Current Role at Stanford

Senior Research Scientist


All Publications

  • Evaluation of a new end-tidal carbon monoxide monitor from the bench to the bedside. Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992) Castillo Cuadrado, M. E., Bhutani, V. K., Aby, J. L., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 104 (6): e279-82

    View details for DOI 10.1111/apa.12938

    View details for PubMedID 25640053

  • Heme oxygenase-1 confers protection and alters T-cell populations in a mouse model of neonatal intestinal inflammation PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Schulz, S., Chisholm, K. M., Zhao, H., Kalish, F., Yang, Y., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 77 (5): 640-648


    Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an intestinal inflammatory disease affecting premature infants, is associated with low regulatory T (Treg) to effector T (Teff) cell ratios. We recently demonstrated that heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) deficiency leads to increased NEC development. Here, we investigated the effects of HO-1 on T-cell proportions in a murine NEC-like injury model.Intestinal injury was induced in 7-d-old wild-type (WT) or HO-1 heterozygous (HO-1 Het) pups by formula-feeding every 4 h for 24-78 h by oral gavage and exposures to 5%O2. Controls remained breastfed. HO-1 was induced in WT pups by administering heme preinjury induction. Lamina propria T cells were identified by flow cytometry. For adoptive transfer studies, WT splenic/thymic Tregs were injected intraperitoneally into HO-1 Het pups 12-24 h preinduction.Het mice showed increased intestinal injury and decreased Treg/Teff ratios. Genes for pattern recognition (Toll-like receptor-4, C-reactive protein, MyD88) and neutrophil recruitment increased in Het pups after NEC induction. Inducing intestinal HO-1 decreased NEC scores and incidence, and increased Treg/Teff ratios. Moreover, adoptive transfer of Tregs from WT to HO-1 Het pups decreased NEC scores and incidence and restored Treg/Teff ratios.HO-1 can change Treg proportions in the lamina propria of young mice under inflammatory conditions, which might, in part, confer intestinal protection.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/pr.2015.22

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353085100006

    View details for PubMedID 25665053

  • Neonatal bilirubin binding capacity discerns risk of neurological dysfunction. Pediatric research Lamola, A. A., Bhutani, V. K., Du, L., Castillo Cuadrado, M., Chen, L., Shen, Z., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 77 (2): 334-339


    Bilirubin binding capacity (BBC) defines the dynamic relationship between an infant's level of unbound or "free" bilirubin and his/her ability to "tolerate" increasing bilirubin loads. BBC is not synonymous with albumin (Alb) levels because Alb binding of bilirubin is confounded by a variety of molecular, biologic, and metabolic factors.We utilized a novel modification of a previously developed hematofluorometric method to directly assay BBC in whole blood from preterm and term neonates and then combined these data with an archived database. Total bilirubin (TB) was also measured, and multiple regression modeling was used to determine whether BBC in combination with TB measurements can assess an infant's risk for developing bilirubin-induced neurotoxicity.TB and BBC levels ranged from 0.7-22.8 to 6.3-47.5 mg/dl, respectively. Gestational age (GA) correlated with BBC (r = 0.54; P < 0.0002) with a slope of 0.93 mg/dl/wk by logistic regression. Our calculations demonstrate that recently recommended GA-modulated TB thresholds for phototherapy and exchange transfusion correspond to 45 and 67% saturation of our observed regression line, respectively.We speculate that the spread of BBC levels around the regression line (±5.8 mg/dl) suggests that individualized BBC assays would provide a robust approach to gauge risk of bilirubin neurotoxicity compared with TB and GA.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/pr.2014.191

    View details for PubMedID 25420178

  • Neonatal hemolysis and risk of bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction. Seminars in fetal & neonatal medicine Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 20 (1): 26-30


    The pathologic phenotype of severe hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn infant is primarily due to excessive bilirubin production and/or impaired conjugation, resulting in an increased bilirubin load. This may, in turn, increase an infant's risk for the development of bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction (BIND). The highest-risk infants are those with increased bilirubin production rates due to hemolysis. Several immune and non-immune conditions have been found to cause severe hemolysis, and these are often exacerbated in those infants with perinatal sepsis and genetic predispositions. Therefore, identification of these infants, with novel technologies, is paramount in reducing the incidence of BIND and the long-term neurologic sequelae for these at-risk infants.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.siny.2014.12.005

    View details for PubMedID 25560401

  • Heme oxygenase and the immune system in normal and pathological pregnancies. Frontiers in pharmacology Ozen, M., Zhao, H., Lewis, D. B., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 6: 84-?


    Normal pregnancy is an immunotolerant state. Many factors, including environmental, socioeconomic, genetic, and immunologic changes by infection and/or other causes of inflammation, may contribute to inter-individual differences resulting in a normal or pathologic pregnancy. In particular, imbalances in the immune system can cause many pregnancy-related diseases, such as infertility, abortions, pre-eclampsia, and preterm labor, which result in maternal/fetal death, prematurity, or small-for-gestational age newborns. New findings imply that myeloid regulatory cells and regulatory T cells (Tregs) may mediate immunotolerance during normal pregnancy. Effector T cells (Teffs) have, in contrast, been implicated to cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. Furthermore, feto-maternal tolerance affects the developing fetus. It has been shown that the Treg/Teff balance affects litter size and adoptive transfer of pregnancy-induced Tregs can prevent fetal rejection in the mouse. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) has a protective role in many conditions through its anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, antioxidative, and anti-proliferative actions. HO-1 is highly expressed in the placenta and plays a role in angiogenesis and placental vascular development and in regulating vascular tone in pregnancy. In addition, HO-1 is a major regulator of immune homeostasis by mediating crosstalk between innate and adaptive immune systems. Moreover, HO-1 can inhibit inflammation-induced phenotypic maturation of immune effector cells and pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion and promote anti-inflammatory cytokine production. HO-1 may also be associated with T-cell activation and can limit immune-based tissue injury by promoting Treg suppression of effector responses. Thus, HO-1 and its byproducts may protect against pregnancy complications by its immunomodulatory effects, and the regulation of HO-1 or its downstream effects has the potential to prevent or treat pregnancy complications and prematurity.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fphar.2015.00084

    View details for PubMedID 25964759

  • Direct Antiglobulin Titer Strength and Hyperbilirubinemia PEDIATRICS Kaplan, M., Hammerman, C., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2014; 134 (5): E1340-E1344
  • End-tidal carbon monoxide and hemolysis JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Tidmarsh, G. F., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2014; 34 (8): 577-581


    Hemolytic disease in newborns can result from a number of conditions, which can place such infants at an increased risk for the development of severe hyperbilirubinemia. Because the catabolism of heme produces equimolar amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) and bilirubin, measurements of end-tidal breath CO (corrected for ambient CO) or ETCOc can serve as an index of hemolysis as well as of bilirubin production from any cause. Elevated levels of ETCOc have been correlated with blood carboxyhemoglobin levels and thus hemolysis. However, the detection of hemolysis can be a clinically challenging problem in newborns. Here, we describe the importance of determining ETCOc levels and their application in identifying infants at risk for developing hyperbilirubinemia associated with hemolysis and other causes of increased bilirubin production.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/jp.2014.66

    View details for Web of Science ID 000339706400001

    View details for PubMedID 24743136

  • Safety and Efficacy of Filtered Sunlight in Treatment of Jaundice in African Neonates PEDIATRICS Slusher, T. M., Vreman, H. J., Olusanya, B. O., Wong, R. J., Brearley, A. M., Vaucher, Y. E., Stevenson, D. K. 2014; 133 (6): E1568-E1574


    Evaluate safety and efficacy of filtered-sunlight phototherapy (FS-PT).Term/late preterm infants #14 days old with clinically significant jaundice, assessed by total bilirubin (TB) levels, were recruited from a maternity hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Sunlight was filtered with commercial window-tinting films that remove most UV and significant levels of infrared light and transmit effective levels of therapeutic blue light. After placing infants under an FS-PT canopy, hourly measurements of axillary temperatures, monitoring for sunburn, dehydration, and irradiances of filtered sunlight were performed. Treatment was deemed safe and efficacious if infants were able to stay in FS-PT for $5 hours and rate of rise of TB was ,0.2 mg/dL/h for infants #72 hours of age or TB decreased for infants .72 hours of age.A total of 227 infants received 258 days of FS-PT. No infant developed sunburn or dehydration. On 85 (33%) of 258 treatment days, infants were removed briefly from FS-PT due to minor temperature-related adverse events. No infant met study exit criteria. FS-PT was efficacious in 92% (181/197) of evaluable treatment days. Mean 6 SD TB change was –0.06 6 0.19 mg/dL/h. The mean 6 SD (range) irradiance of FS-PT was 38 6 22 (2–115) mW/cm2/nm, measured by the BiliBlanket Meter II.With appropriate monitoring, filtered sunlight is a novel, practical, and inexpensive method of PT that potentially offers safe and efficacious treatment strategy for management of neonatal jaundice in tropical countries where conventional PT treatment is not available.

    View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2013-3500

    View details for Web of Science ID 000337172600012

    View details for PubMedID 24864170

  • Effects of light on metalloporphyrin-treated newborn mice. Acta paediatrica Wong, R. J., Schulz, S., Espadas, C., Vreman, H. J., Rajadas, J., Stevenson, D. K. 2014; 103 (5): 474-479


    Zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) is a promising metalloporphyrin with sufficient potency, but has poor solubility and is not absorbed well orally. Intragastric administration of ZnPP microparticles (30 μmol/kg) to 3-day-old mice resulted in a twofold increase in potency and no signs of phototoxicity.The use of polymeric particulate delivery systems can improve the stability and enhance intestinal absorption of ZnPP, while retaining HO inhibitory potency without photosensitising effects, and thus is potentially useful in treating neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/apa.12554

    View details for PubMedID 24417721

  • Anti-cancer effects of blue-green alga Spirulina platensis, a natural source of bilirubin-like tetrapyrrolic compounds ANNALS OF HEPATOLOGY Konickova, R., Vankova, K., Vanikova, J., Vanova, K., Muchova, L., Subhanova, I., Zadinova, M., Zelenka, J., Dvorak, A., Kolar, M., Strnad, H., Rimpelova, S., Ruml, T., Wong, R. J., Vitek, L. 2014; 13 (2): 273-283
  • Heme Oxygenase-1 Promoter Polymorphisms and Neonatal Jaundice NEONATOLOGY Kaplan, M., Renbaum, P., Hamrnernnan, C., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2014; 106 (4): 323-329

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000365744

    View details for Web of Science ID 000344445400007

  • Heme oxygenase-1 in pregnancy and cancer: similarities in cellular invasion, cytoprotection, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation. Frontiers in pharmacology Zhao, H., Ozen, M., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2014; 5: 295-?


    Pregnancy can be defined as a "permissible" process, where a semi-allogeneic fetus and placenta are allowed to grow and survive within the mother. Similarly, in tumor growth, antigen-specific malignant cells proliferate and evade into normal tissues of the host. The microenvironments of the placenta and tumors are amazingly comparable, sharing similar mechanisms exploited by fetal or cancer cells with regard to surviving in a hypoxic microenvironment, invading tissues via degradation and vasculogenesis, and escaping host attack through immune privilege. Heme oxygease-1 (HO-1) is a stress-response protein that has antioxidative, anti-apoptotic, pro-angiogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Although a large volume of research has been published in recent years investigating the possible role(s) of HO-1 in pregnancy and in cancer development, the molecular mechanisms that regulate these "yin-yang" processes have still not been fully elucidated. Here, we summarize and compare pregnancy and cancer development, focusing primarily on the function of HO-1 in cellular invasion, cytoprotection, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation. Due to the similarities of both processes, a thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms of each process may reveal and guide the development of new approaches to prevent not only pregnancy disorders; but also, to study cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fphar.2014.00295

    View details for PubMedID 25642189

  • Spirulina platensis and phycocyanobilin activate atheroprotective heme oxygenase-1: a possible implication for atherogenesis. Food & function Strasky, Z., Zemankova, L., Nemeckova, I., Rathouska, J., Wong, R. J., Muchova, L., Subhanova, I., Vanikova, J., Vanova, K., Vitek, L., Nachtigal, P. 2013; 4 (11): 1586-1594


    Spirulina platensis, a water blue-green alga, has been associated with potent biological effects, which might have important relevance in atheroprotection. We investigated whether S. platensis or phycocyanobilin (PCB), its tetrapyrrolic chromophore, can activate atheroprotective heme oxygenase-1 (Hmox1), a key enzyme in the heme catabolic pathway responsible for generation of a potent antioxidant bilirubin, in endothelial cells and in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. In vitro experiments were performed on EA.hy926 endothelial cells exposed to extracts of S. platensis or PCB. In vivo studies were performed on ApoE-deficient mice fed a cholesterol diet and S. platensis. The effect of these treatments on Hmox1, as well as other markers of oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, was then investigated. Both S. platensis and PCB markedly upregulated Hmox1 in vitro, and a substantial overexpression of Hmox1 was found in aortic atherosclerotic lesions of ApoE-deficient mice fed S. platensis. In addition, S. platensis treatment led to a significant increase in Hmox1 promoter activity in the spleens of Hmox-luc transgenic mice. Furthermore, both S. platensis and PCB were able to modulate important markers of oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, such as eNOS, p22 NADPH oxidase subunit, and/or VCAM-1. Both S. platensis and PCB activate atheroprotective HMOX1 in endothelial cells and S. platensis increased the expression of Hmox1 in aortic atherosclerotic lesions in ApoE-deficient mice, and also in Hmox-luc transgenic mice beyond the lipid lowering effect. Therefore, activation of HMOX1 and the heme catabolic pathway may represent an important mechanism of this food supplement for the reduction of atherosclerotic disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3fo60230c

    View details for PubMedID 24056745

  • Raltegravir in vitro effect on bilirubin binding. Pediatric infectious disease journal Clarke, D. F., Wong, R. J., Wenning, L., Stevenson, D. K., Mirochnick, M. 2013; 32 (9): 978-980


    Drugs that displace bilirubin from albumin may increase the risk of kernicterus in neonates. We evaluated the effect of raltegravir on bilirubin-albumin binding in pooled neonatal serum using the peroxidase method. Raltegravir had minimal effect on bilirubin-albumin binding at concentrations of 5 and 10 µM, caused a small but statistically significant increase in unbound bilirubin at 100 µM, and caused potentially harmful increases at 500 and 1000 µM. Our data suggest that the effect of raltegravir on neonatal bilirubin binding is unlikely to be clinically significant at typical peak concentrations reached with usual dosing.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/INF.0b013e31829044a8

    View details for PubMedID 23470680

  • The effect of hematocrit on the efficacy of phototherapy for neonatal jaundice PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Lamola, A. A., Bhutani, V. K., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., McDonagh, A. F. 2013; 74 (1): 54-60


    Background:The therapeutic phototherapy action spectrum ranges from 420 to 500nm. However, a recent report of improved efficacy offluorescent "turquoise"light (~490 nm) compared toblue light(~450 nm) underscores the need to define an optimal action spectrum for precision-targeted phototherapy using very narrow wavelength ranges.Methods:We used a current semi-empirical model of theoptical properties of skinfor robust calculations of the fraction of light absorbed by bilirubin at various wavelengths that could be confounded by hemoglobin, melanin and skin thickness. Applying assumptions regarding the wavelength dependence of bilirubin photochemistry, "action spectra"wereassembled from the calculated values.Results:All the calculated action spectra displayed a peak between 472 and 480 nm (most at 476 nm), which is a significant shift from the well-reported 460 nm absorption peak of bilirubin. Interestingly, the relative amplitudes of the action spectra showed an inverse relationship with hematocrit.Conclusion:We speculate that narrow range of light at 476 nmshould be 60% more effective than blue (broad-band) fluorescent lamps. Because hemoglobin serves as a major competitor of bilirubin for light absorption, the calculations also predict that the efficacy of phototherapy is dependent on the hematocrit.A high hematocrit could reduce therapeutic efficiency.Pediatric Research (2013); doi:10.1038/pr.2013.67.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/pr.2013.67

    View details for Web of Science ID 000321795300009

    View details for PubMedID 23604171

  • Heme oxygenase-1 deficiency promotes the development of necrotizing enterocolitis-like intestinal injury in a newborn mouse model AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-GASTROINTESTINAL AND LIVER PHYSIOLOGY Schulz, S., Wong, R. J., Jang, K. Y., Kalish, F., Chisholm, K. M., Zhao, H., Vreman, H. J., Sylvester, K. G., Stevenson, D. K. 2013; 304 (11): G991-G1001


    Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is typified by mucosal destruction, which subsequently can lead to intestinal necrosis. Prematurity, enteral feeding, and bacterial colonization are the main risk factors and, combined with other stressors, can cause increased intestinal permeability, injury, and an exaggerated inflammatory response. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) mediates intestinal protection due to anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antiapoptotic effects of its products carbon monoxide, biliverdin, and bilirubin. This study investigates a possible role of HO-1 in the pathogenesis of NEC using a newborn mouse model. We induced NEC-like intestinal injury in 7-day-old HO-1 heterozygous (HO-1 Het, Hmox1(+/-)) and wild-type (Wt, Hmox1(+/+)) mice by gavage feeding and hypoxic exposures. Control (Con) pups of both genotypes were dam-fed. Intestines of HO-1 Het Con pups appeared predisposed to injury, with higher histological damage scores, more TUNEL-positive cells, and a significant reduction in muscularis externa thickness compared with Wt Con pups. The increase in HO activity after HO-1 induction by the substrate heme or by hypoxic stress was significantly impaired in HO-1 Het pups. After induction of intestinal injury, HO-1 Het pups displayed significantly higher NEC incidence (78 vs. 43%), mortality (83 vs. 54%), and median scores (2.5 vs. 1.5) than Wt NEC pups. PCR array analyses revealed increased expressions of IL-1β, P-selectin, matrix metallopeptidase 2, collagen type XVIII-α1, serpine 1, and others in NEC-induced HO-1 Het ileal and jejunal tissues. We conclude that a partial HO-1 deficiency promotes experimental NEC-like intestinal injury, possibly mediated by exaggerated inflammation and disruption in tissue repair.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajpgi.00363.2012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000319807400005

  • Bilirubin neurotoxicity in preterm infants: risk and prevention. Journal of clinical neonatology Bhutani, V. K., Wong, R. J. 2013; 2 (2): 61-69


    Hemolytic conditions in preterm neonates, including Rhesus (Rh) disease, can lead to mortality and long-term impairments due to bilirubin neurotoxicity. Universal access to Rh immunoprophylaxis, coordinated perinatal-neonatal care, and effective phototherapy has virtually eliminated the risk of kernicterus in many countries. In the absence of jaundice due to isoimmunization and without access to phototherapy or exchange transfusion (in 1955), kernicterus was reported at 10.1%, 5.5%, and 1.2% in babies <30, 31-32, and 33-34 wks gestational age, respectively. Phototherapy initiated at 24±12 hr effectively prevented hyperbilirubinemia in infants <2,000 g even in the presence of hemolysis. This approach (in 1985) reduced exchange transfusions from 23.9% to 4.8%. Now with 3 decades of experience in implementing effective phototherapy, the need for exchange transfusions has virtually been eliminated. However, bilirubin neurotoxicity continues to be associated with prematurity alone. The ability to better predict this risk, other than birthweight and gestation, has been elusive. Objective tests such as total bilirubin, unbound or free bilirubin, albumin levels, and albumin-bilirubin binding, together with observations of concurrent hemolysis, sepsis, and rapid rate of bilirubin rise have been considered, but their individual or combined predictive utility has yet to be refined. The disruptive effects of immaturity, concurrent neonatal disease, cholestasis, use of total parenteral nutrition or drugs that alter bilirubin-binding abilities augment the clinical risk of neurotoxicity. Current management options rely on the "fine-tuning" of each infant's exposure to beneficial antioxidants and avoidance of silent neurotoxic properties of bilirubin navigated within the safe spectrum of operational thresholds demarcated by experts.

