Hyperbilirubinemia modulates myocardial function, aortic ejection, and ischemic stress resistance in the Gunn rat

Bhavisha Bakrania, Eugene F Du Toit, Kevin J. Ashton, Can J. Kiessling, Karl Heinz Wagner, John P. Headrick, Andrew C. Bulmer

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Abstract

Mildly elevated circulating unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) is associated with protection against hypertension and ischemic heart disease. We assessed whether endogenously elevated bilirubin in Gunn rats modifies cardiovascular function and resistance to ischemic insult. Hearts were assessed ex vivo (Langendorff perfusion) and in vivo (Millar catheterization and echocardiography), and left ventricular myocardial gene expression was measured via quantitative real-time PCR. Ex vivo analysis revealed reduced intrinsic contractility in the Gunn myocardium (+dP/dt: 1,976 ± 622 vs. 2,907 ± 334 mmHg/s, P < 0.01; −dP/dt: −1,435 ± 372 vs. −2,234 ± 478 mmHg/s, P < 0.01), which correlated positively with myocardial UCB concentration (P < 0.05). In vivo analyses showed no changes in left ventricular contractile parameters and ejection (fractional shortening and ejection fraction). However, Gunn rats exhibited reductions in the rate of aortic pressure development (3,008 ± 461 vs. 4,452 ± 644 mmHg/s, P < 0.02), mean aortic velocity (439 ± 64 vs. 644 ± 62 mm/s, P < 0.01), and aortic volume time integral pressure gradient (2.32 ± 0.65 vs. 5.72 ± 0.74 mmHg, P < 0.01), in association with significant aortic dilatation (12–24% increase in aortic diameter, P < 0.05). Ex vivo Gunn hearts exhibited improved ventricular function after 35 min of ischemia and 90 min of reperfusion (63 ± 14 vs. 35 ± 12%, P < 0.01). These effects were accompanied by increased glutathione peroxidase and reduced superoxide dismutase and phospholamban gene expression in Gunn rat myocardium (P < 0.05). These data collectively indicate that hyperbilirubinemia in Gunn rats 1) reduces intrinsic cardiac contractility, which is compensated for in vivo; 2) induces aortic dilatation, which may beneficially influence aortic ejection velocities and pressures; and 3) may improve myocardial stress resistance in association with beneficial transcriptional changes. These effects may contribute to protection from cardiovascular disease with elevated bilirubin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H1142-H1149
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Volume307
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2014

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Gunn Rats
Hyperbilirubinemia
Bilirubin
Dilatation
Myocardium
Gene Expression
Pressure
Ventricular Function
Glutathione Peroxidase
Catheterization
Superoxide Dismutase
Reperfusion
Myocardial Ischemia
Echocardiography
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Arterial Pressure
Cardiovascular Diseases
Ischemia
Perfusion
Hypertension

