Developing in vitro engineered hepatic tissues that exhibit stable phenotype is a major challenge in the field of hepatic tissue engineering. However, the rapid dedifferentiation of hepatic parenchymal (hepatocytes) and non-parenchymal (liver sinusoidal endothelial, LSEC) cell types when removed from their natural environment in vivo remains a major obstacle. The primary goal of this study was to demonstrate that hepatic cells cultured in layered architectures could preserve or potentially enhance liver-specific behavior of both cell types. Primary rat hepatocytes and rat LSECs (rLSECs) were cultured in a layered three-dimensional (3D) configuration. The cell layers were separated by a chitosan-hyaluronic acid polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM), which served to mimic the Space of Disse. Hepatocytes and rLSECs exhibited several key phenotypic characteristics over a twelve day culture period. Immunostaining for the sinusoidal endothelial 1 antibody (SE-1) demonstrated that rLSECs cultured in the 3D hepatic model maintained this unique feature over twelve days. In contrast, rLSECs cultured in monolayers lost their phenotype within three days. The unique stratified structure of the 3D culture resulted in enhanced heterotypic cell-cell interactions, which led to improvements in hepatocyte functions. Albumin production increased three to six fold in the rLSEC-PEM-Hepatocyte cultures. Only rLSEC-PEM-Hepatocyte cultures exhibited increasing CYP1A1/2 and CYP3A activity. Well-defined bile canaliculi were observed only in the rLSEC-PEM-Hepatocyte cultures. Together, these data suggest that rLSEC-PEM-Hepatocyte cultures are highly suitable models to monitor the transformation of toxins in the liver and their transport out of this organ. In summary, these results indicate that the layered rLSEC-PEM-hepatocyte model, which recapitulates key features of hepatic sinusoids, is a potentially powerful medium for obtaining comprehensive knowledge on liver metabolism, detoxification and signaling pathways in vitro.
Interactions between hepatocytes and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) are essential for the development and maintenance of hepatic phenotypic functions. We report the assembly of three-dimensional liver sinusoidal mimics comprised of primary rat hepatocytes, LSECs, and an intermediate chitosan–hyaluronic acid polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM). The height of the PEMs ranged from 30 to 55 nm and exhibited a shear modulus of ∼100 kPa. Hepatocyte–PEM cellular constructs exhibited stable urea and albumin production over a 7-day period, and these values were either higher or similar to cells cultured in a collagen sandwich. This is of significance because the thickness of a collagen gel is ∼1000-fold higher than the height of the chitosan–hyaluronic acid PEM. In the hepatocyte–PEM–LSEC liver-mimetic cellular constructs, LSEC phenotype was maintained, and these cultures exhibited stable urea and albumin production. CYP1A1/2 activity measured over a 7-day period was significantly higher in the hepatocyte–PEM–LSEC constructs than in collagen sandwich cultures. A 16-fold increase in CYP1A1/2 activity was observed for hepatocyte–PEM–10,000 LSEC samples, thereby suggesting that interactions between hepatocytes and LSECs are critical in enhancing the detoxification capability in hepatic cultures in vitro.
In cultured hepatocytes conversion of [4-14C]cholesterol into bile acids was dose dependently reduced by the antimycotic drug ketoconazole, giving half-maximal inhibition at 10 microM ketoconazole in rat hepatocytes and at 1 microM in human hepatocytes. No change was observed in the ratio of produced cholic, beta-muricholic, and chenodeoxycholic acid with increasing amounts of the drug. Conversion of [4-14C]7 alpha-hydroxycholesterol, an intermediate of bile acid pathway, to bile acids was not affected by ketoconazole. These results together with kinetic studies with rat liver microsomes, demonstrating noncompetitive inhibition (Ki = 0.4 microM), indicate that cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase is the main site of inhibition. In bile-diverted rats a single dose of ketoconazole (50 mg/kg) dramatically impaired bile flow and biliary bile acid output (92% inhibition). A similar blockade was observed using [4-14C]cholesterol as precursor for bile acid synthesis. Therefore, treatment of patients with this drug may inhibit bile acid synthesis, resulting in a reduction of the bile acid pool size after long-term ketoconazole therapy.