    View details for DOI 10.4103/2249-4847.116402

    View details for PubMedID 24049745

  • Combining hand techniques with electric pumping increases the caloric content of milk in mothers of preterm infants JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Morton, J., Wong, R. J., Hall, J. Y., Pang, W. W., Lai, C. T., Lui, J., Hartmann, P. E., Rhine, W. D. 2012; 32 (10): 791-796


    We previously reported that preterm mothers' milk production can exceed levels of term mothers by using early hand expression and hands-on pumping (HOP) with the highest production (955?ml per day) in frequent users of hand expression. In this study, we compared milk composition between mothers stratified by early hand expression frequency.A total of 67 mothers of infants <31 weeks gestation were instructed on hand expression and HOP. Subjects submitted expression records and 1-ml samples from each pumping session over 24?h once weekly for 8 weeks.78% (52/67) of mothers completed the study. But for Week 1, no compositional differences (despite production differences) were noted between the three groups. Protein and lactose tracked reported norms, but fat and energy of mature milk (Weeks 2-8) exceeded norms, 62.5?g?l(-1) per fat and 892.7?cal l(-1) (26.4?cal?oz(-1)), respectively.Mothers combining manual techniques with pumping express high levels of fat-rich, calorie-dense milk, unrelated to production differences.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/jp.2011.195

    View details for Web of Science ID 000309519800010

    View details for PubMedID 22222549

  • A deficiency in haem oxygenase-1 induces foetal growth restriction by placental vasculature defects ACTA PAEDIATRICA Wong, R. J., Zhao, H., Stevenson, D. K. 2012; 101 (8): 827-834


    Haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1), the rate-limiting enzyme in haem degradation, plays a role in angiogenesis and vasculogenesis and is highly expressed in the placenta. Deficiencies in HO-1 are associated with several pregnancy disorders, such as recurrent miscarriages and pre-eclampsia. The unique combination of tissue protective, smooth muscle relaxing and angiogenesis regulatory properties makes HO-1 a key player in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy through a direct effect on placental structural and vascular development, thus affecting foetal development. Conclusion:? Therefore, we conclude that HO-1 plays an important role in placental vasculature development and a deficiency in HO-1 may contribute to pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia, spontaneous abortions and premature births.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02729.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306398200025

    View details for PubMedID 22594519

  • Effect of light exposure on metalloporphyrin-treated newborn mice PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Schulz, S., Wong, R. J., Kalish, F. S., Zhao, H., Jang, K. Y., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2012; 72 (2): 161-168


    Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia arises from increased bilirubin production and decreased bilirubin elimination. Although phototherapy safely and effectively reduces bilirubin levels, recent evidence shows that it has adverse effects. Therefore, alternative treatments are warranted. Metalloporphyrins, competitive inhibitors of heme oxygenase (HO), the rate-limiting enzyme in bilirubin production, effectively reduce bilirubin formation; however, many are photoreactive. Here, we investigated possible photosensitizing effects of chromium mesoporphyrin (CrMP) and zinc deuteroporphyrin bis-glycol (ZnBG).Administration of CrMP or ZnBG to 3-d-old mouse pups (3.75-30.0 ?mol/kg intraperitoneally) and exposure to cool white (F20T12CW) and blue (TL20W/52) fluorescent lights (+L) for 3 h, resulted in a dose-dependent mortality (50% lethal dose (LD50) = 21.5 and 19.5 ?mol/kg, respectively). In contrast to ZnBG, there was no significant difference in survival between the CrMP+L and CrMP groups. Following 30 ?mol/kg ZnBG+L, we found significant weight loss, decreased liver antioxidant capacities, and increased aspartate aminotransaminase levels. At 6-d post-light exposure, ZnBG+L-treated pups showed gross and histologic skin changes at doses >7.5 ?mol/kg. No lethality was observed following treatment with 30 ?mol ZnBG/kg plus exposure to blue light-emitting diodes. Phototoxicity of ZnBG was dependent on light source, emission spectrum, and irradiance.Low doses of ZnBG (<3.75 ?mol/kg) retained maximal HO inhibitory potency without photosensitizing effects, and therefore are potentially useful in treating neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/pr.2012.62

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306862000007

    View details for PubMedID 22580722

  • Metalloporphyrins - an update. Frontiers in pharmacology Schulz, S., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2012; 3: 68-?


    Metalloporphyrins are structural analogs of heme and their potential use in the management of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia has been the subject of considerable research for more than three decades. The pharmacological basis for using this class of compounds to control bilirubin levels is the targeted blockade of bilirubin production through the competitive inhibition of heme oxygenase (HO), the rate-limiting enzyme in the bilirubin production pathway. Ongoing research continues in the pursuit of identifying ideal metalloporphyrins, which are safe and effective, by defining therapeutic windows and targeted interventions for the treatment of excessive neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fphar.2012.00068

    View details for PubMedID 22557967

  • Metalloporphyrins - an update FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY Schulz, S., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2012; 3
  • Effects of Zinc Deuteroporphyrin Bis Glycol on Newborn Mice After Heme Loading PEDIATRIC RESEARCH He, C. X., Campbell, C. M., Zhao, H., Kalish, F. S., Schulz, S., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2011; 70 (5): 467-472


    Infants with hemolytic diseases frequently develop hyperbilirubinemia and are treated with phototherapy, which only eliminates bilirubin after its production. A better strategy might be to directly inhibit heme oxygenase (HO), the rate-limiting enzyme in bilirubin production. Metalloporphyrins (Mps) are heme analogs that competitively inhibit HO activity in vitro and in vivo and suppress plasma bilirubin levels in vivo. A promising Mp, zinc deuteroporphyrin bis glycol (ZnBG), is orally absorbed and effectively inhibits HO activity at relatively low doses. We determined the I(50) (the dose needed to inhibit HO activity by 50%) of orally administered ZnBG in vivo and then evaluated ZnBG's effects on in vivo bilirubin production, HO activity, HO protein levels, and HO-1 gene expression in newborn mice after heme loading, a model analogous to a hemolytic infant. The I(50) of ZnBG was found to be 4.0 ?mol/kg body weight (BW). At a dose of 15 ?mol/kg BW, ZnBG reduced in vivo bilirubin production, inhibited heme-induced liver HO activity and spleen HO activity to and below baseline, respectively, transiently induced liver and spleen HO-1 gene transcription, and induced liver and spleen HO-1 protein levels. We conclude that ZnBG may be an attractive compound for treating severe neonatal hyperbilirubinemia caused by hemolytic disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296121100005

    View details for PubMedID 21785387

  • Maternal Heme Oxygenase 1 Regulates Placental Vasculature Development via Angiogenic Factors in Mice BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION Zhao, H., Azuma, J., Kalish, F., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2011; 85 (5): 1005-1012


    The placental vasculature is critical for nutrient, gas, and waste exchange between the maternal and fetal systems. Its development depends on the proper expression and interaction of angiogenesis and associated growth factors. Heme oxygenase (HMOX), the enzyme for heme degradation, plays a role in angiogenesis and is highly expressed in the placenta. To evaluate the role of maternal HMOX1, the inducible HMOX isozyme, on placental vasculature formation, mice with a partial deficiency in Hmox1 (Hmox1(+/-)) were used. Three-dimensional images of placental vasculatures as well as spiral arteries from Hmox1(+/+) or Hmox1(+/-) placentas were created by vascular corrosion casting technique and imaged by micro-computerized tomography (microCT). The structures and morphologies of fetomaternal interfaces were observed by histological staining and the ultrastructure of uterine natural killer (uNK) cells, a major regulator in spiral artery remodeling, was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. A group of growth factors and angiogenic factors from the decidua/mesometrial lymphoid aggregate of pregnancy (MLAp) as well as labyrinth regions were quantified using an angiogenesis PCR array kit and compared between Hmox1(+/+) or Hmox1(+/-) placentas. In conclusion, a partial deficiency of maternal Hmox1 resulted in the malformation of fetomaternal interface, insufficiency of spiral artery remodeling, and alteration of uNK cell differentiation and maturation. These changes were independent of the fetal genotype, but relied on the maternal HMOX1 level, which determined the balance of expression levels of pro- and antiangiogenic factors in the decidua/MLAp region. These results implied that Hmox1 polymorphisms among the human population might contribute to some unexplained cases of pregnancy disorders, such as fetal growth retardation and preeclampsia.

    View details for DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.111.093039

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296580000014

    View details for PubMedID 21778140

  • Panhematin provides a therapeutic benefit in experimental pancreatitis GUT Habtezion, A., Kwan, R., Akhtar, E., Wanaski, S. P., Collins, S. D., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Butcher, E. C., Omary, M. B. 2011; 60 (5): 671-679


    Acute pancreatitis (AP) can result in pancreatic necrosis and inflammation, with subsequent multi-organ failure. AP is associated with increased neutrophil recruitment and a rise in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF?. Pretreatment with haemin, results in recruitment of haem-oxygenase-1 (HO-1)(+) macrophages and protects against experimental pancreatitis. It is not clear whether modulation of HO-1 after onset of disease has a protective role. In this study, we tested the utility of Panhematin, a water-soluble haemin formulation, in activating and inducing pancreatic HO-1, and as a therapeutic agent in treating mouse acute pancreatitis.We defined the distribution of radiolabelled haemin, then used in vivo HO-1-luciferase bioluminescence imaging and the CO-release assay to test Panhematin-induced upregulation of HO-1 transcription and activity, respectively. Using two well-defined AP murine models, we tested the therapeutic benefit of Panhematin, and quantified cytokine release using a luminex assay.Intravenously administered Panhematin induces rapid recruitment of HO-1(+) cells to the pancreas within 2 h and de novo splenic HO-1 transcription by 12 h. Despite high baseline spleen HO-1 activity, the pancreas is particularly responsive to Panhematin-mediated HO-1 induction. Panhematin-treated mice, at various time points after AP induction had significant reduction in mortality, pancreatic injury, together with upregulation of HO-1 and downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and CXCL1, a potent neutrophil chemoattractant.Despite AP-associated mortality and morbidity, no effective treatment other than supportive care exists. We demonstrate that Panhematin leads to: (i) rapid induction and activation of pancreatic HO-1 with recruitment of HO-1(+) cells to the pancreas, (ii) amelioration of AP even when given late during the course of disease, and (iii) a decrease in leucocyte infiltration and pro-inflammatory cytokines including CXCL1. The utility of Panhematin at modest doses as a therapeutic in experimental pancreatitis, coupled with its current use and safety in humans, raises the potential of its applicability to human pancreatitis.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/gut.2010.217208

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289076700015

    View details for PubMedID 21159893

  • In vitro inhibition of heme oxygenase isoenzymes by metalloporphyrins JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Schulz, S., Kalish, F. S., Pierce, N. W., Stevenson, D. K. 2011; 31: S35-S41


    Neonatal jaundice results from an increased bilirubin production and decreased hepatic bilirubin conjugation and excretion. Severe hyperbilirubinemia is currently treated with phototherapy or exchange transfusion; however, its prevention by inhibiting bilirubin formation is a more logical strategy. Heme oxygenase (HO), with inducible (HO-1) and constitutive (HO-2) isoenzymes, is the rate-limiting enzyme in heme catabolism, producing equimolar amounts of bilirubin and carbon monoxide (CO). Metalloporphyrins (Mps) are heme derivatives that competitively inhibit HO and thereby suppress hyperbilirubinemia. No systematic studies have been reported evaluating whether the HO isoenzymes are inhibited differentially by various Mps. Identification of Mps that selectively inhibit the inducible HO-1 without affecting the 'housekeeping' HO-2 isoenzyme might be desirable in the clinical setting of hemolytic disease, in which the Hmox1 gene is greatly induced. Although bilirubin production is due to the activity of both HO-1 and HO-2, the inhibition of HO-1 with a relative sparing of HO-2 activity might provide the most selective approach for the treatment of hemolytic disease.We determined for the deutero-, proto-, meso- and bis-glycol porphyrins with zinc, tin and chromium as central atoms, respectively, the concentration needed for 50% inhibition (I(50)) of HO-1 and HO-2 activities in rat spleen and brain tissue.For a given Mp, HO-1 activity was less inhibited than that of HO-2. The order of inhibitor potency of each Mp was nearly identical for both isoenzymes. Tin mesoporphyrin was the most potent inhibitor for both isoenzymes. HO-2 selectivity was greatest for tin protoporphyrin. Conversely, the Zn compounds were least inhibitory toward HO-2. No Mp preferentially inhibited HO-1.Mps that produce a less inhibitory effect on HO-2, while limiting the response of the inducible HO-1, such as ZnPP, may be a useful clinical tool.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/jp.2010.173

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289236900006

    View details for PubMedID 21448202

  • Metalloporphyrins in the management of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia SEMINARS IN FETAL & NEONATAL MEDICINE Stevenson, D. K., Wong, R. J. 2010; 15 (3): 164-168


    Neonatal jaundice in the first week of life is a common problem in newborns. It is due to an imbalance of bilirubin production and its elimination, which can lead to significantly elevated levels of circulating bilirubin or hyperbilirubinemia. Use of phototherapy and/or exchange transfusion are the current modes for treating neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and preventing any neurologic damage. These strategies, however, only remove bilirubin that has already been formed. Preventing the production of excess bilirubin may be a more logical approach. Synthetic heme analogs, metalloporphyrins, are competitive inhibitors of heme oxygenase, the rate-limiting enzyme in bilirubin production, and their use has been proposed as an attractive alternative strategy for preventing or treating severe hyperbilirubinemia.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.siny.2009.11.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278039100008

    View details for PubMedID 20006567

  • Combining hand techniques with electric pumping increases milk production in mothers of preterm infants JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Morton, J., Hall, J. Y., Wong, R. J., Thairu, L., Benitz, W. E., Rhine, W. D. 2009; 29 (11): 757-764


    Pump-dependent mothers of preterm infants commonly experience insufficient production. We observed additional milk could be expressed following pumping using hand techniques. We explored the effect on production of hand expression of colostrum and hands-on pumping (HOP) of mature milk.A total of 67 mothers of infants <31 weeks gestation were enrolled and instructed on pumping, hand expression of colostrum and HOP. Expression records for 8 weeks and medical records were used to assess production variables.Seventy-eight percent of the mothers completed the study. Mean daily volumes (MDV) rose to 820 ml per day by week 8 and 955 ml per day in mothers who hand expressed >5 per day in the first 3 days. Week 2 and/or week 8 MDV related to hand expression (P<0.005), maternal age, gestational age, pumping frequency, duration, longest interval between pumpings and HOP (P<0.003). Mothers taught HOP increased MDV (48%) despite pumping less.Mothers of preterm infants may avoid insufficient production by combining hand techniques with pumping.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/jp.2009.87

    View details for Web of Science ID 000271187300009

    View details for PubMedID 19571815

  • Effect of Heme Oxygenase-1 Deficiency on Placental Development PLACENTA Zhao, H., Wong, R. J., Kalish, F. S., Nayak, N. R., Stevenson, D. K. 2009; 30 (10): 861-868


    Heme oxygenase (HO) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the heme catabolic pathway and highly expressed in the placenta. Deficiencies in HO-1, the inducible isoform, have been associated with pregnancy disorders, such as recurrent miscarriages, intrauterine growth retardation, and pre-eclampsia. The aim of this study was to identify if a deficiency in HO-1 affects placental development using a mouse model. When HO-1 heterozygote (Het, HO-1(+/-)) mice were cross-bred, an extremely low birth rate in homozygote (Mut, HO-1(-/-)) offspring (2.4%) and small litter sizes were observed. Placentas and fetuses from Het cross-breedings were relatively smaller and weighed less than those from wild-type (WT) cross-breedings at E12.5 and E15.5. Furthermore, Het placentas had significantly less HO-1 mRNA and protein levels than WT placentas, but no significant differences in placental HO activity. Interestingly, HO-2, the constituitive HO isoform, as well as iNOS and eNOS expression were significantly upregulated in Het placentas. Histological examination showed that the junctional zone (JZ) of Het placentas were markedly thinner than those of WT placentas and appeared to be due to an increase in apoptosis. Immunohistochemistry revealed that HO-1-expressing cells were located primarily in the JZ of Het placentas, specifically in the spongiotrophoblast layer. In addition, diastolic blood pressures and plasma soluble VEGFR-1 (sFlt-1) levels were significantly elevated in pregnant Het mice. We conclude that a partial deficiency in HO-1 is associated with morphological changes in the placenta and elevations in maternal diastolic blood pressure and plasma sFlt-1 levels, despite a compensatory increase in HO-2 expression.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.placenta.2009.07.012

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270706300006

    View details for PubMedID 19699520

  • Dermal Carbon Monoxide Excretion in Neonatal Rats During Light Exposure PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Vreman, H. J., Knauer, Y., Wong, R. J., Chan, M., Stevenson, D. K. 2009; 66 (1): 66-69


    Total body, head, and trunk carbon monoxide (CO) excretion rates were measured separately by gas chromatography in 1- to 7-d-old Wistar rat pups exposed to the dark and to mixed blue (one Special Blue-F20T12/BB) and white (two Cool White-F20T12/CW) fluorescent light or blue light emitting diode (LED) sources. During 48-min cycled exposures to the dark and to either light source, total body CO excretion rapidly increased 1.9- and 1.4-fold, respectively, over dark control levels. When CO excretion rates from the head and trunk were measured separately during exposure to either light source, CO excretion from the head did not change significantly; however, a large mean 4.4-fold increase in CO excretion from the trunk was observed. When light intensity delivered by the blue LED source was varied, we found that trunk CO excretion increased with increasing light intensities. In the presence of riboflavin (10 micromol/kg), total body CO excretion increased 2.8- and 2.1-fold during exposure to the mixed fluorescent light and blue LED sources, respectively. We conclude that light-induced elevations in total body CO excretion may be caused by transdermally excreted CO, which is most likely produced through endogenous photosensitizer-mediated photooxidation of dermal biomolecules.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000267249300013

    View details for PubMedID 19342986

  • Heme oxygenase-1 deficiency leads to disrupted response to acute stress in stem cells and progenitors BLOOD Cao, Y., Wagers, A. J., Karsunky, H., Zhao, H., Reeves, R., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Weissman, I. L., Contag, C. H. 2008; 112 (12): 4494-4502


    An effective response to extreme hematopoietic stress requires an extreme elevation in hematopoiesis and preservation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). These diametrically opposed processes are likely to be regulated by genes that mediate cellular adaptation to physiologic stress. Herein, we show that heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), the inducible isozyme of heme degradation, is a key regulator of these processes. Mice lacking one allele of HO-1 (HO-1(+/-)) showed accelerated hematopoietic recovery from myelotoxic injury, and HO-1(+/-) HSCs repopulated lethally irradiated recipients with more rapid kinetics. However, HO-1(+/-) HSCs were ineffective in radioprotection and serial repopulation of myeloablated recipients. Perturbations in key stem cell regulators were observed in HO-1(+/-) HSCs and hematopoietic progenitors (HPCs), which may explain the disrupted response of HO-1(+/-) HPCs and HPCs to acute stress. Control of stem cell stress response by HO-1 presents opportunities for metabolic manipulation of stem cell-based therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1182/blood-2007-12-127621

    View details for Web of Science ID 000261217000024

    View details for PubMedID 18509090

  • Inhibition of heme oxygenase activity in newborn mice by azalanstat CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY Morisawa, T., Wong, R. J., Bhutani, V. K., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2008; 86 (10): 651-659


    Inhibition of heme oxygenase (HO), the rate-limiting enzyme in heme catabolism, may be an ideal strategy for preventing neonatal jaundice. Although natural and synthetic heme analogs, called metalloporphyrins (Mps), have been extensively investigated for this purpose, some Mps are phototoxic, affect the activity of other enzymes, or induce HO-1 transcription-properties that may limit their clinical use. Another class of compounds, imidazole-dioxolanes, has been shown to selectively inhibit the inducible isozyme HO-1. Therefore, we investigated the efficacy of azalanstat (AZA), an imidazole-dioxolane, towards inhibiting HO activity in 7-day-old mice. We found that a single dose of AZA at 500 body mass (BM) administered i.p. significantly inhibited HO activity and reduced in vivo bilirubin production. In the spleen, HO inhibition (>50%) was observed within 0.25-3 h after administration. After 24 h, however, spleen HO activity, HO-1 protein, and HO-1 mRNA levels significantly increased 1.2-, 2.4-, and 4.0-fold, respectively. We conclude that AZA effectively inhibits in vivo HO activity only at a high dose and that it also induces spleen HO-1 gene transcription. Therefore, other imidazole-dioxolanes should be evaluated to determine whether they are more potent than AZA for use in treating neonatal jaundice.

