Bilirubin derived from heme degradation suppresses MHC class II expression in endothelial cells.

The enzymatic action of heme oxygenase (HO) is mediated by the cleavage of heme into carbon monoxide, ferrous iron, and biliverdin/bilirubin. Here, we show that induction of HO-1 expression, an inducible form of HO, down-regulates IFN-gamma-induced MHC class II expression in endothelial cells. Among three catalytic products of HO, bilirubin, but not carbon… CONTINUE READING