Hepatocytes self-assemble in culture to form compacted spherical aggregates, or spheroids, that mimic the structure of the liver by forming tight junctions and bile canalicular channels. Hepatocyte spheroids thus resemble the liver to a great extent. However, liver tissue contains other cell types and has bile ducts and sinusoids formed by endothelial cells. Reproducing 3-D co-culture in vitro could provide a means to develop a more complex tissue-like structure. Stellate cells participate in revascularization after liver injury by excreting between hepatocytes a laminin trail that endothelial cells follow to form sinusoids. In this study we investigated co-culture of rat hepatocytes and a rat hepatic stellate cell line, HSC-T6. HSC-T6, which does not grow in serum-free spheroid medium, was able to grow under co-culture conditions. Using a three-dimensional cell tracking technique, the interactions of HSC-T6 and hepatocyte spheroids were visualized. The two cell types formed heterospheroids in culture, and HSC-T6 cell invasion into hepatocyte spheroids and subsequent retraction was observed. RT-PCR revealed that albumin and cytochrome P450 2B1/2 expression were better maintained in co-culture conditions. These three-dimensional heterospheroids provide an attractive system for in vitro studies of hepatocyte-stellate cell interactions.
3-dimentional culture; Co-culture; Hepatocytes; Stellate cell
The mechanisms of intracellular transport of bile acids from the sinusoidal pole to the canalicular pole of the hepatocyte are poorly understood. There is physiological and autoradiographic evidence for a vesicular pathway. The purpose of this study was to determine the localization of natural bile acids in the liver using antibodies against cholic acid conjugates and ursodeoxycholic acid. An indirect immunoperoxidase technique was used on rat liver sections fixed either with paraformaldehyde (PF) and saponin, a membrane-permeabilizing agent that allows penetration of antibodies into the cell, or with PF alone. Retention of taurocholate in the liver after tissue processing was 26 +/- SD 15% of the bile acid initially present. When sections fixed with PF and saponin were incubated with the antibody against cholic acid conjugates, a granular cytoplasmic staining was observed by light microscopy in all hepatocytes. By electron microscopy, strong electron-dense deposits were observed mostly on vesicles of the Golgi apparatus (GA) and, sometimes, in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER). After taurocholate infusion, the intensity of the reaction increased. When the liver was fixed with PF alone, almost no reaction was visible on light microscopy, but on electron microscopy the label was localized on the hepatocyte plasma membrane, mainly on the bile canalicular domain and to a lesser extent on the sinusoidal domain. With the antibody against ursodeoxycholic acid, no staining was observed in three of four livers, and a slight staining was observed in one. However, after infusion of ursodeoxycholic acid, staining of GA and SER vesicles was observed when the liver was fixed with PF and saponin. With PF alone, the reaction was intense on the canalicular membrane. These results support the view that, within the limits of the method, vesicles from the GA and possibly vesicles of the SER are involved in the intracellular transport of bile acids before canalicular secretion.
BACKGROUND--In some infants with liver disease, 3-oxo-delta 4 bile acids are the major bile acids in urine, a phenomenon attributed to reduced activity of the delta 4-3-oxosteroid 5 beta-reductase required for synthesis of chenodeoxycholic acid and cholic acid. These patients form a heterogeneous group. Many have a known cause of hepatic dysfunction and plasma concentrations of chenodeoxycholic acid and cholic acid that are actually greater than those of the 3-oxo-delta 4 bile acids. It is unlikely that these patients have a primary genetic deficiency of the 5 beta-reductase enzyme. AIMS--To document the bile acid profile, clinical phenotype, and response to treatment of an infant with cholestasis, increased plasma concentrations of 3-oxo-delta 4 bile acids, low plasma concentrations of chenodeoxycholic acid and cholic acid, and no other identifiable cause of liver disease. PATIENTS--This infant was compared with normal infants and infants with cholestasis of known cause. METHODS--Analysis of bile acids by liquid secondary ionisation mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. RESULTS--The plasma bile acid profile of the patient was unique. She had chronic cholestatic liver disease associated with malabsorption of vitamins D and E and a normal gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase when the transaminases were increased. The liver disease failed to improve with ursodeoxycholic acid but responded to a combination of chenodeoxycholic acid and cholic acid. CONCLUSION--Treatment of primary 5 beta-reductase deficiency requires the use of bile acids that inhibit cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase.