    View details for DOI 10.1139/Y08-069

    View details for Web of Science ID 000260168100001

    View details for PubMedID 18841169

  • Regulation of maternal and fetal hemodynamics by heme oxygenase in mice BIOLOGY OF REPRODUCTION Zhao, H., Wong, R. J., Doyle, T. C., Nayak, N., Vreman, H. J., Contag, C. H., Stevenson, D. K. 2008; 78 (4): 744-751


    Heme oxygenase (HMOX) regulates vascular tone and blood pressure through the production of carbon monoxide (CO), a vasodilator derived from the heme degradation pathway. During pregnancy, the maternal circulation undergoes significant adaptations to accommodate the hemodynamic demands of the developing fetus. Our objective was to investigate the role of HMOX on maternal and fetal hemodynamics during pregnancy in a mouse model. We measured and compared maternal tissue and placental HMOX activity and endogenous CO production, represented by excreted CO and carboxyhemoglobin levels, during pregnancy (Embryonic Days 12.5-15.5) to nonpregnant controls. Micro-ultrasound was used to monitor maternal abdominal aorta diameters as well as blood flow velocities and diameters of fetal umbilical arteries. Tin mesoporphyrin, a potent HMOX inhibitor, was used to inhibit HMOX activity. Changes in maternal vascular tone were monitored by tail cuff blood pressure measurements. Effects of HMOX inhibition on placental structures were assessed by histology. We showed that maternal tissue and placental HMOX activity and CO production were significantly elevated during pregnancy. When HMOX in the placenta was inhibited, maternal and fetal hemodynamics underwent significant changes, with maternal blood pressures increasing. We concluded that increases in maternal tissue and placental HMOX activity contribute to the regulation of peripheral vascular resistance and therefore are important for the maintenance of normal maternal vascular tone and fetal hemodynamic functions during pregnancy.

    View details for DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.107.064899

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254217500020

    View details for PubMedID 18094356

  • Standardized bench method for evaluating the efficacy of phototherapy devices ACTA PAEDIATRICA Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Murdock, J. R., Stevenson, D. K. 2008; 97 (3): 308-316


    As phototherapy (PT) devices employ a variety of broadband light sources, we developed and tested a standardized bench method for evaluating the efficacy of some devices.To evaluate efficacy, we quantified the in vitro photodegradation rate (expressed as t1/2) of unconjugated bilirubin in solution at 37 degrees C during exposure to a given light source at its mean delivered irradiance to the 2D body surface area (BSA) of newborn models. Reproducibility (between-day variation) of the method was determined at irradiance levels from 10 to 70 microW/cm2/nm on three different days.Between-day t1/2 measurements had coefficients of variation from 3% to 10%. When t1/2 values were normalized to the exposable 2D horizontal BSA, halogen lamp devices, without and with fiberoptics, were least effective (t1/2=60-108 min and 100-126 min for preterm and term models, respectively). Fluorescent tube devices had t1/2=19-78 min and 25-78 min, for preterm and term models, respectively. Light-emitting diode (LED)-based devices yielded the shortest t1/2 values (16-24 min) for preterm and term newborn models.We demonstrated the applicability of the method through the determination of the efficacy of several commercially available PT devices. This standardized method is reproducible and effectively evaluates the relative in vitro efficacy of various devices and may guide further in vitro and in vivo evaluations of devices.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2007.00631.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253504300012

    View details for PubMedID 18241292

  • Statin treatment increases formation of carbon monoxide and bilirubin in mice: a novel mechanism of in vivo antioxidant protection CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY Muchova, L., Wong, R. J., Hsu, M., Morioka, O., Vitek, L., Zelenka, J., Schroeder, H., Stevenson, D. K. 2007; 85 (8): 800-810


    Heme oxygenase (HO) has a central role in cellular antioxidant defences and vascular protection, and it may mediate pleiotropic actions of drugs used in cardiovascular therapy. We investigated whether long-term use of statins upregulates HO activity and increases carbon monoxide (CO) and bilirubin levels in vivo. Adult FvB mice were given atorvastatin or rosuvastatin (5 mg/kg) daily by i.p. injections for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. HO activity, tissue CO, bilirubin, and antioxidant levels, total plasma bilirubin, and carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) were measured. Fold changes in heart HO activity significantly increased after 1, 2, and 3 weeks of atorvastatin (1.24 +/- 0.06 (p < or = 0.05); 1.29 +/- 0.26 (p < or = 0.03); 1.33 +/- 0.08 (p < 0.01), respectively) and 2 and 3 weeks of rosuvastatin (1.23 +/- 0.20 (p < or = 0.03); 1.63 +/- 0.42 (p < 0.01), respectively). Heart tissue CO and COHb levels also increased after 3 weeks with atorvastatin (1.30 +/- 0.24 (p < or = 0.05); 1.92 +/- 0.17 (p < or = 0.001), respectively) and rosuvastatin (1.47 +/- 0.13 (p < or = 0.004); 1.63 +/- 0.12 (p < or = 0.001), respectively). Significant increases in heart antioxidant levels were observed after statin treatment and corroborated by heart bilirubin content elevations. Antioxidant level increases were abolished by treatment with an HO inhibitor. These findings suggest that the induction of HO and the production of its products, CO and bilirubin, may be a mechanism by which statins exert antioxidant actions and confer cardioprotection in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1139/Y07-077

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250261400006

    View details for PubMedID 17901890

  • The role of Bach1 in the induction of heme oxygenase by tin mesoporphyrin BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS Abate, A., Zhao, H., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2007; 354 (3): 757-763


    Tin mesoporphyrin (SnMP), a competitive heme oxygenase (HO) inhibitor, also induces HO-1 mRNA and protein expression by a mechanism that is not fully understood. We examined whether the induction by SnMP is mediated by a de-repression of Bach1, a transcription factor that suppresses the HO-1 gene. Incubation of NIH3T3-HO-1-luc cells with SnMP attenuated HO activity with a concomitant increase in HO-1 mRNA and protein and a decrease in Bach1 and HO-2 proteins, which was not due to transcriptional down-regulation, but accelerated protein decay. Similarly, HO-1 protein degradation was increased by SnMP, despite of an elevation in HO-1 transcription. Transfection of Bach1 shRNA in Hepa cells raised basal HO-1 expression significantly, and SnMP treatment further increased HO-1 mRNA. In conclusion, SnMP induces HO-1 expression not only by de-repressing the HO-1 promoter by binding Bach1, but also by accelerating Bach1 degradation.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.01.050

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244284300021

    View details for PubMedID 17257585

  • Expression and regulation of heme oxygenase isozymes in the developing mouse cortex PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Zhao, H., Wong, R. J., Nguyen, X., Kalish, F., Mizobuchi, M., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K., Contag, C. H. 2006; 60 (5): 518-523


    Heme oxygenase (HO), the rate-limiting enzyme in heme degradation, plays a role in neonatal jaundice. Understanding the regulation of the developmental expression patterns of the two HO isozymes, HO-1 and HO-2, is essential for targeting HO to control pathologic jaundice, and uncovering the fundamental role that they play in mammalian development. Here we characterized the ontogeny of HO-1 and HO-2 expression in the developing mouse cortex by in vivo bioluminescence imaging, quantitative RT-PCR, and Western blot. HO-2, the predominant isoform in the adult cortex, was relatively stable throughout all ages. HO-1 was observed to be progressively down-regulated in an age-related manner. HO-1 expression in the adult cortex was also the lowest among the eight adult tissues analyzed. Because there is a 283-bp CpG island region in the HO-1 promoter, we hypothesized that methylation of the island is responsible for the age-related HO-1 down-regulation in the cortex. Methylation status was assessed using regular and quantitative methylation-specific PCR and the CpG island was found to be hypomethylated at all ages. Therefore, we conclude that HO-1 gene expression in the cortex is developmentally-regulated and that methylation of the HO-1 CpG island is not associated with the down-regulation of the gene.

    View details for DOI 10.1203/01.PDR.0000242374.21415.f5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000241570300003

    View details for PubMedID 16966352

  • Tissue-specific effects of statins on the expression of heme oxygenase-1 in vivo BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS HSU, M., Muchova, L., Morioka, I., Wong, R. J., Schroder, H., Stevenson, D. K. 2006; 343 (3): 738-744


    Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) plays a central role in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions, which may be mediated through its formation of biliverdin/bilirubin and carbon monoxide. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) induce in vitro HO-1 expression and are reported to have pleiotropic benefits that reduce oxidative stress in the vasculature. We characterized the effects of statins on in vivo HO-1 expression in various extravascular tissues: liver, lung, brain, and heart. Adult mice were orally administered simvastatin, lovastatin, atorvastatin, or rosuvastatin. HO activity significantly increased in a statin- and tissue-specific manner, with all statins increasing heart and lung activity within 24 h. Significant elevations of HO-1 protein and mRNA were also observed in heart and lung after atorvastatin treatment. We conclude that in vivo HO-1 induction is statin- and tissue-specific. Through this pathway, statins may confer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions in the vasculature and extravascular systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbrc.2006.03.036

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236976800010

    View details for PubMedID 16563347

  • Systemic effects of orally-administered zinc and tin (IV) metalloporphyrins on heme oxygenase expression in mice PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Morioka, I., Wong, R. J., Abate, A., Vreman, H. J., Contag, C. H., Stevenson, D. K. 2006; 59 (5): 667-672


    Some metalloporphyrins (Mps) inhibit heme oxygenase (HO), the rate-limiting enzyme in the production of bilirubin, and are potential compounds for the treatment of neonatal jaundice. We studied the safety and efficacy of Mps following oral administration. Adult HO-1-luc reporter mice were administered 30 micromol/kg body weight of tin mesoporphyrin (SnMP), zinc bis glycol deuteroporphyrin (ZnBG), or zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP), or vehicle by oral gavage. Bilirubin production was measured as total body carbon monoxide (CO) excretion (VeCO). HO activity was quantitated via CO measurements by gas chromatography. HO-1 protein was determined by Western blot. HO-1 transcription levels were assessed by in vivo bioluminescence imaging. A significant 28% decrease in bilirubin production occurred within 3 h of SnMP treatment and persisted beyond 48 h. Bilirubin production decreased 15% and 9% by 3 h after administration of ZnBG and ZnPP, respectively, but returned to baseline within 48 h. Maximal inhibition of liver, spleen, and intestine HO activity was seen at 3 h with inhibitory effects decreasing in the order: SnMP > or = ZnBG > or = ZnPP. After SnMP treatment, HO-1 transcription increased 5.7-fold after 24 h. Furthermore, liver and spleen HO-1 protein significantly increased 3.7- and 2.0-fold, respectively, after 24 h. HO-1 transcription and protein were not affected in ZnBG- or ZnPP-treated mice. We conclude that the three Mps are absorbed at different rates in the mouse and affect bilirubin production and HO-1 expression in a tissue- and time-dependent manner.

    View details for DOI 10.1203/01.pdr.0000215088.71481.a6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000237003800009

    View details for PubMedID 16627879

  • Monitoring age-related susceptibility of young mice to oral Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium infection using an in vivo murine model PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Burns-Guydish, S. M., Olomu, I. N., Zhao, H., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Contag, C. H. 2005; 58 (1): 153-158


    Neonates and young children are acutely susceptible to infections by gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. typhimurium). To reveal age-related differences in susceptibility to this pathogen, we used in vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) to monitor the progression of infection in neonatal (1-wk-old), suckling (2-wk-old), juvenile (4-wk-old), and adult (6-wk-old) BALB/c mice. Mice were orally infected with various doses of a bioluminescent-labeled wild-type or mutant S. typhimurium strain, and progression of infection was monitored by BLI for 2 wks. We found that neonatal and suckling mice were more susceptible to the wild-type strain at inoculum sizes 4 and 2 log(10)'s lower for neonatal and suckling mice, respectively, than those for adult mice. At the lower inocula, newborn mice showed disseminated systemic infection as indicated by the pattern of photon emission assessed by BLI, whereas no bioluminescent signals were detectable in adult mice. In addition, an orgA(-) mutant strain of S. typhimurium with reduced virulence in adult mice produced systemic infection in newborn, suckling, and juvenile mice. Furthermore, as low as 3 log(10) CFU could be detected by BLI in tissue. The present study demonstrates that susceptibility to S. typhimurium infection decreases with age. Also, we established that BLI can be used to monitor the progression of infection in mice. Thus, this model of age-related susceptibility to S. typhimurium using BLI can be used to advance our understanding of the mechanisms involved in newborn susceptibility to infection.

    View details for DOI 10.1203/01.PDR.0000157725.44213.C4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000230252200028

    View details for PubMedID 15774831

  • Prediction of hyperbilirubinemia in near-term and term infants. Journal of perinatology Stevenson, D. K., Fanaroff, A. A., Maisels, M. J., Young, B. W., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., MacMahon, J. R., Yeung, C. Y., Seidman, D. S., Gale, R., Oh, W., Bhutani, V. K., Johnson, L. H., Kaplan, M., Hammerman, C., Nakamura, H. 2001; 21: S63-72


    The purpose of this study was to determine whether end-tidal carbon monoxide (CO) corrected for ambient CO (ETCOc), as a single measurement or in combination with serum total bilirubin (STB) measurements, can predict the development of hyperbilirubinemia during the first 7 days of life.From nine multinational clinical sites, 1370 neonates completed this cohort study from February 20, 1998 through February 22, 1999. Measurements of both ETCOc and STB were performed at 30+/-6 hours of life; STB also was measured at 96+/-12 hours and subsequently following a flow diagram based on a table of hours of age-specific STB. An infant was defined as hyperbilirubinemic if the hours of age-specific STB was greater than or equal to the 95th percentile as defined by the table at any time during the study.A total of 120 (8.8%) of the enrolled infants became hyperbilirubinemic. Mean STB in breast-fed infants was 8.92+/-4.37 mg/dl at 96 hours versus 7.63+/-3.58 mg/dl in those fed formula only. The mean ETCOc at 30+/-6 hours for the total population was 1.48+/-0.49 ppm, whereas those of nonhyperbilirubinemic and hyperbilirubinemic infants were 1.45+/-0.47 and 1.81+/-0.59 ppm, respectively. Seventy-six percent (92 of 120) of hyperbilirubinemic infants had ETCOc greater than the population mean. An ETCOc greater than the population mean at 30+/-6 hours yielded a 13.0% positive predictive value (PPV) and a 95.8% negative predictive value (NPV) for STB > or =95th percentile. When infants with STB > or =95th percentile at <36 hours of age were excluded, the STB at 30+/-6 hours yielded a 16.7% PPV and a 98.1% NPV for STB >75th percentile. The combination of these two measurements at 30+/-6 hours (either ETCOc more than the population mean or STB >75th percentile) had a 6.4% PPV with a 99.0% NPV.This prospective cohort study supports previous observations that measuring STB before discharge may provide some assistance in predicting an infant's risk for developing hyperbilirubinemia. The addition of an ETCOc measurement provides insight into the processes that contribute to the condition but does not materially improve the predictive ability of an hours of age-specific STB in this study population. The combination of STB and ETCOc as early as 30+/-6 hours may identify infants with increased bilirubin production (eg, hemolysis) or decreased elimination (conjugation defects) as well as infants who require early follow-up after discharge for jaundice or other clinical problems such as late anemia. Depending on the incidence of hyperbilirubinemia within an institution, the criteria for decision making should vary according to its unique population.

    View details for PubMedID 11803421

  • Simultaneous production of carbon monoxide and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in rat tissue preparations by an iron-ascorbate system CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Sanesi, C. A., Dennery, P. A., Stevenson, D. K. 1998; 76 (12): 1057-1065


    Most of the carbon monoxide (CO) produced by mammals is a product of the heme oxygenase (HO) reaction, the rate-limiting step in the heme degradation pathway leading to the generation of bilirubin in man. However, some CO is derived from other sources. We studied the association of CO production with lipid peroxidation in tissue preparations from adult male Wistar rats. Supernatants, from 20% tissue homogenates in potassium phosphate buffer, centrifuged for 1 min at 13,000 x g, were incubated for 30 min at 37 degrees C in septum-sealed vials in the dark with ascorbate (100 microM) and Fe(II) (6 microM) and (or) Fe(III) (60 microM). Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT, 100 microM) was added for the blank reaction. CO produced into the headspace was quantitated by gas chromatography. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), conjugated dienes (CD), and lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH) in the reaction medium were quantitated by spectrophotometry. Of the tissues studied, CO and TBARS formation was greatest for brain, followed by kidney, lung, spleen, and blood, but no CO or TBARS formation was detected for testes, intestine, liver, and heart. Cell fractionation studies indicated that these differences might be due to the presence of endogenous soluble antioxidants in the latter tissues. Furthermore, these studies demonstrated that CO was exclusively generated by subcellular fractions that contained membranes. The magnitude of the rate of product formation in brain supernatants depended on the concentration of Fe(II) and (or) Fe(III). The formation of CO, TBARS, CD, and LOOH increased linearly with time for up to 30 min, but the rates of product formation were different. Product formation was completely inhibited by BHT (100 microM), biliverdin (50 microM), bilirubin (50 microM), citrate (100 microM), and the Fe(II) chelators, desferrioxamine mesylate (100 microM) and diethylenetriaminepentaacetate, but not by 10 microM of the HO inhibitor, zinc deuteroporphyrin bis glycol. We conclude that CO generation is associated with the process of in vitro lipid peroxidation in tissues with limited antioxidant reserves.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000079780100001

    View details for PubMedID 10326826

  • Light-emitting diodes: A novel light source for phototherapy PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Route, R. K., Reader, S. D., Fejer, M. M., Gale, R., Seidman, D. S. 1998; 44 (5): 804-809


    High intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are being studied as possible light sources for the phototherapy of hyperbilirubinemic neonates. These power-efficient, low heat-producing light sources have the potential to deliver high intensity light of narrow wavelength band in the blue-green portion of the visible light spectrum, which overlaps the absorption spectrum of bilirubin (BR). We compared the efficacy between single LEDs of different color and then constructed a prototype phototherapy device using 300 blue LEDs. The efficacy of this device was compared with that of conventional phototherapy devices by measuring the in vitro photodegradation of BR in human serum albumin. When blue, blue-green, green, and white LEDs were compared, the blue light was the most effective in degrading BR by 28% of dark control, followed by blue-green (18% of control), and then white light (14% of control). Green light was the least effective (11% of control). The prototype device with three focused arrays, each with 100 blue LEDs, generated greater irradiance (> 200 than any of the conventional devices tested. It also supported the greatest rate of BR photodegradation. We conclude that light from LEDs should be considered a more effective treatment for hyperbilirubinemia than light from presently used phototherapy devices. Furthermore, the unique characteristics of this light source may make it especially suitable for use in safe and lightweight home phototherapy devices.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000076607700027

    View details for PubMedID 9803466

  • Escherichia coli heme oxygenase modulates host innate immune responses MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY Maharshak, N., Ryu, H. S., Fan, T., Onyiah, J. C., Schulz, S., Otterbein, S. L., Wong, R., Hansen, J. J., Otterbein, L. E., Carroll, I. M., Plevy, S. E. 2015; 59 (8): 452-465


