Uptake of [3H]bilirubin in freshly isolated rat hepatocytes: Role of free bilirubin concentration

Maria Gabriela Mediavilla, Lorella Pascolo, Joaquin V. Rodriguez, Edgardo E. Guibert, J. Donald Ostrow, Claudio Tiribelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatocytic transport of physiological concentrations of unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) has not been determined in isolated liver cells. Initial uptake of highly purified [3H]UCB was measured in rat hepatocytes in the presence of human serum albumin at various free, unbound UCB concentrations, [UCB]. At [UCB]=42 nM (below aqueous solubility of 70 nM), uptake was strictly temperature dependent; this was much less evident at [UCB]=166 nM (supersaturated). At low, physiological UCB concentrations, specific UCB uptake showed saturative kinetics with an apparent K(m) of 41 nM, indicating carrier-mediated transport. With aqueous supersaturation, UCB entered hepatocytes mainly by passive diffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-145
Number of pages3
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 10 1999


  • Hepatocyte
  • Saturation
  • Unconjugated bilirubin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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