On cycled exposure of Gunn rats to total darkness and low and high illumination, biliary excretion rates of (EZ)- and (ZE)-bilirubin and (EZ)-cyclobilirubin increased up to approx. 10-fold from the mean basal values of 1.2 and 0.2 microgram/h to the mean maximum values of 25.2 and 4.2 micrograms/h respectively, and at the same time those of (EE)-bilirubin and (EE)-cyclobilirubin also increased, but at very much lower rates than those of the first-mentioned two. During the low illumination only (EZ)- and (ZE)-bilirubin and (EZ)-cyclobilirubin appeared in the urine; during the high illumination (EE)-bilirubin and (EE)-cyclobilirubin also appeared, showing a similar excretion pattern to that observed in the bile, but the total urinary excretion rates were lower than the total biliary excretion rates. The serum bilirubin concentrations fell gradually to lower values, accompanied by an increment in (EZ)- and (ZE)-bilirubin, but (EZ)-cyclobilirubin was not detected. It is concluded that during phototherapy the predominant pathway for the removal of bilirubin from the body in the Gunn rat is by biliary excretion of the geometric photoisomers (EZ)- and (ZE)-bilirubin, derived from Z—E isomerization, and the structural photoisomer (EZ)-cyclobilirubin, formed from intramolecular endo-vinyl cyclization.

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