    Induction of mammalian heme oxygenase (HO)-1 and exposure of animals to carbon monoxide (CO) ameliorates experimental colitis. When enteric bacteria, including Escherichia coli, are exposed to low iron conditions, they express an HO-like enzyme, chuS, and metabolize heme into iron, biliverdin and CO. Given the abundance of enteric bacteria residing in the intestinal lumen, our postulate was that commensal intestinal bacteria may be a significant source of CO and those that express chuS and other Ho-like molecules suppress inflammatory immune responses through release of CO. According to real-time PCR, exposure of mice to CO results in changes in enteric bacterial composition and increases E. coli 16S and chuS DNA. Moreover, the severity of experimental colitis correlates positively with E. coli chuS expression in IL-10 deficient mice. To explore functional roles, E. coli were genetically modified to overexpress chuS or the chuS gene was deleted. Co-culture of chuS-overexpressing E. coli with bone marrow-derived macrophages resulted in less IL-12p40 and greater IL-10 secretion than in wild-type or chuS-deficient E. coli. Mice infected with chuS-overexpressing E. coli have more hepatic CO and less serum IL-12 p40 than mice infected with chuS-deficient E. coli. Thus, CO alters the composition of the commensal intestinal microbiota and expands populations of E. coli that harbor the chuS gene. These bacteria are capable of attenuating innate immune responses through expression of chuS. Bacterial HO-like molecules and bacteria-derived CO may represent novel targets for therapeutic intervention in inflammatory conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/1348-0421.12282

    View details for Web of Science ID 000359787000003

    View details for PubMedID 26146866

  • Evaluation of a new end-tidal carbon monoxide monitor from the bench tothe bedside ACTA PAEDIATRICA Cuadrado, M. E., Bhutani, V. K., Aby, J. L., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 104 (6): E279-E282

    View details for DOI 10.1111/apa.12938

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354528100008

  • Protective effect of heme oxygenase induction in ethinylestradiol-induced cholestasis JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR MEDICINE Muchova, L., Vanova, K., Suk, J., Micuda, S., Dolezelova, E., Fuksa, L., Cerny, D., Farghali, H., Zelenkova, M., Lenicek, M., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Vitek, L. 2015; 19 (5): 924-933


    Estrogen-induced cholestasis is characterized by impaired hepatic uptake and biliary bile acids secretion because of changes in hepatocyte transporter expression. The induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1), the inducible isozyme in heme catabolism, is mediated via the Bach1/Nrf2 pathway, and protects livers from toxic, oxidative and inflammatory insults. However, its role in cholestasis remains unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of HMOX1 induction by heme on ethinylestradiol-induced cholestasis and possible underlying mechanisms. Wistar rats were given ethinylestradiol (5 mg/kg s.c.) for 5 days. HMOX1 was induced by heme (15 μmol/kg i.p.) 24 hrs prior to ethinylestradiol. Serum cholestatic markers, hepatocyte and renal membrane transporter expression, and biliary and urinary bile acids excretion were quantified. Ethinylestradiol significantly increased cholestatic markers (P ≤ 0.01), decreased biliary bile acid excretion (39%, P = 0.01), down-regulated hepatocyte transporters (Ntcp/Oatp1b2/Oatp1a4/Mrp2, P ≤ 0.05), and up-regulated Mrp3 (348%, P ≤ 0.05). Heme pre-treatment normalized cholestatic markers, increased biliary bile acid excretion (167%, P ≤ 0.05) and up-regulated hepatocyte transporter expression. Moreover, heme induced Mrp3 expression in control (319%, P ≤ 0.05) and ethinylestradiol-treated rats (512%, P ≤ 0.05). In primary rat hepatocytes, Nrf2 silencing completely abolished heme-induced Mrp3 expression. Additionally, heme significantly increased urinary bile acid clearance via up-regulation (Mrp2/Mrp4) or down-regulation (Mrp3) of renal transporters (P ≤ 0.05). We conclude that HMOX1 induction by heme increases hepatocyte transporter expression, subsequently stimulating bile flow in cholestasis. Also, heme stimulates hepatic Mrp3 expression via a Nrf2-dependent mechanism. Bile acids transported by Mrp3 to the plasma are highly cleared into the urine, resulting in normal plasma bile acid levels. Thus, HMOX1 induction may be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of ethinylestradiol-induced cholestasis.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jcmm.12401

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353991100003

    View details for PubMedID 25683492

  • Unique Roles of Infiltrating Myeloid Cells in the Murine Uterus during Early to Midpregnancy. Journal of immunology Zhao, H., Kalish, F., Schulz, S., Yang, Y., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 194 (8): 3713-3722


    Leukocyte infiltration into the uterus is a characteristic feature in early to midpregnancy, but the composition and function of these leukocytes are not well understood. Using a pregnant murine model, we showed that myeloid cells and uterine NK (uNK) cells were the predominant populations in uteri during early to midgestation, whereas T and B cells were constrained. Uterine myeloid populations included cells that infiltrated from the circulation (myeloid-derived suppressor cells [MDSCs], monocyte-derived macrophages [Mφs], and dendritic cells [DCs]) or proliferated from resident precursors (resident Mφs [Re-Mφs] and DCs). CD11b(hi)Ly6-G(hi) cells, representing neutrophils in both blood and uterine MDSCs, significantly increased from embryonic days 8.5 to 9.5. To understand their putative functions, we used anti-Gr-1 Ab to deplete circulating neutrophils and uterine MDSCs. In the absence of MDSC suppression, uterine DCs, T cells, and regulatory T cells expanded. Conversely, uterine MDSCs responded to LPS-induced inflammation and transformed into CD14(+)-activated neutrophils, resulting in an upregulation of tolerogenic DCs. A high dose of LPS (2.5 μg/mouse) significantly increased the influx of neutrophils and production of proinflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β and TNF-α, resulting in the reduction of Re-Mφs and uNK cells, and led to placental hemorrhages and fetal deaths. In summary, uterine MDSCs are important in early to midpregnancy by responding to the maternal immunologic milieu and protecting uNK cells and Re-Mφs via MDSC's suppressive and anti-inflammatory functions. Upsetting this delicate immune balance by factors leading to either insufficient MDSCs or excessive neutrophil infiltration in the fetomaternal interface may contribute to pregnancy failure.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1401930

    View details for PubMedID 25780045

  • Heme oxygenase-1 in pregnancy and cancer: similarities in cellular invasion, cytoprotection, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation FRONTIERS IN PHARMACOLOGY Zhao, H., Ozen, M., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2015; 5
  • Protective effects of inhaled carbon monoxide in endotoxin-induced cholestasis is dependent on its kinetics BIOCHIMIE Vanova, K., Suk, J., Petr, T., Cerny, D., Slanar, O., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Zima, T., Vitek, L., Muchova, L. 2014; 97: 173-180


    Carbon monoxide (CO), a product of heme oxygenase (HMOX), has many beneficial biological functions and is a promising therapeutic agent for many pathological conditions. However, the kinetics of inhaled CO and its protective role in endotoxin-induced cholestasis is not fully known. Thus, our objective was to characterize the kinetics of inhaled CO and then investigate its use in early phase experimental endotoxin-induced cholestasis. Female Wistar rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: CON (control), LPS (lipopolysaccharide, 6 mg/kg), CO (250 ppm COx1h), and CO + LPS. Rats were sacrificed at 0-12 h after LPS administration. Tissues and blood were collected for liver injury markers and tissue CO distribution measurements. Livers were harvested for measurements of Hmox activity, Hmox1 mRNA expression, cytokines (IL10, IL6, TNF), and bile lipid and pigment transporters. Half-lives of CO in spleen, blood, heart, brain, kidney, liver, and lungs were 2.4 ± 1.5, 2.3 ± 0.8, 1.8 ± 1.6, 1.5 ± 1.2, 1.1 ± 1.1, 0.6 ± 0.3, 0.6 ± 0.2 h, respectively. CO treatment increased liver IL10 mRNA and decreased TNF expression 1 h after LPS treatment and prevented the down-regulation of bile acid and bilirubin hepatic transporters (Slc10a1, Abcb11, and Abcc2, p < 0.05), an effect closely related to the kinetics. The protective effect of CO against cholestatic liver injury persisted even 12 h after CO exposure, as shown by attenuation of serum cholestatic markers in CO-treated animals. CO exposure substantially attenuated endotoxin-induced cholestatic liver injury and was directly related to the kinetics of inhaled CO. This data underscores the importance of the kinetics of inhaled CO for the proper design of experimental and clinical studies of using CO as a treatment strategy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biochi.2013.10.009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000331410500020

    View details for PubMedID 24148277

  • Treatment of neonatal jaundice with filtered sunlight in Nigerian neonates: study protocol of a non-inferiority, randomized controlled trial TRIALS Slusher, T. M., Olusanya, B. O., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Brearley, A. M., Vaucher, Y. E., Stevenson, D. K. 2013; 14


    Severe neonatal jaundice and its progression to kernicterus is a leading cause of death and disability among newborns in poorly-resourced countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The standard treatment for jaundice using conventional phototherapy (CPT) with electric artificial blue light sources is often hampered by the lack of (functional) CPT devices due either to financial constraints or erratic electrical power. In an attempt to make phototherapy (PT) more readily available for the treatment of pathologic jaundice in underserved tropical regions, we set out to test the hypothesis that filtered sunlight phototherapy (FS-PT), in which potentially harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays are appropriately screened, will be as efficacious as CPT.This prospective, non-blinded randomized controlled non-inferiority trial seeks to enroll infants with elevated total serum/plasma bilirubin (TSB, defined as 3 mg/dl below the level recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for high-risk infants requiring PT) who will be randomly and equally assigned to receive FS-PT or CPT for a total of 616 days at an inner-city maternity hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Two FS-PT canopies with pre-tested films will be used. One canopy with a film that transmits roughly 33% blue light (wavelength range: 400 to 520 nm) will be used during sunny periods of a day. Another canopy with a film that transmits about 79% blue light will be used during overcast periods of the day. The infants will be moved from one canopy to the other as needed during the day with the goal of keeping the blue light irradiance level above 8 μW/cm²/nm.Primary outcome: FS-PT will be as efficacious as CPT in reducing the rate of rise in bilirubin levels. Secondary outcome: The number of infants requiring exchange transfusion under FS-PT will not be more than those under CPT.This novel study offers the prospect of an effective treatment for infants at risk of severe neonatal jaundice and avoidable exchange transfusion in poorly-resourced settings without access to (reliable) CPT in the Identifier: NCT01434810.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1745-6215-14-446

    View details for Web of Science ID 000329516800001

    View details for PubMedID 24373547

  • Evaluation of window-tinting films for sunlight phototherapy. Journal of tropical pediatrics Vreman, H. J., Slusher, T. M., Wong, R. J., Schulz, S., Olusanya, B. O., Stevenson, D. K. 2013; 59 (6): 496-501


    We evaluated nine semi-transparent plastic window-tinting films for their ability to block ultraviolet A (UVA) and infrared (IR) radiation and transmit therapeutic blue light (400-520 nm) for treating jaundiced newborns. For indoor testing, three light sources (TL/52 special blue fluorescent, Black Light UVA and IR heat lamps) were positioned above each film and measured successively using a thermocouple thermometer, UVA radiometer and blue light irradiance meter, placed below each film. For outdoor testing, the same setup was used with the sun at zenith and a cloudless sky. Compared with unfiltered radiation, blue light transmission through films ranged from 24 to 83%, UVA transmission was 0.1-7.1% and reductions in IR heat were 6-12°C and 5-10°C for heat lamp and sun, respectively. The data suggest that most of the relatively low-cost window-tinting films tested can effectively reduce sunlight UV and IR and offer a range of significant attenuations of therapeutic blue light.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/tropej/fmt062

    View details for PubMedID 23880667

  • Intracellular accumulation of bilirubin as a defense mechanism against increased oxidative stress BIOCHIMIE Zelenka, J., Muchova, L., Zelenkova, M., Vanova, K., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Vitek, L. 2012; 94 (8): 1821-1827


    Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic effects have been associated with elevations of unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) in serum and with the induction of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), the rate-limiting enzyme in UCB synthesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the intracellular metabolism and antioxidant properties of UCB in human hepatoblastoma HepG2 cells and tissues of Wistar rats exposed to oxidative stressors and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively. Intracellular UCB concentrations in HepG2 cells correlated with its levels in culture media (p < 0.001) and diminished lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.001). Moreover, induction of HO-1 with sodium arsenite led to 2.4-fold (p = 0.01) accumulation of intracellular UCB over basal level while sodium azide-derived oxidative stress resulted in a 60% drop (p < 0.001). This decrease was ameliorated by UCB elevation in media or by simultaneous induction of HO-1. In addition, hyperbilirubinemia and liver HO-1 induction in LPS-treated rats resulted in a 2-fold accumulation of tissue UCB (p = 0.01) associated with enhanced protection against lipid peroxidation (p = 0.02). In conclusion, hyperbilirubinemia and HO-1 induction associated with inflammation and oxidative stress increase intracellular concentrations of UCB, thus enhancing the protection of cellular lipids against peroxidation. Therefore, the previously reported protective effects of hyperbilirubinemia and HO-1 induction are at least in part due to intracellular accumulation of UCB.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biochi.2012.04.026

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306209000022

    View details for PubMedID 22580386

  • Neonatal phototherapy: choice of device and outcome ACTA PAEDIATRICA Bhutani, V. K., Wong, R. J. 2012; 101 (5): 441-443
  • Is phototherapy exposure associated with better or worse outcomes in 501-to 1000-g-birth-weight infants? ACTA PAEDIATRICA Hintz, S. R., Stevenson, D. K., Yao, Q., Wong, R. J., Das, A., Van Meurs, K. P., Morris, B. H., Tyson, J. E., Oh, W., Poole, W. K., Phelps, D. L., McDavid, G. E., Grisby, C., Higgins, R. D. 2011; 100 (7): 960-965


    ?To compare risk-adjusted outcomes at 18- to 22-month-corrected age for extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants who never received phototherapy (NoPTx) to those who received any phototherapy (PTx) in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network randomized trial of Aggressive vs. Conservative Phototherapy.Outcomes at 18 to 22-month-corrected age included death, neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) and Bayley Scales Mental Developmental Index (MDI). Regression models evaluated the independent association of PTx with adverse outcomes controlling for centre and other potentially confounding variables.Of 1972 infants, 216 were NoPTx and 1756 were PTx. For the entire 501- to 1000-g-BW cohort, PTx was not independently associated with death or NDI (OR 0.85, 95% CI: 0.60-1.20), death or adverse neurodevelopmental endpoints. However, among infants 501-750 g BW, the rate of significant developmental impairment with MDI?

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02175.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291224200021

    View details for PubMedID 21272067

  • Bilirubin Production and the Risk of Bilirubin Neurotoxicity SEMINARS IN PERINATOLOGY Stevenson, D. K., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J. 2011; 35 (3): 121-126


    Neonatal jaundice usually occurs in the transitional period after birth, presenting as an elevation of circulating bilirubin. Bilirubin neurotoxicity can occur if the levels of bilirubin become excessive (hyperbilirubinemia). This pathologic phenotype of newborn jaundice can develop because of excessive bilirubin production or impaired conjugation, with the risk for developing bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction, depending on the degree of the resultant bilirubin load. The plasma bilirubin level thus can be used to assess an infant's risk for developing bilirubin neurotoxicity relative to an infant's age in hours. Because all infants have an impaired conjugation ability, infants at greatest risk are those who have increased bilirubin production rates, because of hemolysis, for example. Therefore, developing potential preventive strategies as well as noninvasive technologies to treat and to identify infants with increased bilirubin production rates, respectively, are tantamount to reducing the incidence of bilirubin-induced neurologic dysfunction.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.semperi.2011.02.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292057900004

    View details for PubMedID 21641484

  • Heme Oxygenase-1 Deletion Affects Stress Erythropoiesis PLOS ONE Cao, Y., Kusy, S., Luong, R., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Contag, C. H. 2011; 6 (5)


    Homeostatic erythropoiesis leads to the formation of mature red blood cells under non-stress conditions, and the production of new erythrocytes occurs as the need arises. In response to environmental stimuli, such as bone marrow transplantation, myelosuppression, or anemia, erythroid progenitors proliferate rapidly in a process referred to as stress erythropoiesis. We have previously demonstrated that heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) deficiency leads to disrupted stress hematopoiesis. Here, we describe the specific effects of HO-1 deficiency on stress erythropoiesis.We used a transplant model to induce stress conditions. In irradiated recipients that received hmox(+/-) or hmox(+/+) bone marrow cells, we evaluated (i) the erythrocyte parameters in the peripheral blood; (ii) the staining intensity of CD71-, Ter119-, and CD49d-specific surface markers during erythroblast differentiation; (iii) the patterns of histological iron staining; and (iv) the number of Mac-1(+)-cells expressing TNF-?. In the spleens of mice that received hmox(+/-) cells, we show (i) decreases in the proerythroblast, basophilic, and polychromatophilic erythroblast populations; (ii) increases in the insoluble iron levels and decreases in the soluble iron levels; (iii) increased numbers of Mac-1(+)-cells expressing TNF-?; and (iv) decreased levels of CD49d expression in the basophilic and polychromatophilic erythroblast populations.As reflected by effects on secreted and cell surface proteins, HO-1 deletion likely affects stress erythropoiesis through the retention of erythroblasts in the erythroblastic islands of the spleen. Thus, HO-1 may serve as a therapeutic target for controlling erythropoiesis, and the dysregulation of HO-1 may be a predisposing condition for hematologic diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0020634

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291097600112

    View details for PubMedID 21655188

  • Bile acids decrease intracellular bilirubin levels in the cholestatic liver: implications for bile acid-mediated oxidative stress JOURNAL OF CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR MEDICINE Muchova, L., Vanova, K., Zelenka, J., Lenicek, M., Petr, T., Vejrazka, M., Sticova, E., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Vitek, L. 2011; 15 (5): 1156-1165


    High plasma concentrations of bile acids (BA) and bilirubin are hallmarks of cholestasis. BA are implicated in the pathogenesis of cholestatic liver damage through mechanisms involving oxidative stress, whereas bilirubin is a strong antioxidant. We evaluated the roles of bilirubin and BA on mediating oxidative stress in rats following bile duct ligation (BDL). Adult female Wistar and Gunn rats intraperitoneally anaesthetized with ketamine and xylazine underwent BDL or sham operation. Cholestatic markers, antioxidant capacity, lipid peroxidation and heme oxygenase (HO) activity were determined in plasma and/or liver tissue 5 days after surgery. HepG2-rNtcp cells were used for in vitro experiments. Plasma bilirubin levels in control and BDL animals positively correlated with plasma antioxidant capacity. Peroxyl radical scavenging capacity was significantly higher in the plasma of BDL Wistar rats (210 ± 12%, P < 0.0001) compared to controls, but not in the liver tissues. Furthermore after BDL, lipid peroxidation in the livers increased (179 ± 37%, P < 0.01), whereas liver HO activity significantly decreased to 61% of control levels (P < 0.001). Addition of taurocholic acid (TCA, ? 50 ?mol/l) to liver homogenates increased lipid peroxidation (P < 0.01) in Wistar, but not in Gunn rats or after the addition of bilirubin. In HepG2-rNtcp cells, TCA decreased both HO activity and intracellular bilirubin levels. We conclude that even though plasma bilirubin is a marker of cholestasis and hepatocyte dysfunction, it is also an endogenous antioxidant, which may counteract the pro-oxidative effects of BA in circulation. However, in an animal model of obstructive cholestasis, we found that BA compromise intracellular bilirubin levels making hepatocytes more susceptible to oxidative damage.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2010.01098.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291045800015

