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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Glycocholic acid and glycodeoxycholic acid but not glycoursocholic acid inhibit bile acid synthesis in the rabbit.

Feedback regulation of derepressed hepatic bile acid biosynthesis was studied individually with glycocholic, glycodeoxycholic, and glycoursocholic acids by infusion into bile acid-depleted rabbits. Construction of a bile fistula drained the endogenous bile acid pool (90% glycodeoxycholic acid, 10% glycocholic acid) within 24 hours and elicited maximal bile acid synthesis after about 72 hours, at which time glycocholic acid became the only biliary bile acid (greater than 98%). Replacement of the bile acid pool with glycocholic acid or glycodeoxycholic acid at a rate equivalent to the hepatic endogenous bile acid flux inhibited endogenous biosynthesis by 40%. In contrast, glycoursocholic acid, the 7 beta-hydroxy epimer of glycocholic acid, failed to suppress synthesis. Hepatic bile acid depletion increased hydroxymethyglutary coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase activity fourfold and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity threefold, which were reduced 48% and 51%, respectively, from their maximum levels during replacement with glycocholic acid. Glycodeoxycholic acid infusion depressed cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity by 59% without reducing HMG-CoA reductase activity significantly. There was no significant change in the activity of either enzyme during glycoursocholic acid infusion. Biliary cholesterol and cholestanol secretion declined 13% and 53%, respectively, during glycocholic acid infusion, were not affected by glycodeoxycholic acid infusion, but increased 19% and 43%, respectively, during glycoursocholic acid infusion. These results show that in rabbits the feedback regulation of hepatic bile acid synthesis depends on the hepatic flux of the normally present endogenous bile acids glycocholic acid and glycodeoxycholic acid but does not respond to the 7 beta-hydroxy glycoursocholic acid. Glycocholic acid inhibits both HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase while glycodeoxycholic acid affects primarily cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase. Thus, the regulation of bile acid synthesis may be mediated by both the availability of cholesterol substrate and the activity of the rate-determining enzyme for bile acid synthesis.[1]


  1. Glycocholic acid and glycodeoxycholic acid but not glycoursocholic acid inhibit bile acid synthesis in the rabbit. Xu, G., Salen, G., Batta, A.K., Shefer, S., Nguyen, L.B., Niemann, W., Chen, T.S., Arora-Mirchandani, R., Ness, G.C., Tint, G.S. Gastroenterology (1992) [Pubmed]
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