This investigation was undertaken in order to (a) characterize the postprandial inflow of individual bile acids to the liver and (b) determine if peripheral venous bile acid levels always adequately reflect the portal venous concentration, or if saturation of hepatic bile acid uptake can occur under physiological conditions. In five patients with uncomplicated cholesterol gallstone disease, the umbilical cord was cannulated during cholecystectomy, and a catheter was left in the left portal branch for 5 to 7 d. The serum concentrations of cholic acid, chenodeoxycholic acid, and deoxycholic acid in portal venous and systemic circulation were then determined at intervals of 15 to 30 min before and after a standardized meal. A highly accurate and specific gas chromatographic/mass spectrometric technique was used.
The sum of the fasting concentrations of the three bile acids averaged 14.04±4.13 μmol/liter in portal venous serum, and 2.44±0.31 μmol/liter in peripheral venous serum. The estimated hepatic fractional uptake of cholic acid was ∼90%, and those of chenodeoxycholic acid and deoxycholic acid were 70-80%. This resulted in an enrichment of systemic bile acids in the dihydroxy bile acid species. In response to a standardized meal, portal venous bile acid concentrations increased two- to sixfold, with a peak seen 15-60 min after the meal. The maximum postprandial portal venous bile acid concentration averaged 43.04±6.12 μmol/liter, and the corresponding concentration in peripheral serum was 5.22±0.74 μmol/liter. The estimated fractional uptakes of the individual bile acids were not affected by the increased inflow to the liver. The peripheral venous concentrations of individual as well as total bile acids were well correlated with those in portal venous serum.
The results (a) give a quantitation of postprandial bile acid inflow to the liver and (b) indicate that the hepatic uptake system for bile acids in healthy man cannot be saturated during maximal inflow of endogenous bile acids. Measurement of peripheral serum bile acids can thus give important information on the status of the enterohepatic circulation.
Hepatic cholesterol metabolism was studied in rats fed purified diets supplemented (9% wt/wt) with either fish oil (FO) (n-3 fatty acids) or corn oil (CO) (n-6 fatty acids) for 4 wk. Rats were equipped with permanent catheters in heart, bile duct, and duodenum to allow studies under normal feeding conditions. [3H]-cholesteryl oleate-labeled small unilamellar liposomes, which are rapidly endocytosed by hepatocytes, were intravenously injected to label intrahepatic cholesterol pools, and plasma and bile were collected. FO as compared to CO induced a lowering of plasma cholesterol levels by 38% and of triglyceride levels by 69%. This reduction in plasma lipids in FO rats was accompanied by: (a) an increased bile acid pool size (28%); (b) a fourfold increase in the ratio cholic acid/chenodeoxycholic acid in bile; (c) increased biliary excretion of cholesterol (51%); (d) accelerated excretion of endocytosed free cholesterol into bile; (e) accelerated incorporation of endocytosed cholesterol in bile acids; (f) a significant increase in the bile acid-independent fraction of bile flow; and (g) a threefold increase in hepatic alkaline phosphatase activity. The results show that FO induces changes in transport and metabolic pathways of cholesterol in the rat liver, which result in a more rapid disposition of plasma-derived cholesterol into the bile.
The culture of primary hepatocytes as spheroids creates an efficient 3-dimensional tissue construct for hepatic studies in vitro. Spheroids possess structural polarity and functional bile canaliculi with normal differentiated function. Thus, hepatocyte spheroids have been proposed as the cell source in a variety of diagnostic, discovery, and therapeutic applications, such as a bioartificial liver. Using a novel rocking technique to induce spheroid formation, kinetics of spheroid formation, cell-cell adhesion, gene expression and biochemical activities of rat hepatocyte spheroids were tested over 14 days of culture. Evidence was provided that the formation of spheroids occurred faster and with fewer non-adherent hepatocytes in rocked suspension culture compared to a traditional rotational system. Hepatocyte spheroids in rocked culture showed stable expression of over 80% of 242 liver-related genes including those of albumin synthesis, urea cycle, phase I and II metabolic enzymes, and clotting factors. Biochemical activity of rocked spheroid hepatocytes was superior to monolayer culture of hepatocytes on tissue culture plastic and collagen. In conclusion, spheroid formation by rocker technique was more rapid and more efficient than rotational technique. Rocker formed spheroids appear suitable for application in a bioartificial liver or as an in vitro liver tissue construct.