    View details for PubMedID 20518850

  • Spontaneous hepatic repopulation in transgenic mice expressing mutant human alpha 1-antitrypsin by wild-type donor hepatocytes JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Ding, J., Yannam, G. R., Roy-Chowdhury, N., Hidvegi, T., Basma, H., Rennard, S. I., Wong, R. J., Avsar, Y., Guha, C., Perlmutter, D. H., Fox, I. J., Roy-Chowdhury, J. 2011; 121 (5): 1930-1934


    ?1-Antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited condition that causes liver disease and emphysema. The normal function of this protein, which is synthesized by the liver, is to inhibit neutrophil elastase, a protease that degrades connective tissue of the lung. In the classical form of the disease, inefficient secretion of a mutant ?1-antitrypsin protein (AAT-Z) results in its accumulation within hepatocytes and reduced protease inhibitor activity, resulting in liver injury and pulmonary emphysema. Because mutant protein accumulation increases hepatocyte cell stress, we investigated whether transplanted hepatocytes expressing wild-type AAT might have a competitive advantage relative to AAT-Z-expressing hepatocytes, using transgenic mice expressing human AAT-Z. Wild-type donor hepatocytes replaced 20%-98% of mutant host hepatocytes, and repopulation was accelerated by injection of an adenovector expressing hepatocyte growth factor. Spontaneous hepatic repopulation with engrafted hepatocytes occurred in the AAT-Z-expressing mice even in the absence of severe liver injury. Donor cells replaced both globule-containing and globule-devoid cells, indicating that both types of host hepatocytes display impaired proliferation relative to wild-type hepatocytes. These results suggest that wild-type hepatocyte transplantation may be therapeutic for AAT-Z liver disease and may provide an alternative to protein replacement for treating emphysema in AAT-ZZ individuals.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI45260

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290246800027

    View details for PubMedID 21505264

  • Quantitating carbon monoxide production from heme by vascular plant preparations in vitro PLANT PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2011; 49 (1): 61-68


    Heme in animals is mainly degraded enzymatically, producing a predictable amount of carbon monoxide (CO). Under some conditions, alternative sources of CO production are important, such as lipid peroxidation and photo-oxidation. Less is known about CO production in plants as a reflection of enzymatic activity or coupled oxidation, but a sensitive assay for CO production in plants would be a valuable tool to explore the various sources in plants as the conditions of the reactions and mechanisms are defined. Using gas chromatography, we determined the requirements for heme-supported in vitro CO generation by exogenous reactants (NADPH, tissue supernatant, oxygen), optimum reaction conditions (time, temperature, pH, light), and effects of various cofactors and substrates using supernatants from Spinacia oleracea (spinach) leaf and Solanum tuberosa (potato) tuber homogenates. We then determined the CO production rate distribution between organ (root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit) supernatants in a number of commercially available plant species. CO production ranged from 4-65 nmol CO/h/g fresh weight and occurred in all vascular plant tissues examined, with the highest rates in chloroplast-containing tissues. In spinach leaves, CO production was concentrated (>2-fold) in the particulate fraction, whereas in potato tubers, the particulate fraction accounted for <50% of the rates in homogenates. We conclude that gas chromatography is uniquely suited for the determination of CO production in pigmented, heterogeneous plant tissue preparations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.plaphy.2010.09.021

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286998800009

    View details for PubMedID 21055958

  • ROLE OF IIEME OXYGENASE IN A MURINE MODEL OF EARLY NECROTIZING ENTEROCOLITIS Schulz-Geske, S., Kalish, F. S., Jang, K. Y., Zhao, H., Huey, M., Vreman, H. J., Sylvester, K. S., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2011: 126-127
  • EFFECT OF FLUORESCENT LIGHT EXPOSURE ON METALLOPORHYRIN-TREATED NEWBORN MICE Schulz-Geske, S., Kalish, F. S., Zhao, H., Katayama, Y., Champion, K. A., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2011: 126-126
  • Hemolysis and Hyperbilirubinemia in Antiglobulin Positive, Direct ABO Blood Group Heterospecific Neonates JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS Kaplan, M., Hammerman, C., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2010; 157 (5): 772-777


    We quantified hemolysis and determined the incidence of hyperbilirubinemia in neonates who were direct antiglobulin titer (DAT)-positive, ABO heterospecific, and compared variables among O-A and O-B subgroups.Plasma total bilirubin (PTB) was determined before the neonates were discharged from the hospital and more frequently when clinically warranted, in neonates who were DAT positive with blood group A or B and with mothers who had blood group O. Heme catabolism (and therefore bilirubin production) was indexed by blood carboxyhemoglobin corrected for inspired carbon monoxide (COHbc). Hyperbilirubinemia was defined as any PTB concentration >95th percentile on the hour-of-life-specific bilirubin nomogram.Of 164 neonates, 111 were O-A and 53 O-B. Overall, hyperbilirubinemia developed 85 neonates (51.8%), and it tended to be more prevalent in the O-B neonates than O-A neonates (62.3% versus 46.8%; P = .053). Hyperbilirubinemia developed in more O-B newborns than O-A newborns at <24 hours (93.9% versus 48.1%; P< .0001). COHbc values were globally higher than our previously published newborn values. Babies in whom hyperbilirubinemia developed had higher COHbc values than the already high values of babies who were non-hyperbilirubinemic, and O-B newborns tended to have higher values than their O-A counterparts.DAT-positive, ABO heterospecificity is associated with increased hemolysis and a high incidence of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. O-B heterospecificity tends to confer even higher risk than O-A counterparts.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpeds.2010.05.024

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283045900020

    View details for PubMedID 20598320

  • Understanding Neonatal Jaundice: A Perspective on Causation PEDIATRICS AND NEONATOLOGY Cohen, R. S., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2010; 51 (3): 143-148


    Neonatal jaundice can be best understood as a balance between the production and elimination of bilirubin, with a multitude of factors and conditions affecting each of these processes. When an imbalance results because of an increase in circulating bilirubin (or the bilirubin load) to significantly high levels (severe hyperbilirubinemia), it may cause permanent neurologic sequelae (kernicterus). In most infants, an increase in bilirubin production (e.g., due to hemolysis) is the primary cause of severe hyperbilirubinemia, and thus reducing bilirubin production is a rational approach for its management. The situation can become critical in infants with an associated impaired bilirubin elimination mechanism as a result of a genetic deficiency and/or polymorphism. Combining information about bilirubin production and genetic information about bilirubin elimination with the tracking of bilirubin levels means that a relative assessment of jaundice risk might be feasible. Information on the level of bilirubin production and its rate of elimination may help to guide the clinical management of neonatal jaundice.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278799200002

    View details for PubMedID 20675237

  • Influence of clinical status on the association between plasma total and unbound bilirubin and death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in extremely low birth weight infants ACTA PAEDIATRICA Oh, W., Stevenson, D. K., TYSON, J. E., Morris, B. H., Ahlfors, C. E., Bender, G. J., Wong, R. J., Perritt, R., Vohr, B. R., Van Meurs, K. P., Vreman, H. J., Das, A., Phelps, D. L., O'Shea, T. M., Higgins, R. D. 2010; 99 (5): 673-678


    To assess the influence of clinical status on the association between total plasma bilirubin and unbound bilirubin on death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18-22 months corrected age in extremely low birth weight infants.Total plasma bilirubin and unbound bilirubin were measured in 1101 extremely low birth weight infants at 5 +/- 1 days of age. Clinical criteria were used to classify infants as clinically stable or unstable. Survivors were examined at 18-22 months corrected age by certified examiners. Outcome variables were death or neurodevelopmental impairment, death or cerebral palsy, death or hearing loss, and death prior to follow-up. For all outcomes, the interaction between bilirubin variables and clinical status was assessed in logistic regression analyses adjusted for multiple risk factors.Regardless of clinical status, an increasing level of unbound bilirubin was associated with higher rates of death or neurodevelopmental impairment, death or cerebral palsy, death or hearing loss and death before follow-up. Total plasma bilirubin values were directly associated with death or neurodevelopmental impairment, death or cerebral palsy, death or hearing loss, and death before follow-up in unstable infants, but not in stable infants. An inverse association between total plasma bilirubin and death or cerebral palsy was found in stable infants. CONCLUSIONs: In extremely low birth weight infants, clinical status at 5 days of age affects the association between total plasma bilirubin and death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18-22 months of corrected age. An increasing level of UB is associated a higher risk of death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes regardless of clinical status. Increasing levels of total plasma bilirubin are directly associated with increasing risk of death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in unstable, but not in stable infants.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01688.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276034800011

    View details for PubMedID 20105142



    In this study, the authors examined a possible role of measurements of end-tidal carbon monoxide (CO), corrected for inhaled CO (ETCOc), as a noninvasive screening tool for hemoglobinopathies and as an indicator for when transfusions would be required in patients receiving chronic transfusions. ETCOc measurements were obtained in subjects with sickle cell disease (n = 18), thalassemia (n = 21), and healthy controls (n = 62). ETCOc values less than 3 parts per million (ppm) yielded a positive predictive value of 93% and negative predictive value of 94% in identifying hemoglobinopathies. Subsequently, 7 subjects with thalassemia had laboratory parameters and ETCOc measured over 2 transfusion cycles. ETCOc values were 4.90 +/- 0.32 ppm (mean +/- SD), with 89% of values being above normal (>or=3 ppm). Pretransfusion ETCOc levels significantly correlated with pretransfusion reticulocyte count (r = .96, P <.001), but not with pretransfusion hemoglobin (r = .44, P = .16) or pretransfusion soluble transferrin receptors (sTfR, r = .52, P = .10). In conclusion, we found that patients with hemoglobinopathies have ETCOc values above the range for healthy controls and ETCOc measurements can be used as an adjunct to hemoglobin measurements to determine the proper timing of transfusions.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/08880010903536227

    View details for Web of Science ID 000275286100004

    View details for PubMedID 20201692

  • MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF HEME OXYGENASE-1 INDUCTION BY STATINS Schulz-Geske, S., Kalish, F. S., Zhao, H., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2010: 208-208
  • Molecular mechanism and functional consequences of lansoprazole-mediated heme oxygenase-1 induction WORLD JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY Schulz-Geske, S., Erdmann, K., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Schroeder, H., Grosser, N. 2009; 15 (35): 4392-4401


    To investigate the molecular mechanism and functional consequences of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) activation by lansoprazole in endothelial cells and macrophages.Expression of HO-1 mRNA was analyzed by Northern blotting. Western blotting was used to determine the HO-1 and ferritin protein levels. NADPH-dependent reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation was measured with lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence. HO-1 promoter activity in mouse fibroblasts, stably transfected with a 15-kb HO-1 gene that drives expression of the reporter gene luciferase, was assessed using in vivo bioluminescence imaging.Lansoprazole increased HO-1 mRNA levels in endothelial cells and HO-1 protein levels in macrophages. In addition, lansoprazole-induced ferritin protein levels in both cell systems. Moreover, induction of the antioxidant proteins HO-1 and ferritin by lansoprazole was followed by a decrease in NADPH-mediated ROS formation. The radical scavenging properties of lansoprazole were diminished in the presence of the HO inhibitor, chromium mesoporphyrin IX. Induction of HO-1 gene expression by lansoprazole was not related to oxidative stress or to the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. However, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 showed a concentration-dependent inhibition of HO-1 mRNA and promoter activity.Activation of HO-1 and ferritin may account for the gastric protection of lansoprazole and is dependent on a pathway blocked by LY294002.

    View details for DOI 10.3748/wjg.15.4392

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270080500007

    View details for PubMedID 19764090

  • Differentiation and Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Hepatocytes GASTROENTEROLOGY Basma, H., Soto-Gutierrez, A., Yannam, G. R., Liu, L., Ito, R., Yamamoto, T., Ellis, E., Carson, S. D., Sato, S., Chen, Y., Muirhead, D., Navarro-Alvarez, N., Wong, R. J., Roy-Chowdhury, J., Platt, J. L., Mercer, D. F., Miller, J. D., Strom, S. C., Kobayashi, N., Fox, I. J. 2009; 136 (3): 990-999


    The ability to obtain unlimited numbers of human hepatocytes would improve the development of cell-based therapies for liver diseases, facilitate the study of liver biology, and improve the early stages of drug discovery. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, potentially can differentiate into any cell type, and therefore could be developed as a source of human hepatocytes.To generate human hepatocytes, human embryonic stem cells were differentiated by sequential culture in fibroblast growth factor 2 and human activin-A, hepatocyte growth factor, and dexamethasone. Functional hepatocytes were isolated by sorting for surface asialoglycoprotein-receptor expression. Characterization was performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, immunoblot, functional assays, and transplantation.Embryonic stem cell-derived hepatocytes expressed liver-specific genes, but not genes representing other lineages, secreted functional human liver-specific proteins similar to those of primary human hepatocytes, and showed human hepatocyte cytochrome P450 metabolic activity. Serum from rodents given injections of embryonic stem cell-derived hepatocytes contained significant amounts of human albumin and alpha1-antitrypsin. Colonies of cytokeratin-18 and human albumin-expressing cells were present in the livers of recipient animals.Human embryonic stem cells can be differentiated into cells with many characteristics of primary human hepatocytes. Hepatocyte-like cells can be enriched and recovered based on asialoglycoprotein-receptor expression and potentially could be used in drug discovery research and developed as therapeutics.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.10.047

    View details for Web of Science ID 000263751400037

    View details for PubMedID 19026649

  • Photoisomers: Obfuscating Factors in Clinical Peroxidase Measurements of Unbound Bilirubin? PEDIATRICS McDonagh, A. F., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2009; 123 (1): 67-76


    The objectives of the study were to measure the effect of 4Z,15E-bilirubin on peroxidase free bilirubin measurements and to review the literature on this topic.4Z,15E-Bilirubin was generated in situ in serum or serum albumin solution through controlled irradiation of isomerically pure 4Z,15Z-bilirubin IXalpha, under conditions in which the total amount of bilirubin remained constant. Reactions were monitored by difference spectroscopy, to ensure that solutions were not irradiated beyond the initial photostationary state and that concentrations of other isomers were kept to a minimum. Prepared in this way, 10% to 25% of the total bilirubin in the final solutions was in the form of the 4Z,15E-isomer. Free bilirubin in the solutions was measured with a peroxidase method, before and after irradiation. The use of bovine serum albumin as a surrogate for human albumin in in vitro studies also was investigated.The findings of previous studies are not altogether consistent, with a common flaw in several being the failure to measure photoisomer concentrations. For bilirubin in serum albumin solution, conversion of approximately 25% of the 4Z,15Z-isomer to 4Z,15E-bilirubin led to a much smaller decrease (<20%) in the apparent free bilirubin concentration; for bilirubin in serum, conversion of approximately 15% of the 4Z,15Z-isomer to photoisomers resulted in a much larger increase ( approximately 40%). Irradiation of bilirubin in bovine serum albumin solution generated a very different array of photoisomers than that observed in human albumin solutions.The effect of photoisomers on the accuracy and specificity of free 4Z,15Z-bilirubin measurements remains uncertain. In a clinical setting, free bilirubin measurements need to be interpreted with caution when samples contain photoisomers. Irradiated bovine albumin solutions of isomerically impure bilirubin used in previous studies are poor models for investigating the effects of phototherapy in humans and the albumin binding of photoisomers.

    View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2008-0492

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262046400010

    View details for PubMedID 19117862

  • A NEW MOUSE MODEL OF NEONATAL BRAIN INJURY Knauer, Y., Wong, R. J., Zhao, H., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2009: 129-130
  • Failure to Predict Hemolysis and Hyperbilirubinemia by IgG Subclass in Blood Group A or B Infants Born to Group O Mothers PEDIATRICS Kaplan, M., Na'amad, M., Kenan, A., Rudensky, B., Hammerman, C., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2009; 123 (1): E132-E137


    Direct antibody titer-positive, blood group A or B neonates who are born to group O mothers may be at risk for hemolysis and hyperbilirubinemia. Immunoglobulin G1 and immunoglobulin G3 subclasses are associated with increased hemolysis relative to immunoglobulin G2 and immunoglobulin G4. We investigated whether identification of immunoglobulin G subclass 1 or 3 may be predictive of hemolysis and hyperbilirubinemia.Direct antibody titer-positive, blood group A and B neonates born to group O mothers were tested for the presence of immunoglobulin G subclasses 1 and 3 in umbilical cord blood by using a commercially available gel testing technology. By inference, neonates in whom neither immunoglobulin G1 nor immunoglobulin G3 were detected were designated immunoglobulin G2 and/or 4. Mandatory plasma total bilirubin was measured at discharge, and additional measurements performed as clinically indicated. Hyperbilirubinemia was defined as any plasma total bilirubin value >95th percentile for hour of life. Blood carboxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin concentrations were also measured on the predischarge sample. Measured carboxyhemoglobin, expressed as percentage of total hemoglobin, was corrected for ambient carbon monoxide to derive "corrected carboxyhemoglobin," a sensitive index of heme catabolism. The corrected carboxyhemoglobin/total hemoglobin ratio was calculated to correct for any differences in total hemoglobin mass between groups.Eighty-two infants were studied, 18 of whom were designated as immunoglobulin G1, 0 as immunoglobulin G3, and 64 as immunoglobulin G2 and/or 4. The incidence of plasma total bilirubin >95th percentile was similar between the subgroupings. Corrected carboxyhemoglobin values and corrected carboxyhemoglobin/total hemoglobin ratio were also similar between the subgroupings.Immunoglobulin G1 was found in 22% of direct antibody titer-positive, group A and B neonates who were born to group O mothers, whereas immunoglobulin G3 was rare. Hemolysis and hyperbilirubinemia could not be predicted by this gel technique that enabled identification of these immunoglobulin G subclasses.

