted at New York Medical College physiology lab. Bovine coronary arteries were obtained and dissected into rings, which were then suspended in Krebs solution in individual tissue/organ baths. The rings were treated with a solution of HiK and then 30K to contract the vessels, while the polygraph recorded the isometric tension. The peaks obtained from the contraction of the vessel acted as a control. The rings were then treated with a Protein Kinase C activator-PDBu, which activated constriction in the vessels. Bilirubin was then added to observe inhibition properties. An average of the peaks was taken at 5-minute intervals and a t-test was performed. Results indicated a significant inhibition of contraction induced by PDBu after adding bilirubin (p=0.05).
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