liver tissue construct; bioartificial liver; custom microarray; drug metabolism; spheroid
To examine the defect in side-chain oxidation during the formation of bile acids in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis, we measured in vitro hepatic microsomal hydroxylations at C-12 and C-25 and mitochondrial hydroxylation at C-26 and related them to the pool size and synthesis rates of cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid as determined by the isotope dilution technique. Hepatic microsomes and mitochondria were prepared from seven subjects with cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis and five controls. Primary bile acid synthesis was markedly reduced in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis as follows: cholic acid, 133 +/- 30 vs. 260 +/- 60 mg/d in controls; and chenodeoxycholic acid, 22 +/- 10 vs. 150 +/- 30 mg/d in controls. As postulated for chenodeoxycholic acid synthesis, mitochondrial 26-hydroxylation of 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha, 7 alpha-diol was present in all specimens and was 30-fold more active than the corresponding microsomal 25-hydroxylation. However, mean mitochondrial 26-hydroxylation of 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,7 alpha-diol was less active in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis than in controls: 59 +/- 17 compared with 126 +/- 21 pmol/mg protein per min. As for cholic acid synthesis, microsomal 25-hydroxylation of 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,7 alpha,12 alpha-triol was substantially higher in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis and control preparations (620 +/- 103 and 515 +/- 64 pmol/mg protein per min, respectively) than the corresponding control mitochondrial 26-hydroxylation of the same substrate (165 +/- 25 pmol/mg protein per min). Moreover in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis, mitochondrial 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,7 alpha,12 alpha-triol-26-hydroxylase activity was one-seventh as great as in controls. Hepatic microsomal 12 alpha-hydroxylation, which may be rate-controlling for the cholic acid pathway, was three times more active in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis than in controls: 1,600 vs. 500 pmol/mg protein per min. These results demonstrate severely depressed primary bile acid synthesis in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis with a reduction in chenodeoxycholic acid formation and pool size disproportionately greater than that for cholic acid. The deficiency of chenodeoxycholic acid can be accounted for by hyperactive microsomal 12 alpha-hydroxylation that diverts precursors into the cholic acid pathway combined with decreased side-chain oxidation (mitochondrial 26-hydroxylation). However, side-chain oxidation in cholic acid biosynthesis may be initiated via microsomal 25-hydroxylation of 5beta-cholestane-3alpha,7alpha,12alpha-triol was substantially lower in control and cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis liver. Thus, separate mechanisms may exist for the cleavage of the cholesterol side chain in cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid biosynthesis.
Primary hepatocytes are commonly used as liver surrogates in toxicology and tissue engineering fields, therefore, maintenance of functional hepatocytes in vitro is an important topic of investigation. This paper sought to characterize heparin-based hydrogel as a three-dimensional scaffold for hepatocyte culture. The primary rat hepatocytes were mixed with a prepolymer solution comprised of thiolated heparin and acrylated poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Raising the temperature from 25° to 37°C initiated Michael addition reaction between the thiol and acrylated moieties and resulted in formation of hydrogel with entrapped cells. Analysis of liver-specific products, albumin and urea, revealed that the heparin hydrogel was non-cytotoxic to cells and, in fact, promoted hepatic function. Hepatocytes entrapped in the heparin-based hydrogel maintained high levels of albumin and urea synthesis after three weeks in culture. Because heparin is known to bind growth factors, we incorporated hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) – an important liver signaling molecule - into the hydrogel. HGF release from heparin hydrogel matrix was analyzed using enzyme linked immunoassay (ELISA) and was shown to occur in a controlled manner with only 40% of GF molecules released after 30 days in culture. Importantly, hepatocytes cultured within HGF-containing hydrogels exhibited significantly higher levels of albumin and urea synthesis compared to cells cultured in the hydrogel alone. Overall, heparin-based hydrogel showed to be a promising matrix for encapsulation and maintenance of difficult-to-culture primary hepatocytes. In the future, we envision employing heparin-based hyrogels as matrices for in vitro differentiation of hepatocytes or stem cells and as vehicles for transplantation of these cells.