    View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2008-2617

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262046400077

    View details for PubMedID 19114458

  • Highly sensitive method for quantitative determination of bilirubin in biological fluids and tissues JOURNAL OF CHROMATOGRAPHY B-ANALYTICAL TECHNOLOGIES IN THE BIOMEDICAL AND LIFE SCIENCES Zelenka, J., Lenicek, M., Muchova, L., Jirsa, M., Kudla, M., Balaz, P., Zadinova, M., Ostrow, J. D., Wong, R. J., Vitek, L. 2008; 867 (1): 37-42


    Unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) exhibits potent antioxidant and cytoprotective properties, but causes apoptosis and cytotoxicity at pathologically elevated concentrations. Accurate measurement of UCB concentrations in cells, fluids and tissues is needed to evaluate its role in redox regulation, prevention of atherosclerotic and malignant diseases, and bilirubin encephalopathy. In the present study, we developed and validated a highly sensitive method for tissue UCB determinations. UCB was extracted from rat organs with chloroform/methanol/hexane at pH 6.2 and then partitioned into a minute volume of alkaline buffer that was subjected to HPLC using an octyl reverse phase (RP) column. Addition of mesobilirubin as an internal standard corrected for losses of UCB during extraction. Recoveries averaged 75+/-5%. The detection limit was 10pmol UCB/g wet tissue. Variance was +/-2.5%. When used to measure UCB concentrations in tissues of jaundiced Gunn rats, this procedure yielded UCB levels directly comparable to published methods, and accurately determined very low tissue bilirubin concentrations (

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jchromb.2008.03.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000256200400007

    View details for PubMedID 18373963

  • Severe hemolysis with normal blood count in a glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficient neonate JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY Kaplan, M., Hammerman, C., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2008; 28 (4): 306-309


    A premature glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficient neonate was readmitted for exponential rise in the plasma bilirubin concentration to 33.0 mg dl(-1). Blood carboxyhemoglobin (2.8% of total hemoglobin, >threefold normal value) confirmed the presence of hemolysis; however, hematological indices were unchanged from the birth hospitalization. Serum unbound bilirubin, although present, was probably at a concentration insufficient to cause bilirubin encephalopathy. In G-6-PD deficient neonates, severe hemolysis may occur in the absence of hematological changes typical of a hemolytic process.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/

    View details for Web of Science ID 000254782000012

    View details for PubMedID 18379570

  • Upregulation of the HO-1 gene by proton pump inhibitors - molecular mechanisms and functinal consequences Schulz, S., Grosser, N., Erdmann, K., Hinkelmann, U., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Schroeder, H. SPRINGER. 2008: 60-60
  • Heme oxygenase-1 and simvastatin: molecular mechanisms and in vivo effects Hinkelmann, U., Schulz, S., Grosser, N., Wong, R. J., Morisawa, T., Stevenson, D. K., Muchova, L., Schroeder, H. SPRINGER. 2008: 58-58
  • Efficacy of chromium mesoporphyrin in inhibiting heme oxygenase activity in heme-loaded newborn mice Morisawa, T., Xiao, H. H., Wong, R. J., Bhutani, V. K., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2008: 198-198
  • Time-dependent effects of chromium mesoporphyrin on the inhibition of heme oxygenase activity in newborn mice Xiao, H. H., Morisawa, T., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2008: 260-261
  • (TA)(n) UGT 1A1 promoter polymorphism: A crucial factor in the pathophysiology of jaundice in G-6-PD deficient neonates PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Kaplan, M., Renbaum, P., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Levy-Lahad, E., Hammerman, C., Stevenson, D. K. 2007; 61 (6): 727-731


    Increased heme catabolism has been reported in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD)-normal neonates who were also homozygous for (TA)7/(TA)7 (UGT1A1*28) uridine diphosphoglucuronate-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1 (UGT) promoter polymorphism (Gilbert syndrome). As G-6-PD deficiency is associated with increased hemolysis, we hypothesized that in G-6-PD-deficient neonates who also have the (TA)7/(TA)7 UGT promoter genotype, steady-state hemolysis would be even further increased. Male G-6-PD-deficient neonates were sampled for plasma total bilirubin (PTB), blood carboxyhemoglobin corrected for inhaled carbon monoxide in ambient air (COHbc) (an index of heme catabolism), and UGT (TA)n promoter genotype determination and compared with previously published G-6-PD-normal neonates. Although COHbc values were higher in the G-6-PD-deficient than in the G-6-PD-normal cohorts (0.97 +/- 0.32% of total Hb (tHb) versus 0.76 +/- 0.19% of tHb, p < 0.001), PTB values were similar (9.2 +/- 3.4 mg/dL versus 8.9 +/- 3.0 mg/dL, respectively, p = 0.3). Within the G-6-PD-deficient group, although COHbc values were alike between the three UGT promoter genotypes, PTB was higher in the (TA)7/(TA)7 homozygotes (11.1 +/- 4.0 mg/dL) compared with (TA)6/(TA)7 heterozygotes (9.1 +/- 3.2 mg/dL, p = 0.03) and wild-type (TA)6/(TA)6 homozygotes (8.8 +/- 3.4 mg/dL, p = 0.02). In the steady state, similar rates of hemolysis, but increased PTB in the G-6-PD- deficient, (TA)7/(TA)7 homozygotes, imply that (TA)7/(TA)7, homozygosity is central to increased PTB.

    View details for DOI 10.1203/pdr.0b013e31805365c5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000246787300019

    View details for PubMedID 17426648

  • Chronic administration of statins increases bilirubin and carbon monoxide formation in the heart - A novel mechanism of antioxidant protection Muchova, L., Wong, R. J., HSU, M., Morioka, I., Zelenka, J., Vitek, L., Schroder, H., Stevenson, D. K. ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD. 2007: 206-206
  • Heme oxygenase-1 stabilizes the blood-spinal cord barrier and limits oxidative stress and white matter damage in the acutely injured murine spinal cord JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM Lin, Y., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Tjoa, T., Yamauchi, T., Noble-Haeusslein, L. J. 2007; 27 (5): 1010-1021


    We hypothesized that heme oxygenase (HO)-1, the inducible form of HO, represents an important defense against early oxidative injury in the traumatized spinal cord by stabilizing the blood-spinal cord barrier and limiting the infiltration of leukocytes. To test this hypothesis, we first examined the immunoexpression of HO-1 and compared barrier permeability and leukocyte infiltration in spinal cord-injured HO-1-deficient (+/-) and wild-type (WT, +/+) mice. Heme oxygenase was expressed in both endothelial cells and glia of the injured cord. Barrier disruption to luciferase and infiltration of neutrophils were significantly greater in the HO-1+/- than WT mice at 24 h postinjury (P

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.jcbfm.9600412

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245999300012

    View details for PubMedID 17047682

  • Effects of sample dilution, peroxidase concentration, and chloride ion on the measurement of unbound bilirubin in premature newborns CLINICAL BIOCHEMISTRY Ahlfors, C. E., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Bender, G. J., Oh, W., Morris, B. H., Stevenson, D. K. 2007; 40 (3-4): 261-267


    To assess the effects of sample dilution, peroxidase concentration, and chloride ion (Cl(-)) on plasma unbound bilirubin (B(f)) measurements made using a commercial peroxidase methodology (UB Analyzer) in a study population of ill, premature newborns.B(f) was measured with a UB Analyzer in 74 samples at the standard 42-fold sample dilution and compared with B(f) measured at a 2-fold sample dilution using a FloPro Analyzer. B(f) was measured at two peroxidase concentrations to determine whether the peroxidase steady state B(f) (B(fss)) measurements were significantly less than the equilibrium B(f) (B(feq)), in which case it was necessary to calculate B(feq) from the two B(fss) measurements. B(f) was also measured before and after adding 100 mmol/L Cl(-) to the UB Analyzer assay buffer.B(feq) at the 42-fold dilution was nearly 10-fold less than but it correlated significantly with B(feq) at the 2-fold dilution (mean 8.2+/-5.2 nmol/L versus 73.5+/-70 nmol/L, respectively, p<0.0001; correlation r=0.6). The two UB Analyzer B(fss) measurements were significantly less than B(feq) in 42 of 74 (57%) samples, and Cl(-) increased B(feq) in 66 of 74 (89%) samples by a mean of 82+/-67%.B(fss) measured by the UB Analyzer at the standard 42-fold sample dilution using assay buffer without Cl(-) and a single peroxidase concentration is significantly less than the B(feq) in undiluted plasma. Accurate B(f) measurements can be made only in minimally diluted serum or plasma.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2006.09.006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244193000020

    View details for PubMedID 17069786

  • Inhibition of heme oxygenase activity following repeated heme loads by tin mesoporphyrin in newborn mice. Wong, R. J., Morioka, I., Muchova, L., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2007: S88-S88
  • Effect of early hand expression on milk production in pump-dependent mothers of preterm infants. Morton, J., Hall, J. Y., Thairu, L., Nomanbhoy, S., Bhutani, R., Carlson, S., Wong, R. J., Rhine, W. D. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2007: S116-S116
  • Maximizing milk volumes of pump-dependent mothers with breast massage. Morton, J., Hall, J. Y., Thairu, L., Nomanbhoy, S., Bhutani, R., Carlson, S., Wong, R. J., Rhine, W. D. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2007: S117-S117
  • Efficacy of azalanstat in inhibiting heme oxygenase activity in newborn mice. Morisawa, T., Wong, R. J., Bhutani, V. K., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2007: S89-S89
  • Comparison of heme oxygenase activity in gut-associated lymphoid tissues and the intestine. Burns-Guydisli, S. M., Wong, R. J., Kafsh, F., Contag, C. H., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2007: S117-S118
  • Determination of in vivo carbon monoxide production in laboratory animals via exhaled air. Journal of pharmacological and toxicological methods Dercho, R. A., Nakatsu, K., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Vreman, H. J. 2006; 54 (3): 288-295


    In vitro assays play an important role in the understanding of the heme oxygenase (HO)/carbon monoxide (CO) pathway. However, because physiological roles for the products of this pathway are hypothesized, it is becoming increasingly important to perform in vivo studies. Since CO production is primarily mediated by HO and is excreted mainly by the lungs, measurements of total body CO excretion (VeCO) via the breath allow continuous, noninvasive monitoring of heme degradation and CO and bilirubin production. Here, we describe a modified flow-through method for the collection and quantitation of CO from small laboratory animals.Mice and rats were studied in gas-tight chambers supplied with a continuous flow of CO-free air. CO in the exhaust air was measured by gas chromatography with a reduction gas analyzer. After establishing baseline VeCO levels, animals were administered various xenobiotics known to alter HO activity and further monitored for changes in CO production for up to 12 h without observable distress.Administration of heme (substrate for HO) resulted in reproducible increases in CO production; whereas, prior administration of zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP, HO inhibitor) or cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP, HO inducer) resulted in respective dose-dependent decreases and increases in the heme-induced CO production.We have demonstrated that this noninvasive method of CO quantitation reliably estimates heme degradation with sensitivity to distinguish between different types of HO-manipulating xenobiotics in a dose-dependant manner in both mouse and rat models. Furthermore, VeCO measurements allow nearly real-time determinations of CO and bilirubin formation, which helps to illustrate the time course of drug action.

    View details for PubMedID 16540352

  • Concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) in postmortem human tissues: Effect of environmental CO exposure JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Smialek, J. E., Fowler, D. R., Li, n. L., Vigorito, R. D., Zielke, H. R. 2006; 51 (5): 1182-1190


    We studied how carbon monoxide (CO) is distributed within the human body through quantitation of CO concentrations in postmortem tissue samples from fatalities including possible CO exposure. Stored, frozen tissues were diced, sonicated in water, and 0.01-8.0 mg wet weight (ww) tissues were incubated with sulfosalicylic acid in CO-purged, septum-sealed vials. CO released into the headspace was quantitated by reduction gas chromatography. Mean tissue CO concentrations (pmol/mg ww) from subjects diagnosed to have no known CO exposure (control, N=14), died from fire (N=13), and CO asphyxiation (N=7), respectively, were: adipose (2;13;9), brain (3;13;65), muscle (15;97;297), heart (30;99;371), kidney (22;432;709, lung (54;690;2638), spleen (73;1366;3548), and blood (162;2238;5070). Carboxyhemoglobin concentrations were 1.4%, 25.2%, and 69.1% of total hemoglobin, respectively. We conclude that measurements of CO concentration in a variety of tissues can be used as markers for the degree of exogenous CO exposure and the identification of possible causes of death.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2006.00212.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000240773700038

    View details for PubMedID 17018107

  • End-tidal carbon monoxide measurements in infant respiratory distress syndrome ACTA PAEDIATRICA Krediet, T. G., Cirkel, G. A., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Groenendaal, F., Egberts, J., van Bel, F. 2006; 95 (9): 1075-1082


    RDS involving inflammatory and oxidative processes may lead to increased production of carbon monoxide (CO).The relationship between end-tidal CO, corrected for inhaled CO (ETCOc), and RDS severity was investigated in preterm infants as well as the value of early ETCOc measurements to predict chronic lung disease.78 infants (30 no RDS, 32 moderate RDS, 16 severe RDS) were included. ETCOc was measured using the CO-Stat End Tidal Breath Analyzer.ETCOc was significantly higher in RDS compared to no RDS during the first week (p<0.05). Severity of RDS was the most significant independent variable in a stepwise regression model related to ETCOc (F-test: 18.17). Negative predictive value of early (within first 12 h of life) ETCOc measurement (<2.5 ppm) for development of chronic lung disease was excellent (100%).During severe RDS, inflammation may contribute to increased lipid peroxidation leading to increased local CO production in the lung, indicated by increased ETCOc. Early ETCOc determinations may be helpful to exclude occurrence of chronic lung disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/08035250500537017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000240122500009

    View details for PubMedID 16938753

  • The effect of tin-mesoporphyrin on Bach 1 expression Abate, A., Zhao, H., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. FEDERATION AMER SOC EXP BIOL. 2006: A1344-A1344
  • Transcutaneous bilirubinometry: A noninvasive tool for studying newborn jaundiced rats before and after exposure to light PEDIATRIC RESEARCH Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Chan, M. L., Young, B. W., Stevenson, D. K. 2006; 59 (2): 203-209


    The homozygous Gunn rat is the most frequently used animal model for the study of neonatal jaundice. We evaluated the applicability of noninvasive transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) measurements as an index of serum total bilirubin (STB) levels in neonatal rats by comparison to invasive STB measurements. TcB measurements were made during the first 96 h of life with the Model 101 Minolta/Air-Shields Jaundice Meter (JM) and SpectRx BiliCheck System (BC). Measurements with both devices displayed parallel TcB profiles, rapidly rising within 24 h, increasing during the next 6 h, then leveling off after 30 h. Linear regressions for the JM (n = 60) were as follows: STB (mg/dL) = 0.79 (JM) - 0.01 (units, r = 0.95, head); STB (mg/dL) = 0.82 (JM) + 1.51 (units, r = 0.95, upper back); and STB (mg/dL) = 0.74 (JM) + 1.60 (units, r = 0.91, lower back). Mean bias +/- imprecision were as follows: -0.02 +/- 3.99 mg/dL, -0.01 +/- 3.90, and 0.01 +/- 4.28 at the head, upper back, and lower back, respectively. For the BC, only lower back measurements were taken, and the regression was as follows: STB (mg/dL) = 0.77 (BC) + 1.65 mg/dL, (r = 0.93, n = 29) with a mean bias +/- imprecision of -1.08 +/- 3.08 mg/dL. When pups were exposed to light, correlations remained strong but intercepts increased. These results demonstrate that noninvasive TcB measurements correlate highly with STB in the Gunn rat during the first 96 h of life and after exposure to light. We conclude that JM measurements at the head and BC at the lower back reflect STB most reliably and consistently. Thus, in addition to being a useful tool for evaluating jaundice in human neonates, TcB methodology can be used successfully for the noninvasive monitoring of jaundice in neonatal Gunn rats pre- and postlight exposure.

    View details for DOI 10.1203/01.pdr.000196737.73851.8a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234764100008

    View details for PubMedID 16439579

  • The effectiveness of oral tin mesoporphyrin prophylaxis in reducing bilirubin production after an oral heme load in a transgenic mouse model BIOLOGY OF THE NEONATE DeSandre, G. H., Wong, R. J., Morioka, I., Contag, C. H., Stevenson, D. K. 2006; 89 (3): 139-146


    Neonatal jaundice is commonly encountered and rarely associated with morbidity and mortality. Nonetheless, infants with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency often have hemolysis (a heme load) caused by an environmental oxidant trigger, thus increasing their risk for serious morbidity. The use of tin mesoporphyrin (SnMP) has been proposed for interdicting the development of severe hyperbilirubinemia in a variety of conditions.We studied the in vivo effects of prophylactic oral SnMP on heme oxygenase (HO) activity and bilirubin production, as indexed by the excretion rate of carbon monoxide (VeCO), following a subsequent oral heme load.Adult mice were exposed serially to heme and assessed for in vivo bilirubin production rates, HO-1 transcription and protein, and HO activity. The effect of prophylaxis with a single oral dose of SnMP prior to an oral heme load was assessed by measuring VeCOand tissue HO activities.After serial heme exposures, VeCO, HO-1 transcription and protein, and liver and spleen HO activities increased incrementally. After pretreatment with oral SnMP, bilirubin production decreased in response to an oral heme load. Also, heme-mediated increases in liver, spleen, and intestine HO activities were significantly dampened.A single oral dose of SnMP results in durable inhibition of bilirubin production and HO activity for at least 24 h in a mouse model of oral heme loading. Further studies are needed to fully elucidate the duration of this protection against hyperbilirubinemia due to a delayed heme load and any long-term consequences of prophylaxis with SnMP on HO-1 transcription and HO-1 protein.

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000088717

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235915600001

    View details for PubMedID 16205054

  • Metalloporphyrin inhibition of in vitro mouse heme oxygenase isozyme activity. Pierce, N. W., Wong, R. J., Morioka, I., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2006: S120-S121
  • Statins as tissue-specific inducers of in vivo heme oxygenase expression. HSU, M., Muchova, L., Morioka, I., Wong, R. J., Schroder, H., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2006: S121-S121
  • Statins as tissue-specific inducers of in vivo heme oxygenase expression HSU, M., Muchova, L., Morioka, I., Wong, R. J., Schroder, H., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2006: S86-S86
  • Dose-dependent effects of tin mesoporphyrin on heme oxygenase activity inhibition in newborn mice. Morioka, I., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2006: S128-S128
  • Heme regulation in traumatic brain injury: relevance to the adult and developing brain JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM Chang, E. F., Claus, C. P., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Noble-Haeusslein, L. J. 2005; 25 (11): 1401-1417


    Intracranial bleeding is one of the most prominent aspects in the clinical diagnosis and prognosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Substantial amounts of blood products, such as heme, are released because of traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhages, intraparenchymal contusions, and hematomas. Despite this, surprisingly few studies have directly addressed the role of blood products, in particular heme, in the setting of TBI. Heme is degraded by heme oxygenase (HO) into three highly bioactive products: iron, bilirubin, and carbon monoxide. The HO isozymes, in particular HO-1 and HO-2, exhibit significantly different expression patterns and appear to have specific roles after injury. Developmentally, differences between the adult and immature brain have implications for endogenous protection from oxidative stress. The aim of this paper is to review recent advances in the understanding of heme regulation and metabolism after brain injury and its specific relevance to the developing brain. These findings suggest novel clinical therapeutic options for further translational study.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232815000001

    View details for PubMedID 15917748

  • Apigenin decreases hemin-mediated heme oxygenase-1 induction FREE RADICAL BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE Abate, A., Yang, G., Wong, R. J., Schroder, H., Stevenson, D. K., Dennery, P. A. 2005; 39 (6): 711-718


    Hemin is a strong inducer of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression in vitro and in vivo. Whereas moderate overexpression of HO-1 is protective against oxidative stress, uncontrolled levels of HO-1 can be detrimental. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of apigenin (APG), a flavonoid involved in a number of phosphorylation pathways and also known to inhibit inducible genes, such as iNOS and COX-2, on HO-1 expression. Incubation of mouse embryonic fibroblasts with APG (5--40 microM) decreased hemin-induced HO-1 protein and mRNA expression. APG also reduced the induction of HO-1 promoter activity, as assessed by bioluminescence imaging, in NIH3T3 cells transfected with the 15-kb HO-1 promoter fused with the reporter gene luciferase (HO-1-luc). Furthermore, through the use of specific inhibitors, APG's effect was found to be unrelated to its PKC, CK 2, PI 3 K, p38, or ERK inhibitory activities. Quercetin (10--40 microM), also a flavonoid, also inhibited hemin-induced HO-1 expression. Additionally, in vivo studies using HO-1-luc transgenic mice showed that APG (50 mg/kg) decreased hemin-induced HO activity and HO-1 protein expression in the liver. These results suggest that hemin-induced HO-1 expression can be attenuated by flavonoids, such as APG.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2005.01.020

    View details for Web of Science ID 000231583500002

    View details for PubMedID 16109301

  • Determination of carbon monoxide (CO) in rodent tissue: Effect of heme administration and environmental CO exposure ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Kadotani, T., Stevenson, D. K. 2005; 341 (2): 280-289


