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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Bilirubin and heme as growth inhibitors of chicken embryos in ovo.

The increased morbidity during pregnancies complicated by hematologic or liver disease has generally been attributed to the metabolic abnormalities of the illness itself. Because tetrapyrrole concentrations are elevated in these conditions, we introduced bilirubin or heme (prepared as 10 mM solutions) into the air sac of fertilized chicken eggs to study their effect on the growth of normal chicken embryos. In 9-d eggs, the injection of 0.06 mL heme resulted in significant embryo growth inhibition as indicated by overall wt (91 +/- 3% versus control), tibia length (84 +/- 2%), tibia wt (81 +/- 3%), femur length (88 +/- 1%), and femur wt (78 +/- 3%); doses greater than 0.10 mL resulted in substantial fetal losses. The injection of 0.06 mL bilirubin into the same-age eggs also resulted in less than normal tibia length (87 +/- 2% versus control), tibia wt (75 +/- 4%), femur length (91 +/- 2%), and femur wt (81 +/- 3%); larger doses resulted in more pronounced growth inhibition, but fetal losses were less common than with heme. Older chick embryos (12-d) appeared more resistant to the effects of bilirubin: 0.15 mL bilirubin inhibited only tibia and femur wt; larger doses were required to significantly suppress the other growth parameters. The same-age chicken embryos, however, remained exquisitely sensitive to heme; 0.05 mL resulted in less than normal whole embryo wt (88 +/- 2% versus control), tibia length (80 +/- 1%), tibia wt (76 +/- 1%), femur length (78 +/- 1%), and femur wt (77 +/- 1%).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Bilirubin and heme as growth inhibitors of chicken embryos in ovo. Vassilopoulou-Sellin, R., Foster, P., Oyedeji, C.O. Pediatr. Res. (1990) [Pubmed]
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