Because the action of rifampin induces hepatic microsomal enzymes, a study was carried out in four patients to determine whether this drug alters the composition of biliary lipids. Several different measurements were made while patients were both on and off rifampin therapy for various infective processes. These measurements included multiple determinations of lipid composition of gallbladder bile, the relative proportions f individual bile acids, and kinetics of cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid. In all four patients, the saturation of gallbladder bile increased during rifampin treatment, and the bile consistently became supersaturated. The relative portions of chenodeoxycholic acid and cholic acid were essentially unchanged by treatment, but total synthesis of bile acids increased in three tested patients with rifampin therapy. These results indicate that rifampin increases saturation of bile with cholesterol, but this increase is not due to a reduction in bile acid production.
Cholestasis results in a buildup of bile acids in serum and in hepatocytes. Early studies into the mechanisms of cholestatic liver injury strongly implicated bile acid-induced apoptosis as the major cause of hepatocellular injury. Recent work has focused both on the role of bile acids in cell signaling as well as the role of sterile inflammation in the pathophysiology. Advances in modern analytical methodology have allowed for more accurate measuring of bile acid concentrations in serum, liver, and bile to very low levels of detection. Interestingly, toxic bile acid levels are seemingly far lower than previously hypothesized. The initial hypothesis has been based largely upon the exposure of μmol/L concentrations of toxic bile acids and bile salts to primary hepatocytes in cell culture, the possibility that in vivo bile acid concentrations may be far lower than the observed in vitro toxicity has far reaching implications in the mechanism of injury. This review will focus on both how different bile acids and different bile acid concentrations can affect hepatocytes during cholestasis, and additionally provide insight into how these data support recent hypotheses that cholestatic liver injury may not occur through direct bile acid-induced apoptosis, but may involve largely inflammatory cell-mediated liver cell necrosis.
Bile acids; Cholestasis; Apoptosis; Necrosis; Neutrophils; Innate immunity; Bile duct ligation
Biliary lipids, faecal steroids, and serum bile acids were studied in patients with chronic active hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis. The results were correlated with excretory and parenchymal liver function tests and with the presence or absence of orcein-positive copper-protein complexes in histological liver specimens. In general, faecal bile acids, but not neutral and total sterols, correlated negatively with the percentage of biliary cholic acid, serum cholesterol, and serum bile acids and positively with the percentage of biliary deoxycholic acid. In orcein-positive subjects-indicative of long-standing cholestasis-the bile was undersaturated with cholesterol, biliary deoxycholic acid was subnormal, cholic acid correspondingly increased, and serum cholesterol and bile acids were raised. Only patients with marked impairment of both excretory and parenchymal liver functions had a decreased output of neutral sterols, bile acids, and total steroids, and, thus, low bile acid and cholesterol synthesis. The findings indicate that mild disturbances in parenchymal liver function infrequently cause major changes in cholesterol metabolism, while abnormalities in secretory liver function-in orcein-positive subjects especially-are frequently associated with proportionate changes in parameters of cholesterol metabolism.
Bile acid kinetics and biliary lipid composition were characterized in six women with gallstones before and after 6 mo of oral therapy with chenodeoxycholic acid, an agent that induces dissolution of cholesterol gallstones in man. Over a dosage range of 1-4 g/day, absorption varied from 0.8 to 2.3 g/day. The chenodeoxycholic acid pool expanded two-to sixfold, and bile became composed predominantly (> 90%) of chenodeoxycholic acid conjugated chiefly with glycine. Cholic acid and deoxycholic acid pools decreased markedly, so that the total bile acid pool expanded much less, about twofold on the average. Cholic acid synthesis decreased in five of the six patients, consistent with negative feedback inhibition of cholic acid synthesis by chenodeoxycholic acid. In four patients whose bile was above or close to saturation with cholesterol, the bile became unsaturated; in two patients, whose bile was unsaturated, it remained so. In five patients with radiolucent gallstones, chenodeoxycholic acid therapy was continued after completion of kinetic and composition measurements; the stones decreased in size or dissolved entirely during the subsequent 6 to 18 mo. Similar measurements of bile acid kinetics and biliary lipid composition were made before and after a 6-mo period without medication in a control group of six healthy women; no changes occurred.