    Carbon monoxide (CO), produced endogenously during heme degradation, is considered a messenger molecule in vascular and neurologic tissues. To study this role, it is important to determine CO concentration in target tissues pre- and post-perturbations. Here, we describe a sensitive and reproducible method, which is linear and accurate, and provide some examples of its application for quantitation of CO concentrations in tissues pre- and post-perturbations. Tissues from adult rats and mice were sonicated (20% w/w), and volumes representing 0.04-8 mg fresh weight (FW) were incubated at 0 degrees C for 30 min with sulfosalicylic acid. CO liberated into the headspace was quantitated by gas chromatography. Tissue CO concentrations (mean+/-SD, pmol CO/mg FW) were as follows: blood (47+/-10, 45+/-5), muscle (4+/-4, 10+/-1), kidney (5+/-2, 7+/-2), heart (6+/-3, 6+/-1), spleen (11+/-3, 6+/-1), liver (4+/-1, 5+/-1), intestine (2+/-1, 4+/-2), lung (2+/-1, 3+/-1), testes (1+/-1, 2+/-1), and brain (2+/-1, 2+/-0) in untreated rat (n=3) and mouse (n=5), respectively. Between the rat and the mouse, only CO concentrations in the muscle and spleen were significantly different (p0.05). Endogenous CO generation, after administration of heme arginate to mice (n=3), increased CO concentrations by 0-43 pmol/mg FW. Exposure of mice (n=3) to 500 ppm CO for 30 min yielded significantly elevated CO concentrations by 4-2603 pmol/mg FW in all tissues over the native state. While blood had the highest CO concentration for all conditions, muscle, kidney, heart, spleen, and liver, all rich in hemoglobin and/or other CO-binding hemoproteins, also contained substantial CO concentrations. Intestine, lung, testes, and brain contained the lowest CO concentrations.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ab.2005.03.019

    View details for Web of Science ID 000229460800011

    View details for PubMedID 15907874

  • Reduction in hospital readmission rates for hyperbilirubinemia is associated with use of transcutaneous bilirubin measurements CLINICAL CHEMISTRY Stevenson, D. K., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J. 2005; 51 (3): 481-482

    View details for DOI 10.1373/clinchem.2004.046789

    View details for Web of Science ID 000227230600001

    View details for PubMedID 15738511

  • Is carbon monoxide-mediated cyclic guanosine monophosphate production responsible for low blood pressure in neonatal respiratory distress syndrome? JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY van Bel, F., Latour, V., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Steendijk, P., Egberts, J., Krediet, T. G. 2005; 98 (3): 1044-1049


    Infant respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) involves inflammatory processes, causing an increased expression of inducible heme oxygenase with subsequent production of carbon monoxide (CO). We hypothesized that increased production of CO during RDS might be responsible for increased plasma levels of vasodilatory cGMP and, consequently, low blood pressure observed in infants with RDS. Fifty-two infants (no-RDS, n = 21; RDS, n = 31), consecutively admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) between January and October 2003 were included. Hemoglobin-bound carbon monoxide (COHb), plasma cGMP, plasma nitric oxide (NOx), and bilirubin were determined at 0-12, 48-72, and at 168 h postnatally, with simultaneous registration of arterial blood pressure. Infants with RDS had higher levels of cGMP and COHb compared with no-RDS infants (RDS vs. no-RDS: cGMP ranging from 76 to 101 vs. 58 to 82 nmol/l; COHb ranging from 1.2 to 1.4 vs. 0.9 to 1.0%). Highest values were reached at 48-72 h [RDS vs. no-RDS mean (SD): cGMP 100 (39) vs. 82 (25) nmol/l (P < 0.001); COHb 1.38 (0.46) vs. 0.91 (0.26)% (P < 0.0001)]. Arterial blood pressure was lower and more blood pressure support was needed in RDS infants at that point of time [RDS vs. no-RDS mean (SD): mean arterial blood pressure 33 (6) vs. 42 (5) mmHg (P < 0.05)]. NOx was not different between groups and did not vary with time. Multiple linear regression analysis showed a significant correlation between cGMP and COHb, suggesting a causal relationship. Mean arterial blood pressure appeared to be primarily correlated to cGMP levels (P < 0.001). We conclude that a CO-mediated increase in cGMP causes systemic vasodilation with a consequent lower blood pressure and increased need for blood pressure support in preterm infants with RDS.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/japplphysiol.00760.2004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226863100036

    View details for PubMedID 15516362

  • Attenuation of heme induction following exposure to tin mesoporphyrin in mice. DeSandre, G. H., Wong, R. J., Morioka, I., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2005: S125-S125
  • Phototherapy: Current methods and future directions SEMINARS IN PERINATOLOGY Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2004; 28 (5): 326-333


    Phototherapy is the most common therapeutic intervention used for the treatment of hyperbilirubinemia. Although it has become a mainstay since its introduction in 1958, a better understanding of the photobiology of bilirubin, characteristics of the phototherapy devices, the efficacy and safety considerations of phototherapy applications, and improvements in spectroradiometers and phototherapy devices are necessary for more predictable and improved clinical practices and outcomes. A step forward in instituting consistent, uniform, and effective use of phototherapy is the recent American Academy of Pediatrics clinical guideline on the management of hyperbilirubinemia in the newborn infant 35 or more weeks of gestation, which outlines a clinical strategy for the diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia and contains direct recommendations for the application of phototherapy. This article reviews the parameters that determine the efficacy of phototherapy, briefly discusses current devices and methods used to deliver phototherapy, and speculates on future directions and studies that are still needed to complement our presently incomplete knowledge of the facets of this common mode of therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.semperi.2004.09.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000226212000003

    View details for PubMedID 15686263

  • NICHD Conference on Kernicterus: Research on Prevention of Bilirubin-Induced Brain Injury and Kernicterus: Bench-to-Bedside--Diagnostic Methods and Prevention and Treatment Strategies. Stevenson, D. K., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., McDonagh, A. F., Maisels, M. J., Lightner, D. A. 2004: 521-525


    In July 2003, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) organized a consensus conference, where a group of experts were invited to review and discuss the current state of knowledge regarding neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and identify areas in which where future research should be directed. This paper summarizes the presentations addressing the current methodologies for direct and noninvasive assessments of serum total bilirubin concentrations as well as prevention and treatment strategies for the management of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.

    View details for PubMedID 15129227

  • Transcutaneous bilirubin measurements and serum total bilirubin levels in indigenous African infants PEDIATRICS Slusher, T. M., Angyo, I. A., Bode-Thomas, F., Akor, F., Pam, S. D., Adetunji, A. A., McLaren, D. W., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2004; 113 (6): 1636-1641


    The objective of this study was to determine whether transcutaneous bilirubin (TcB) measurements correlate with serum total bilirubin (STB) levels in indigenous, darkly pigmented African newborns with varying degrees of skin pigmentation, some of which had developed kernicterus.Jaundiced infants who were < or =2 weeks of age and admitted to Baptist Medical Center-Eku (Eku; n = 29) and Jos University Teaching Hospital (Jos; n = 98) in Nigeria were studied. TcB measurements using the BiliChek were made simultaneously with blood sampling for STB measurements by spectrophotometry before phototherapy.Using linear regression analysis, we found that measurements of TcB correlated well with those of STB with r values of.90 and.88 for Eku and Jos, respectively. Mean bias and imprecision of TcB measurements as compared with STB measurements for the total population was 0.5 +/- 7.6 mg/dL using the method of Bland and Altman. At STB > or 12 mg/dL, correlation (r =.84) and bias and imprecision (-1.2 +/- 8.6 mg/dL) of measurements were only slightly poorer. Furthermore, when infants were grouped by degree of skin pigmentation, correlations of TcB and STB measurements remained strong.From these results, we can conclude that TcB measurements are a useful and reliable index for estimating STB levels in pigmented neonates, including those with hyperbilirubinemia and kernicterus. In the absence of reliable STB measurements, the relatively simple and noninvasive TcB measurements can be an important adjunct in directing phototherapy and exchange transfusions, thereby preventing bilirubin-induced morbidity and mortality in low-technology clinical environments.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000221781500012

    View details for PubMedID 15173484

  • Induction of heme oxygenase-1 in transgenic mouse fibroblast cells following successive exposures to heme DeSandre, G. H., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2004: 473A-473A
  • A primer on neonatal jaundice. Advances in pediatrics Stevenson, D. K., Wong, R. J., DeSandre, G. H., Vreman, H. J. 2004; 51: 263-288

    View details for PubMedID 15366777

  • Induction of heme oxygenase-1 in mouse fibroblast cells after successive exposures to heme. DeSandre, G. H., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2004: S122-S122
  • Characterization of coelenterazine analogs for measurements of Renilla luciferase activity in live cells and living animals. Molecular imaging Zhao, H., Doyle, T. C., Wong, R. J., Cao, Y., Stevenson, D. K., Piwnica-Worms, D., Contag, C. H. 2004; 3 (1): 43-54


    In vivo imaging of bioluminescent reporters relies on expression of light-emitting enzymes, luciferases, and delivery of chemical substrates to expressing cells. Coelenterazine (CLZN) is the substrate for a group of bioluminescent enzymes obtained from marine organisms. At present, there are more than 10 commercially available CLZN analogs. To determine which analog is most suitable for activity measurements in live cells and living animals, we characterized 10 CLZN analogs using Renilla luciferase (Rluc) as the reporter enzyme. For each analog, we monitored enzyme activity, auto-oxidation, and efficiency of cellular uptake. All CLZN analogs tested showed higher auto-oxidation signals in serum than was observed in phosphate buffer or medium, mainly as a result of auto-oxidation by binding to albumin. CLZN-f, -h, and -e analogs showed 4- to 8-fold greater Rluc activity, relative to CLZN-native, in cells expressing the enzyme from a stable integrant. In studies using living mice expressing Rluc in hepatocytes, administration of CLZN-e and -native produced the highest signal. Furthermore, distinct temporal differences in signal for each analog were revealed following intravenous or intraperitoneal delivery. We conclude that the CLZN analogs that are presently available vary with respect to hRluc utilization in culture and in vivo, and that the effective use of CLZN-utilizing enzymes in living animals depends on the selection of an appropriate substrate.

    View details for PubMedID 15142411

  • Effects of metalloporphyrins on heme oxygenase-1 transcription: correlative cell culture assays guide in vivo imaging. Molecular imaging Hajdena-Dawson, M., Zhang, W., Contag, P. R., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K., Contag, C. H. 2003; 2 (3): 138-149


    Heme oxygenase (HO) is the rate-limiting step in the heme degradation pathway and is a potential target for the control, or prevention, of pathologic jaundice in neonates. Metalloporphyrins (Mps), a diverse set of synthetic derivatives of heme, can competitively inhibit the HO enzymes. However, certain Mps are phototoxic and some increase transcription of HO-1, the inducible HO isozyme. Therefore, effective development of this class of compounds as therapeutics for treating pathologic jaundice will require rapid and integrated biological screens to identify the most efficacious and safe Mps. To study the safety of these compounds, we assessed their cytotoxic effects and measured luciferase activity by bioluminescent imaging (BLI) as an index of HO-1 transcription, first in live cell cultures and then in living transgenic reporter mice. A total of 12 Mps were first evaluated in the correlative cell culture assay. Based on results from this study, 2 Mps, zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) and zinc bis glycol porphyrin (ZnBG), were selected for further studies in the live animal model. In vitro BLI showed ZnPP to be a strong inducer of HO-1 transcription in comparison to ZnBG, which showed minimal induction. Cytotoxicity studies revealed that ZnPP was phototoxic, whereas ZnBG had no effect on cell viability. In vivo BLI showed that both ZnPP and ZnBG had minimal effects on the levels of HO-1 transcription in the animals. Furthermore, serum enzyme assays indicated that neither caused detectable liver toxicity. These findings, and especially those with ZnBG, support the use of selected Mps as therapies for pathologic jaundice. Coupling the high throughput advantage of cell culture with the capability of imaging for whole-body temporal analyses could accelerate and refine the preclinical phases of drug development. Thus, this study serves as a model for understanding the effects of specific compounds in relation to defined targets using an integrated approach.

    View details for PubMedID 14649057

  • Heme oxygenase-2 protects against lipid peroxidation-mediated cell loss and impaired motor recovery after traumatic brain injury JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE Chang, E. F., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Igarashi, T., Galo, E., Sharp, F. R., Stevenson, D. K., Noble-Haeusslein, L. J. 2003; 23 (9): 3689-3696


    After traumatic brain injury (TBI), substantial extracellular heme is released from hemoproteins during hemorrhage and cell injury. Heme oxygenase (HO) isozymes are thought to detoxify the pro-oxidant heme to the potent antioxidant, bilirubin. HO-1, the inducible isozyme, is expressed in glial populations after injury and may play a protective role. However, the role of HO-2, the predominant and constitutively expressed isozyme in the brain, remains unclear after TBI. We used a controlled cortical impact injury model to determine the extent and mechanism of damage between HO-2 knock-out (KO) (-/-) and wild-type (WT) (+/+) mice. The specific cellular and temporal expressions of HO-2 and HO-1 were characterized by immunocytochemistry and Western blots. HO-2 was immunolocalized in neurons both before and after TBI, whereas HO-1 was highly upregulated in glia only after TBI. HO activity determined by gas chromatography using brain sonicates from injured HO-2 KO mice was significantly less than that of HO-2 wild types, despite the induction of HO-1 expression after TBI. Cell loss was significantly greater in KO mice in areas including the cortex, the CA3 region of hippocampus, and the lateral dorsal thalamus. Furthermore, motor recovery after injury, as measured by the rotarod assay and an inclined beam-walking task, was compromised in the KO mice. Finally, brain tissue from injured HO-2 KO mice exhibited decreased ability to reduce oxidative stress, as measured with an Fe(2+)/ascorbic acid-mediated carbon monoxide generation assay for lipid peroxidation susceptibility. These findings demonstrate that HO-2 expression protects neurons against TBI by reducing lipid peroxidation via the catabolism of free heme.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000182700100016

    View details for PubMedID 12736340

  • Direct intestinal administration of metalloporphyrins and heme oxygenase expression. Wong, R. J., Abate, A., Dennery, P. A., Vreman, H. J., Contag, C. H., Stevenson, D. K. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2003: S140-S141
  • Selection of potential therapeutics based on in vivo spatiotemporal transcription patterns of heme oxygenase-1 JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR MEDICINE-JMM Zhang, W. S., Contag, P. R., Hardy, J., Zhao, H., Vreman, H. J., Hajdena-Dawson, M., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Contag, C. H. 2002; 80 (10): 655-664


    Heme oxygenase (HO), a key catabolic enzyme in the conversion of heme to bilirubin, is an ideal target for reducing bilirubin production and preventing pathological jaundice in newborn infants. Metalloporphyrins (Mps) have been well characterized as competitive inhibitors of HO and have been evaluated as potential chemopreventive agents for neonatal jaundice. However, in addition to reducing HO activity, many Mps have been shown to increase HO-1 transcription, which would likely reduce their potential therapeutic utility. The differential effects of Mps on the transcription of HO-1 were therefore evaluated in living transgenic (Tg) reporter mice. Of the compounds evaluated, we observed that zinc bis-glycol porphyrin (ZnBG), a potent inhibitor of HO enzyme activity, did not alter HO-1 transcription patterns in Tg mice. Whole body images of HO-1 transcription patterns did, however; reveal increases in HO-1 transcription in Tg mice after treatment with other Mps, heme and cadmium chloride (CdCl(2)). Intravenous injections of CdCl(2) resulted in expression patterns that differed in tempo and location from those observed in Tg mice treated with intraperitoneal injections. Spatiotemporal analyses of transcriptional regulation in living animals accelerated the assessment of an adverse effect of Mps by revealing different patterns of HO-1 transcription. Among the known inhibitors of HO enzyme activity that were evaluated in this study, ZnBG did not significantly affect HO-1 transcription and therefore may be well suited for the prevention of neonatal jaundice.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00109-002-0375-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000179446600007

    View details for PubMedID 12395150

  • The jaundiced newborn. Understanding and managing transitional hyperbilirubinemia. Minerva pediatrica Stevenson, D. K., Wong, R. J., Hintz, S. R., Vreman, H. J. 2002; 54 (5): 373-382


    Neonatal jaundice is one of the most common conditions diagnosed by the pediatrician. This normally benign transitional phenomenon is a dynamic balance between the production and elimination of bilirubin. These processes can be exacerbated by a number of pathophysiologic conditions, which cause either an increase in bilirubin production rates, such as hemolysis, or a decrease in bilirubin elimination rates, such as bilirubin conjugation defects. The most dangerous circumstance for an infant is the combination of increased bilirubin production with impaired elimination. These infants are at considerable risk for developing excessive and potentially dangerous hyperbilirubinemia and subsequent kernicterus. Therefore, the importance of early recognition of the imbalance is paramount. In this review, we will discuss the various risk factors associated with hyperbilirubinemia and describe strategies for the diagnosis and management of transitional hyperbilirubinemia.

    View details for PubMedID 12244276

  • Heme oxygenase-1 modulates fetal growth in the rat LABORATORY INVESTIGATION Kreiser, D., Nguyen, X., Wong, R., Seidman, D., Stevenson, D., Quan, S., Abraham, N., Dennery, P. A. 2002; 82 (6): 687-692


    Intrauterine growth restriction is associated with increased perinatal morbidity and mortality as well as with lifelong cardiovascular and metabolic complications. Deficiency of heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) is associated with growth restriction in mice and in humans, suggesting a role for HO-1 in fetal growth and maintenance of pregnancy. We hypothesized that modulation of HO-1 in the pregnant rat would alter fetal growth. In pregnant dams, placental HO activity was significantly inhibited with zinc deuteroporphyrin IX 2,4 bis glycol, and HO-1 protein was increased by transducing adenoviral human HO-1. Inhibition of HO-1 by zinc deuteroporphyrin IX 2,4 bis glycol resulted in a significant decrease in pup size, whereas transfection with hHO-1 resulted in increased pup size. Furthermore, the expression of IGF binding protein-1 and its receptor paralleled the expression of HO-1 in the placenta and were significantly modulated by modification of HO-1 along with the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor. These observations demonstrate that HO-1 modulates fetal growth by its effects on placental growth factors.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.LAB.0000017167.26718.F2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000176317600002

    View details for PubMedID 12065678

  • Role of carbon monoxide and nitric oxide in newborn infants with postasphyxial hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy PEDIATRICS Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K., Engel, R. R. 2002; 109 (4): 715-715

    View details for Web of Science ID 000174704000047

    View details for PubMedID 11927721

  • Transcutaneous bilirubin measurements correlate well with serum total bilirubin levels in indigenous African infants Slusher, T. M., Angyo, I. A., Bode-Thomas, F., Akor, F., Adetunji, A. A., McLaren, D. W., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2002: 329A-329A
  • Alternative metalloporphyrins for the treatment of neonatal jaundice. Journal of perinatology Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2001; 21: S108-13

    View details for PubMedID 11803430

  • Prediction of hyperbilirubinemia in near-term and term infants PEDIATRICS Stevenson, D. K., Fanaroff, A. A., Maisels, M. J., Young, B. W., Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., MacMahon, J. R., Yeung, C. Y., Seidman, D. S., Gale, R., Oh, W., Bhutani, V. K., Johnson, L. H., Kaplan, M., Hammerman, C., Nakamura, H. 2001; 108 (1): 31-39


