Scientists have found abnormally high levels of bilirubin in the brain of mice and proved that bile pigment protects against oxidative stress.
This discovery will help to find new approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, according to the Chronicle.info with reference to facenews.ua.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Hospital found that the bile pigment bilirubin may play a unique role in protecting the brain cells from damage by oxidative stress. Still bilirubin has been for physicians a key marker of jaundice.
At the beginning of the study, the team found extremely high levels of bilirubin in the brain of mice was 5-10 times higher than in the liver of rodents. Previous studies have shown that bilirubin may be an important antioxidant, so scientists decided to find out why the need for such huge reserves of the brain.
In mice without bilirubin was observed in two to three times more brain damage than the control group, according to the results of the experiment.
Modified mice were more vulnerable to oxidative stress.
A new understanding of the functions of bilirubin will help to find new approaches to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.