Cite this

Bakrania, Bhavisha ; Toit, Eugene F Du ; Ashton, Kevin J. ; Kiessling, Can J. ; Wagner, Karl Heinz ; Headrick, John P. ; Bulmer, Andrew C. / Hyperbilirubinemia modulates myocardial function, aortic ejection, and ischemic stress resistance in the Gunn rat. In: American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology. 2014 ; Vol. 307, No. 8. pp. H1142-H1149.
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abstract = "Mildly elevated circulating unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) is associated with protection against hypertension and ischemic heart disease. We assessed whether endogenously elevated bilirubin in Gunn rats modifies cardiovascular function and resistance to ischemic insult. Hearts were assessed ex vivo (Langendorff perfusion) and in vivo (Millar catheterization and echocardiography), and left ventricular myocardial gene expression was measured via quantitative real-time PCR. Ex vivo analysis revealed reduced intrinsic contractility in the Gunn myocardium (+dP/dt: 1,976 ± 622 vs. 2,907 ± 334 mmHg/s, P < 0.01; −dP/dt: −1,435 ± 372 vs. −2,234 ± 478 mmHg/s, P < 0.01), which correlated positively with myocardial UCB concentration (P < 0.05). In vivo analyses showed no changes in left ventricular contractile parameters and ejection (fractional shortening and ejection fraction). However, Gunn rats exhibited reductions in the rate of aortic pressure development (3,008 ± 461 vs. 4,452 ± 644 mmHg/s, P < 0.02), mean aortic velocity (439 ± 64 vs. 644 ± 62 mm/s, P < 0.01), and aortic volume time integral pressure gradient (2.32 ± 0.65 vs. 5.72 ± 0.74 mmHg, P < 0.01), in association with significant aortic dilatation (12–24{\%} increase in aortic diameter, P < 0.05). Ex vivo Gunn hearts exhibited improved ventricular function after 35 min of ischemia and 90 min of reperfusion (63 ± 14 vs. 35 ± 12{\%}, P < 0.01). These effects were accompanied by increased glutathione peroxidase and reduced superoxide dismutase and phospholamban gene expression in Gunn rat myocardium (P < 0.05). These data collectively indicate that hyperbilirubinemia in Gunn rats 1) reduces intrinsic cardiac contractility, which is compensated for in vivo; 2) induces aortic dilatation, which may beneficially influence aortic ejection velocities and pressures; and 3) may improve myocardial stress resistance in association with beneficial transcriptional changes. These effects may contribute to protection from cardiovascular disease with elevated bilirubin.",
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Hyperbilirubinemia modulates myocardial function, aortic ejection, and ischemic stress resistance in the Gunn rat. / Bakrania, Bhavisha; Toit, Eugene F Du; Ashton, Kevin J.; Kiessling, Can J.; Wagner, Karl Heinz; Headrick, John P.; Bulmer, Andrew C.

In: American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, Vol. 307, No. 8, 15.10.2014, p. H1142-H1149.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AU - Bakrania, Bhavisha

AU - Toit, Eugene F Du

AU - Ashton, Kevin J.

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AU - Wagner, Karl Heinz

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AU - Bulmer, Andrew C.

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AB - Mildly elevated circulating unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) is associated with protection against hypertension and ischemic heart disease. We assessed whether endogenously elevated bilirubin in Gunn rats modifies cardiovascular function and resistance to ischemic insult. Hearts were assessed ex vivo (Langendorff perfusion) and in vivo (Millar catheterization and echocardiography), and left ventricular myocardial gene expression was measured via quantitative real-time PCR. Ex vivo analysis revealed reduced intrinsic contractility in the Gunn myocardium (+dP/dt: 1,976 ± 622 vs. 2,907 ± 334 mmHg/s, P < 0.01; −dP/dt: −1,435 ± 372 vs. −2,234 ± 478 mmHg/s, P < 0.01), which correlated positively with myocardial UCB concentration (P < 0.05). In vivo analyses showed no changes in left ventricular contractile parameters and ejection (fractional shortening and ejection fraction). However, Gunn rats exhibited reductions in the rate of aortic pressure development (3,008 ± 461 vs. 4,452 ± 644 mmHg/s, P < 0.02), mean aortic velocity (439 ± 64 vs. 644 ± 62 mm/s, P < 0.01), and aortic volume time integral pressure gradient (2.32 ± 0.65 vs. 5.72 ± 0.74 mmHg, P < 0.01), in association with significant aortic dilatation (12–24% increase in aortic diameter, P < 0.05). Ex vivo Gunn hearts exhibited improved ventricular function after 35 min of ischemia and 90 min of reperfusion (63 ± 14 vs. 35 ± 12%, P < 0.01). These effects were accompanied by increased glutathione peroxidase and reduced superoxide dismutase and phospholamban gene expression in Gunn rat myocardium (P < 0.05). These data collectively indicate that hyperbilirubinemia in Gunn rats 1) reduces intrinsic cardiac contractility, which is compensated for in vivo; 2) induces aortic dilatation, which may beneficially influence aortic ejection velocities and pressures; and 3) may improve myocardial stress resistance in association with beneficial transcriptional changes. These effects may contribute to protection from cardiovascular disease with elevated bilirubin.

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