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

Regulation of bile acid synthesis. V. Inhibition of conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholesterol is associated with down-regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and inhibition of bile acid synthesis.

In the chronic bile fistula rat, the administration of a bolus dose of mevinolinic acid, an inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, was followed by rapid down-regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and a decrease in bile acid synthesis. These observations suggested that either newly synthesized cholesterol or some other metabolite of mevalonate may be involved in the regulation of bile acid synthesis. In order to distinguish between these two alternatives, we carried out experiments in which cholesterol synthesis was blocked by AY9944, a compound that inhibits the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholesterol, a last step in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. Rats underwent biliary diversion for 72 h at which time they were given intravenously either a bolus dose of AY9944 (1 mg/kg) or control vehicle. At 0 (pre-treatment control), 0.5, 1.5, and 3 h post bolus, livers were harvested and specific activities of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase were determined. At 1.5, 3, and 6 h post bolus, AY9944 inhibited bile acid synthesis by 19 +/- 6%, 40 +/- 4%, and 41 +/- 6%, respectively, as compared to pretreatment baseline. Cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity determined at 0.5, 1.5, and 3 h was decreased by 44 +/- 6%, 44 +/- 2%, and 36 +/- 2%, respectively, as compared to the control value. In in vitro experiments using microsomes from livers of control bile fistula rats, the addition of AY9944 (up to 100 microM) failed to inhibit cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity. The results of this study demonstrate that, in the chronic bile fistula rat, acute inhibition of cholesterol synthesis at either early or late steps leads to a rapid down-regulation of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity and decrease in bile acid synthesis.[1]


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