Alteration of bile acid metabolism in the rat induced by chronic ethanol consumption. FASEB: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Epub May 14, 2013. Xie G, Zhong W, Li H, Li Q, Qiu Y, Zheng X, Chen H, Zhao X, Zhang S, Zhou Z, Zeisel SH, Jia W.
Center for Translational Biomedical Research, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina Research Campus.
Our understanding of the bile acid metabolism is limited by the fact that previous analyses have primarily focused on a selected few circulating bile acids; the bile acid profiles of the liver and gastrointestinal tract pools are rarely investigated. Here, we determined how chronic ethanol consumption altered the bile acids in multiple body compartments (liver, gastrointestinal tract, and serum) of rats. Rats were fed a modified Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet with 38% of calories as ethanol (the amount equivalent of 4-5 drinks in humans). While conjugated bile acids predominated in the liver (98.3%), duodenum (97.8%), and ileum (89.7%), unconjugated bile acids comprised the largest proportion of measured bile acids in serum (81.2%), the cecum (97.7%), and the rectum (97.5%). In particular, taurine-conjugated bile acids were significantly decreased in the liver and gastrointestinal tract of ethanol-treated rats, while unconjugated and glycine-conjugated species increased. Ethanol consumption caused increased expression of genes involved in bile acid biosynthesis, efflux transport, and reduced expression of genes regulating bile acid influx transport in the liver. These results provide an improved understanding of the systemic modulations of bile acid metabolism in mammals through the gut-liver axis.