    The purpose of this study was to determine whether end-tidal carbon monoxide (CO) corrected for ambient CO (ETCOc), as a single measurement or in combination with serum total bilirubin (STB) measurements, can predict the development of hyperbilirubinemia during the first 7 days of life.From 9 multinational clinical sites, 1370 neonates completed this cohort study from February 20, 1998, through February 22, 1999. Measurements of both ETCOc and STB were performed at 30 +/- 6 hours of life; STB also was measured at 96 +/- 12 hours and subsequently following a flow diagram based on a table of hours of age-specific STB. An infant was defined as hyperbilirubinemic if the hours of age-specific STB was greater than or equal to the 95th percentile as defined by the table at any time during the study.A total of 120 (8.8%) of the enrolled infants became hyperbilirubinemic. Mean STB in breastfed infants was 8.92 +/- 4.37 mg/dL at 96 hours versus 7.63 +/- 3.58 mg/dL in those fed formula only. The mean ETCOc at 30 +/- 6 hours for the total population was 1.48 +/- 0.49 ppm, whereas those of nonhyperbilirubinemic and hyperbilirubinemic infants were 1.45 +/- 0.47 ppm and 1.81 +/- 0.59 ppm, respectively. Seventy-six percent (92 of 120) of hyperbilirubinemic infants had ETCOc greater than the population mean. An ETCOc greater than the population mean at 30 +/- 6 hours yielded a 13.0% positive predictive value (PPV) and a 95.8% negative predictive value (NPV) for STB >/=95th percentile. When infants with STB >95th percentile at <36 hours of age were excluded, the STB at 30 +/- 6 hours yielded a 16.7% PPV and a 98.1% NPV for STB >75th percentile. The combination of these 2 measurements at 30 +/- 6 hours (either ETCOc more than the population mean or STB >75th percentile) had a 6.4% PPV with a 99.0% NPV. Conclusions. This prospective cohort study supports previous observations that measuring STB before discharge may provide some assistance in predicting an infant's risk for developing hyperbilirubinemia. The addition of an ETCOc measurement provides insight into the processes that contribute to the condition but does not materially improve the predictive ability of an hours of age-specific STB in this study population. The combination of STB and ETCOc as early as 30 +/- 6 hours may identify infants with increased bilirubin production (eg, hemolysis) or decreased elimination (conjugation defects) as well as infants who require early follow-up after discharge for jaundice or other clinical problems such as late anemia. Depending on the incidence of hyperbilirubinemia within an institution, the criteria for decision making should vary according to its unique population.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000169571400025

    View details for PubMedID 11433051

  • Carbon monoxide and bilirubin production in neonates SEMINARS IN PERINATOLOGY Stevenson, D. K., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Contag, C. H. 2001; 25 (2): 85-93


    Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia is a normal postnatal phenomenon resulting from a transitional imbalance between the production and elimination of bilirubin in the neonate. Bilirubin has been shown to be not only a potent antioxidant, but also toxic at excessive concentrations. As a result, the biology of bilirubin, its production, regulation, and measurements have been the focus of extensive studies. Bilirubin, carbon monoxide, and iron are derived from the degradation of heme, a ubiquitous two-step pathway catalyzed by the enzyme, heme oxygenase. It has been shown that these metabolically active products from the heme catabolic pathway may, in turn, influence many other biologic processes. This report provides a brief overview of these interrelationships in the hope that it may provide insight into the central role this pathway plays in the existence of most organisms.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000168272000008

    View details for PubMedID 11339670

  • Exhaled carbon monoxide in asthma JOURNAL OF PEDIATRICS Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. 2000; 137 (6): 889-890

    View details for Web of Science ID 000165876300029

    View details for PubMedID 11113853

  • Haem oxygenase activity in human umbilical cord and rat vascular tissues PLACENTA Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Kim, E. C., Nabseth, D. C., Marks, G. S., Stevenson, D. K. 2000; 21 (4): 337-344


    Carbon monoxide (CO) has been shown to affect vascular tone in smooth muscle cells and thus, may regulate regional or systemic blood pressure as well as fetoplacental vascular tone and fetal blood delivery. To assess the potential of vascular tissue to produce CO, we determined haem oxygenase (HO) activity through in vitro quantitation of CO production with gas chromatography and its inhibition by 33-66 microm of chromium mesoporphyrin (CrMP) in homogenate preparations of rat aorta and vena cava and human umbilical cord tissues. We compared these results to HO activity in rat heart and liver. We also discuss normalization of HO activity on a per mg protein as well as per g fresh weight (FW) tissue basis. We found that both rat vascular tissue HO activities (per g FW) were equal, but greater than that of heart (x3) and less than that of liver (x0.2). For human cord tissues, HO activities of artery and vein were equal, but greater than that of Wharton's jelly. Also, HO activity in rat vascular tissues was 3x greater than that of the human cord tissues. HO activity was completely inhibited by CrMP in rat heart (90 per cent) and liver (96 per cent), but incompletely (50-66 per cent) in both rat and human vascular tissues. We established that it is unlikely that other non-haem CO-generating processes account for this unique insensitivity of HO to CrMP inhibition. In fact, high concentrations of other potent metalloporphyrin inhibitors affected vascular tissue HO even less. We found that the degree of in vitro HO inhibition appeared to be related to the concentration of haem in the reaction medium. We conclude that the presence of HO activity in cord tissues supports the possibility that CO plays a role in fetoplacental blood flow regulation.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000087666000006

    View details for PubMedID 10833368

  • Carbon monoxide detection and biological investigations. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association Stevenson, D. K., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Dennery, P. A., Contag, C. H. 2000; 111: 61-75


    Even though the heme degradation pathway consists of only two reactions, it and its major enzyme (i.e. HO), nonetheless, impact other processes not only through the removal of excess heme, but also through the production of several metabolically active compounds. Thus CO and biliverdin along with reactive iron, Fe2, are the primordial products of this ancient, highly conserved reaction. That every component of the heme catabolic pathway is directly or indirectly related to other reactions involving oxygen or light is, perhaps, no accident of nature. That a fundamentally destructive event can be linked with a multiplicity of synthetic events and various biological effects, depending on the timing and location of the HO activity, is testament to the economy and the ultimate beauty of nature. Furthermore, the interaction of the heme catabolic pathway with that of the NOS system may lead to even more exciting avenues of research. It may be shown that the integrity of the heme catabolic pathway, which is ever present and plays a role in every tissue, is central to the existence of most complex organisms.

    View details for PubMedID 10881332

  • Concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) in tissue. Wong, R. J., Vreman, H. J., Kadotani, T., Stevenson, D. K. B C DECKER INC. 2000: 23A-23A
  • Validation of the natus CO-Stat (TM) end tidal breath analyzer in children and adults JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MONITORING AND COMPUTING Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Harmatz, P., Fanaroff, A. A., Berman, B., Stevenson, D. K. 1999; 15 (7-8): 421-427


    The performance of a point-of-care, noninvasive end tidal breath carbon monoxide analyzer (CO-Stat End Tidal Breath Analyzer, Natus Medical Inc.) that also reports end tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) and respiratory rate (RR), was compared to established, marketed (predicate) devices in children (n = 39) and adults (n = 48) who are normal or at-risk of elevated CO excretion.Concentrations of end tidal breath CO (ETCO), room air CO, ETCO corrected for inhaled CO (ETCOc), ETCO2, and RR were measured with the CO-Stat analyzer and the data compared to those obtained from the same subjects using the Vitalograph BreathCO monitor (Vitalograph, Inc.) for ETCOc and the Pryon CO2 monitor (SC210 and SC300, Pryon Corp) for ETCO2 and RR. Adults and children were studied at three medical centers. The data were analyzed by paired t-tests and linear regression. Bias and imprecision between the CO-Stat analyzer and the predicate devices was calculated by the method of Bland and Altman.Paired t-tests, performed on the three parameters measured with the CO-Stat analyzer and predicate devices showed that only the ETCOc values in the adults and the ETCO2 values in the children were significantly different (lower, p < or = 0.0001, and higher, p < or = 0.0001, respectively). The mean bias and imprecision of the CO-Stat analyzer for adult ETCOc and children ETCO2 measurements were -0.9 +/- 1.2 ppm and 0.4 +/- 0.6%, respectively. Linear regression analysis for the ETCOc results in children and adults had a high degree of correlation (r = 0.91 and 0.98, respectively).We conclude that in a clinical environment the Natus CO-Stat End Tidal Breath Analyzer performs at least as well as predicate devices for the measurements of ETCOc, ETCO2, and RR.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000086962600004

    View details for PubMedID 12578038

  • Concentration of carbon monoxide (CO) in tissue Kadotani, T., Vreman, H. J., Wong, R. J., Stevenson, D. K. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 1999: 67A-67A
  • In vitro bilirubin degradation by a light emitting diode (LED) device. Vreman, H. J., Stevenson, D. K., Wong, R. J., Reader, S. D., Route, R. K., Fejer, M. M., Gale, R., Seidman, D. S. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 1998: 157A-157A
  • Evaluation of the Ciba Corning 840 blood gas analyzer. Respiratory care Wong, R. J., Mahoney, J. J., van Kessel, A. L. 1995; 40 (6): 638-643


    Because our laboratory had used the Ciba Corning 200 series blood-gas analyzers for a number of years, we were asked to participate in the evaluation of a premarket unit of the Model 840 analyzer (C840). DESCRIPTION OF DEVICE: The C840 is a bench-top instrument that combines a menu-driven user interface with an automated sampler and integrates software for data management and system diagnostics.We compared the performance of the C840 to a laboratory-based Ciba Corning 278 (C278), analyzing a total of 325 blood samples. We also evaluated the software for routine laboratory applications. EVALUATION RESULTS: The bias and imprecision (+/- 2 SD) between the C840 and C278 was calculated for pH (+0.004 +/- 0.014 pH units), PCO2 (+1.8 +/- 3.3 torr), and PO2 (+0.01 +/- 9.0 torr for all PO2 ranges; -0.17 +/- 4.8 torr for PO2 < 150 torr).We conclude that the analytical performance of the C840 is comparable to the C278, and its data storage and interface capabilities should help laboratories meet CLIA-88 requirements.

    View details for PubMedID 10143509

  • STATPAL(R) II PH AND BLOOD-GAS ANALYSIS SYSTEM EVALUATED CLINICAL CHEMISTRY Wong, R. J., Mahoney, J. J., Harvey, J. A., VanKessel, A. L. 1994; 40 (1): 124-129


    We evaluated a new portable instrument, the PPG StatPal II pH and Blood Gas Analysis System, designed for "point-of-care" measurements of blood gases and pH. Inaccuracy (% of target value) and imprecision (CV%) were assessed by blood tonometry and comparison with a Corning 178. Within-day results for PCO2 inaccuracy and imprecision ranged from 98.2% to 102.9% and 3.3% to 3.9%, respectively; for PO2, these were 95.5% to 102.3% and 2.3% to 3.0%, respectively. Between-day results for PCO2 inaccuracy and imprecision ranged from 99.2% to 99.3% and from 2.9% to 3.2%, respectively; for PO2, the ranges were 96.2% to 98.2% and 2.6% to 3.0%, respectively. Two PCO2 outliers (in 645 samples = 0.3%) were observed. In general, tonometry recovery, measurement stability, and pH bias results for the StatPal II and Corning 178 were comparable. We conclude that the StatPal II performs within acceptable ranges of inaccuracy and imprecision.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1994NA65900023

    View details for PubMedID 8287519



    We evaluated a new commercially available partially purified reduced bovine hemoglobin solution (RBHS) and a new tonometer for use in the quality control of blood gas analyzers. RBHS is manufactured in three different formulations, each corresponding to three different bicarbonate-buffering capacities and concentrations of total hemoglobin (ctHb). The P50 for each formulation of RBHS was determined to be as follows: 30.6 mmHg (4.08 kPa) for Level 1, 29.1 mmHg (3.88 kPa) for Level 2, and 28.2 mmHg (3.76 kPa) for Level 3. When RBHS and human blood samples were tonometered at three clinically significant values of PO2 and PCO2, the recovered values for PO2 and PCO2 in RBHS were comparable with those of the tonometered whole blood. Each level of RBHS also produced precise pH (SD < or = 0.006 pH units) and ctHb (SD = 1.0 g/L) values. In addition, when the temperature of a sample chamber was intentionally altered, the changes in RBHS blood gas values closely approximated the changes seen with human blood. RBHS shows more thermal sensitivity than either perfluorocarbon emulsions or aqueous buffers, which are currently being used as quality-control and proficiency testing materials.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993LB54600023

    View details for PubMedID 8485880



    Tonometered whole-blood and plasma specimens were tested in plastic and glass syringes to determine whether clinically significant changes in gas tensions occur during sample storage. When whole blood was tonometered with 60 and 100 mL/L (6% and 10%) oxygen and then stored for 30 min in iced plastic syringes, the pO2 of the samples remained stable (mean change = +0.4 and +0.8 mmHg, respectively). However, for 140 mL/L (14%) oxygen tonometry, the pO2 increased significantly (mean change = +8.4 mmHg; P less than 0.0001). When tonometered plasma was stored in iced plastic syringes, the pO2 increased progressively at all three concentrations, with the smallest change occurring at 140 mL/L (mean change = +12.6 mmHg) and the greatest at 60 mL/L oxygen (mean change = +20.9 mmHg). In contrast, when iced glass syringes were used for storing plasma or whole blood, no clinically significant changes in pO2 were found at any of the tonometered oxygen values for 60 min. When whole blood was stored in plastic syringes at ambient temperature for 30 min, again no clinically significant changes in pO2 were found at these tonometry conditions. Apparently, some blood gas samples stored in iced plastic syringes may yield clinically significant errors in oxygen tension.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FX18200018

    View details for PubMedID 1823532



    The records of 32 neonates in an intensive care unit were examined retrospectively to determine if fetal hemoglobin concentrations could be predicted on the basis of gestational or postnatal age, or on the volume of red blood cell transfusions. In nontransfused neonates, the correlation between measured concentrations of fetal hemoglobin and post-natal age was r = 0.53 with a 17.2 standard error of prediction. In these same neonates, the correlation between measured fetal hemoglobin divided by birth weight and gestational age was r = 0.70, with a 9.6 standard error of prediction. A three-variable regression equation (the latter two variables plus calculated fetal hemoglobin) was found to have a high correlation with data for measured fetal hemoglobin (r = 0.97) and a relatively low 8.4 standard error of prediction. In transfused neonates, however, measured hemoglobin concentrations divided by birth weight correlated poorly with gestational age (r = 0.30 and a 12.4 standard error of prediction). In addition, the transfused neonates had low correlations when fetal hemoglobin concentrations alone were compared with the total volume of red blood cell transfusions (r = 0.35) and with postnatal age (r = 0.18) and the standard errors of prediction were all approximately 17. The correlations found between concentrations of fetal hemoglobin and age in transfused neonates were poorer than those reported in earlier nontransfused infant studies. Previous studies have also shown that neonatal blood containing fetal hemoglobin interferes with the spectrophotometric measurements of carboxyhemoglobin and oxyhemoglobin. Because of the imprecision in the predictions of fetal hemoglobin using age, weight, or the volume of transfusion, we conclude that fetal hemoglobin should be measured if accurate spectrophotometric determinations of carboxyhemoglobin and oxyhemoglobin are desired.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1991FH21600004

    View details for PubMedID 1712833



    To determine the effect of massive cocaine intoxication on lung water and ascites accumulation and the effect of beta- and alpha-adrenergic blockade on survival in massive cocaine intoxication in the mouse.The effect of massive cocaine intoxication on lung water, ascitic fluid accumulation, and survival following LD 100 doses of intravenous cocaine with and without alpha- and beta-adrenergic blockade was determined.Cocaine hydrochloride (0.15 mg/g body weight) was administered intravenously with no other interventions; with propranolol hydrochloride intravenously (0.5 mg per mouse) before and after cocaine; and with phentolamine intravenously (10.5 micrograms per mouse) before cocaine.Intravenous cocaine hydrochloride resulted in an increase in lung water (saline controls, 4.17 +/- 1.3 [standard deviation] mg water per g mouse; cocaine hydrochloride, 5.94 +/- 0.9 mg water per g mouse; P less than 0.002). Cocaine hydrochloride always resulted in the accumulation of transudative ascitic fluid (saline controls, no measurable ascitic fluid; cocaine administration, 20.2 +/- 12.9 micrograms per mouse; ascitic fluid protein concentration, 23.5 +/- 8.5 g/L). Propranolol hydrochloride administered before or after intravenous cocaine hydrochloride resulted in a striking reduction in mortality (84 of 84 mice without propranolol died [mortality = 100%]; 7 of 39 mice with propranolol died [mortality = 18%]; P less than 0.001).Massive cocaine intoxication is associated with increased lung water and transudative ascites. Fluid accumulation is not prevented by either alpha- or beta-adrenergic blockers. Propranolol, administered either before or after cocaine, sharply reduces mortality. The results should be extrapolated to treatment in humans with caution.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1989T106000006

    View details for PubMedID 2912360



    A new biochemical method for estimating the virtual number of mitochondria (mt) per cell was developed and used together with a plasmid probe to measure mt DNA/mitochondrion and mt DNA/cell. These methods were used in five cell types from four mammalian species. Mt DNA/mitochondrion was essentially constant in all cell types (mean 2.6 +/- 0.30 SE mitochondrial DNA molecules/mt). Mt DNA molecules/cell encompassed an eight-fold range between various cell types (low 220 +/- 6.2; high 1,720 +/- 162 mt DNA molecules/cell). Virtual mt number/cell ranged from 83 +/- 17 to 677 +/- 80 (SE) mt/cell in various cell types. All five mammalian virtual mitochondria contained the same genomic mass. The number of virtual mitochondria per cell and amount of mt DNA per cell appear to be closely regulated within a given cell type but differ widely from cell type to cell type.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1988Q306400015

    View details for PubMedID 3170646



    Tyrosine hydroxylase and tryptophan hydroxylase are widely held to be rate-limiting for the synthesis of the catecholamines and serotonin, respectively. Both enzymes are oxygen-requiring and kinetic properties suggest that oxygen availability may limit synthesis of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Using pheochromocytoma cells as a cell culture model for catecholamine synthesis, and neuroblastoma cells as a model for serotonin synthesis, enzyme activity was measured under control and hypoxic conditions. Both tyrosine hydroxylase and tryptophan hydroxylase activity increased substantially with chronic exposure but not with acute exposure. In the case of tyrosine hydroxylase, increased enzyme content with hypoxia accounts for increased activity. This suggests a mechanism for the maintenance of neurotransmitter synthesis with chronic hypoxia. Measurement of intracellular metabolites revealed no change in dopamine or norepinephrine in hypoxic pheochromocytoma cells, consistent with a simple adaptive mechanism. However, in neuroblastoma cells, hypoxia was associated with an increase in serotonin concentration. The reasons for this are still unclear.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1987G860200008

    View details for PubMedID 2881582

  • NEUROGENIC HYPERACUTE ASCITES IN MICE CLINICAL SCIENCE Nelson, D. P., Robin, E. D., Wong, R. J., MORIN, M. E., Bensch, K. G., MURPHY, B. J., Theodore, J. 1986; 71 (3): 327-330


    Four groups of mice were subjected to controlled fatal head trauma and then evaluated for the presence of ascites (neurogenic hyperacute ascites, NHA). The animals died virtually instantaneously and without evidence of maintained pain or suffering. The volume of ascites was determined in one group of animals. Two of the traumatized groups were pretreated, one with the beta-blocker propranolol and the other with the alpha-blocker phentolamine. A fifth, non-traumatized, group which was killed with either inhalation served as a control group. Two more groups of non-traumatized mice were administered either the alpha-adrenergic agonist methoxamine hydrochloride or the beta-agonist isoethrane mesylate before killing by ether inhalation, and then evaluated for ascites. Transudative ascitic fluid was found in 87-100% of untreated traumatized mice and in no control animals. Pretreatment with phentolamine had no effect on the prevalence of ascites. Pretreatment with propranolol produced a significant decrease in the prevalence of ascites compared with trauma alone (P less than 0.001). Isoethrane (beta-agonist) administration caused ascites in 100% of the treated animals. Methoxamine (alpha-agonist) administration did not cause ascites. A previously undescribed consequence of acute brain trauma is described (NHA) which appears to be mediated by beta-sympathetic activity of central origin. NHA is inhibited by beta-blockade and can be simulated with beta-agonist administration.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1986D509900016

    View details for PubMedID 2875822



    The effect of hypoxic exposure on various mitochondrial enzymes and on cell mitochondrial genomic content was studied in two types of mammalian cells. Hypoxia depressed the activity of six enzymes to the same degree. The kinetics of depression and of recovery during reexposure to normoxia were statistically similar for three marker enzymes. Despite the global and symmetrical decrease in enzyme activities, mitochondrial DNA remained constant. This suggests either symmetrical loss of mitochondrial enzymes from all mitochondria or complete loss of enzymes from a subpopulation of mitochondria with retention of an intact mitochondrial genome.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1984SC10900028

    View details for PubMedID 6320368

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