Data from: Immune challenges decrease biliverdin concentration in the spleen of Northern Bobwhite Quail, Colinus virginianus
Homsher, Melissa P.; Astor, Michael T.; Hines, Justin K.; Butler, Michael W. (2019), Data from: Immune challenges decrease biliverdin concentration in the spleen of Northern Bobwhite Quail, Colinus virginianus, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5709n
Most antioxidants have multiple functions; in addition to minimizing oxidative damage, many antioxidants have immune-modulating properties. For example, biliverdin is produced in the liver and spleen from the breakdown of heme, and has putative immune-suppressing and antioxidant properties. However, the majority of these properties have been investigated in vitro or in mammalian models, in which biliverdin reductase converts virtually all biliverdin to bilirubin. Thus, biliverdin’s physiological roles remain largely untested. Here, we investigated whether biliverdin has immunomodulating roles by injecting Northern Bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) with either a vehicle control, lysed and rinsed pig red blood cells (pRBC) that contain erythrocyte antigens but no heme, or intact pRBC that contain both erythrocyte antigens and hemoglobin, thus increasing the amount of heme that can be converted to biliverdin. We then quantified hemagglutination and hemolysis ability, and biliverdin concentration in the liver and spleen, on 3, 6, and 9 days post-injection. We found that hemagglutination was greater in individuals that received intact pRBC, but not in those injected with heme-removed pRBC, demonstrating that biliverdin does not suppress immune function at this dosage. Biliverdin levels of liver and spleen were correlated within individuals, suggesting organism-level variation in biliverdin production. Lastly, individuals injected with intact pRBC had a reduced biliverdin concentration in the spleen, suggesting that immune challenges may reduce biliverdin production or accumulation. This initial investigation demonstrated that biliverdin may have more nuanced physiological roles than previously reported, supporting the value of further investigations into the physiology of biliverdin.