Jaundice pp 69-83 | Cite as

Bilirubin Production from Erythroid Sources

  • Ursula Muller-Eberhard
  • Eric F. Johnson
Part of the Hepatology book series (H, volume 2)


A major portion of bilirubin is produced from catabolism of hemoglobin following red cell destruction. Information regarding erythrocyte degradation has been derived primarily from studies of hemolytic states, as the mechanism of red cell aging remains uncertain (1). Deformability of the red cell membrane is prerequisite for their passage through the sinusoids of various organs (2). Increased membrane rigidity or fragmentation (3) leads to red cell sequestration in the reticuloendothelial system (RES) or intravascular lysis. Hemoglobin and heme released into the plasma are carried to liver parenchymal cells by two plasma proteins, haptoglobin and hemopexin respectively. Bilirubin formation from hemoglobin liberated during erythrocyte breakdown occurs in cells of the RES and hepatocytes (4).


Kupffer Cell Reticuloendothelial System Rose Bengal Original Magnification Liver Parenchymal Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula Muller-Eberhard
    • 1
  • Eric F. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Scripps Clinic and Research FoundationLa JollaUSA

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