The last step in bile acid formation involves conversion of 3 alpha,7 alpha,12 alpha-trihydroxy-5 beta-cholestanoic acid (THCA) into cholic acid and 3 alpha,7 alpha-dihydroxy-5 beta-cholestanoic acid (DHCA) into chenodeoxycholic acid. The peroxisomal fraction of rat and human liver has the highest capacity to catalyze these reactions. Infants with Zellweger syndrome lack liver peroxisomes, and accumulate 5 beta-cholestanoic acids in bile and serum. We recently showed that such an infant had reduced capacity to convert a cholic acid precursor, 5 beta-cholestane-3 alpha,7 alpha,12 alpha-triol into cholic acid. 7 alpha-Hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one is a common precursor for both cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid. Intravenous administration of [3H]7 alpha-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one to an infant with Zellweger syndrome led to a rapid incorporation of 3H into biliary THCA but only 10% of 3H was incorporated into cholic acid after 48 h. The incorporation of 3H into DHCA was only 25% of that into THCA and the incorporation into chenodeoxycholic acid approximately 50% of that in cholic acid. The conversion of intravenously administered [3H]THCA into cholic acid in another infant with Zellweger syndrome was only 7%. There was a slow conversion of THCA into 3 alpha,7 alpha,12 alpha-trihydroxy-5 beta-C29-dicarboxylic acid. The pool size of both cholic- and chenodeoxycholic acid was markedly reduced. Preparations of liver from two patients with Zellweger syndrome had no capacity to catalyze conversion of THCA into cholic acid. There was, however, a small conversion of DHCA into chenodeoxycholic acid and into THCA. It is concluded that liver peroxisomes are important both for the conversion of THCA into cholic acid and DHCA into chenodeoxycholic acid.
Impairment of the hepatic transport of bile acids and other organic anions will result in the clinically important syndrome of cholestasis. Cloning of a number of specific hepatic organic anion transporters has enabled studies of their molecular regulation during cholestasis. The best characterized transport system is a 50-51 kDa sodium-dependent taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (ntcp), which mediates the sodium-dependent uptake of conjugated bile acids at the sinusoidal plasma membrane of hepatocytes. Under physiologic conditions and after depletion of biliary constituents, ntcp remains constitutively expressed throughout the liver acinus. However, both function and expression of ntcp are rapidly down-regulated in rat liver in various models of experimental cholestasis, such as cholestasis induced by common bile duct ligation, estrogen, endotoxin or cytokine treatment. In addition to ntcp, the sinusoidal organic anion transporting polypeptide oatp-1 is also down-regulated at the protein and steady-state mRNA levels in estrogen-cholestasis, but does not affect sodium-independent uptake of taurocholate. The regulation of a recently cloned member of the organic anion transporter family (oatp-2), which is highly expressed in liver, remains to be studied under cholestatic conditions.
α1-Fetoprotein transcription factor (FTF), also known as liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1) is highly expressed in liver and intestine, where it is implicated in the regulation of cholesterol, bile acid and steroid hormone homeostasis. FTF is an important regulator of bile acid metabolism. We show here that FTF plays a key regulatory role in lipid homeostasis including triglyceride and cholesterol homeostasis. FTF deficient mice developed lower levels of serum triglyceride and cholesterol as a result of lower expression of several hepatic FTF target genes. Chenodeoxycholic acid repressed FTF expression resulting in a decrease in serum triglyceride in wild-type mice. The absence of chenodeoxycholic acid-mediated repression in FTF+/− mice demonstrated the essential role of FTF in triglyceride metabolism. Taken together, our results identify the nuclear receptor FTF as a central regulator of lipid metabolism.
triglycerides; cholesterol; bile acids; nuclear receptor; knockout mice
The rate of enterohepatic cycling of cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid was determined in five male subjects. Pool sizes were measured by isotope dilution technique after intraduodenal administration of 14C-labelled cholic and chenodeoxycholic acid. The hourly hepatic secretion rate of bile acids was determined by an intestinal perfusion technique. From these data the cycling frequency was calculated. Chenodeoxycholic acid circulated on an average 1.34 (range, 1.13--1.57) times faster than cholic acid, probably because chenodeoxycholic acid to a larger extent than cholic acid is absorbed from the proximal small intestine and thus partly bypasses the hepaticoileal circuit. This difference in cycling rate may have methodological as well as physiological implications.
