Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1982, 47, 1514-1522

Function of flavins in photolysis of bilirubin in vitro

Eduard Knobloch, Roman Hodr, Jiří Herzman and Věra Houdková

Institute of Mother and Child Care, 140 80 Prague 4


In the course of photochemical oxidation of bilirubin, riboflavin works as a reversible electron acceptor undergoing a transformation into the riboflavin-leucoform. Simultaneously bilirubin is irreversibly decomposed. Under anaerobic conditions the bilirubin-riboflavin system behaves as an electrochemical equilibrium system, characterized by its redox potential. Leucoform formation was detected by spectrophotometry, polarography and potentiometry. Under aerobic conditions the expected photochemical equilibrium is not established probably owing to the reoxidation of riboflavin-leucoform by oxygen. Of the flavin derivatives present in blood riboflavin, FAD and FMN were tested, riboflavin being the most effective one. This paper summarizes the model studies of biochemical function of flavins, which could be applied to the phototherapy of neonatal jaundice.