Fasting serum concentrations of conjugated bile acids were investigated in 23 men who had been exposed to styrene and compared with the concentrations in 60 non-exposed individuals. Eleven of the exposed subjects had raised concentrations of either cholic acid or chenodeoxycholic acid or both. There were no indications of alcohol abuse, drug intake, or undiagnosed liver disease. It is possible, therefore, that the raised bile acid concentrations were due to exposure to styrene. This would support the concept that occupational exposure to styrene may affect the liver and point to the possibility that raised serum bile acid concentrations might be a sensitive and early indicator of hepatic injury in individuals exposed to organic solvents.
This study defines the effects of fasting (prolongation of an overnight fast for a further four hours), feeding (the response to eating the three main `solid' meals of the day), and cholecystokinin-induced gallbladder contraction (75-100 units of CCK given as a bolus intravenous injection) on serum individual bile acids in five to eight healthy control subjects. The serum conjugates of the two primary bile acids, cholic and chenodeoxycholic, were measured using sensitive specific radio-immunoassays. During fasting, there was no significant change in the levels of the serum individual bile acids (conjugates of cholate, 1·28 ± 0·19; conjugates of chenodeoxycholate, 1·17 ± 0·17 μmol/l). After breakfast, the serum conjugates of cholate and chenodeoxycholate increased significantly but thereafter the mean values remained high with less consistent responses to lunch and dinner, some subjects showing a peak and trough response to all three meals, while others showed a plateau response throughout the day. After breakfast, the serum chenodeoxycholate conjugates increased more rapidly (peak at 60 minutes when the concentration reached 2·07 ± 0·30 μmol/l) and to a greater extent than the conjugates of cholate (peak at 90 minutes; 1·50 ± 0·24 μmol/l). A similar pattern of results was seen after intravenous CCK, suggesting either preferential jejunal absorption of chenodeoxycholate conjugates and/or preferential hepatic clearance of cholate conjugates. These results provide essential background data for future studies of serum individual bile acids in intestinal and hepatic disease.
Hepatic hollow fiber (HF) bioreactors constitute one type of extracorporeal bioartificial liver assist device (BLAD). Ideally, cultured hepatocytes in a BLAD should closely mimic the in vivo oxygenation environment of the liver sinusoid to yield a device with optimal performance. However, most BLADs, including hepatic HF bioreactors, suffer from O2 limited transport toward cultured hepatocytes, which reduces their performance. We hypothesize that supplementation of hemoglobin-based O2 carriers into the circulating cell culture medium of hepatic HF bioreactors is a feasible and effective strategy to improve bioreactor oxygenation and performance. We examined the effect of bovine hemoglobin (BvHb) supplementation (15 g/L) in the circulating cell culture medium of hepatic HF bioreactors on hepatocyte proliferation, metabolism, and varied liver functions, including biosynthesis, detoxification, and biotransformation. It was observed that BvHb supplementation supported the maintenance of a higher cell mass in the extracapillary space, improved hepatocyte metabolic efficiency (i.e., hepatocytes consumed much less glucose), improved hepatocyte capacity for drug metabolism, and conserved both albumin synthesis and ammonia detoxification functions compared to controls (no BvHb supplementation) under the same experimental conditions.
Serum cholic and chenodeoxycholic acid conjugates were measured in fasting conditions and after meals in 14 patients with bile acid malabsorption due to ileal resection. Mean serum fasting levels of both primary bile acids did not differ from the controls. After meals, serum cholic acid peaks were lower in patients with ileal resection than in control subjects (p less than 0.001), while chenodeoxycholic acid peaks were reduced in colectomised patients (p less than 0.01). In the sera from patients with ileal resection, the glycine/glycine + taurine ratio for cholic and chenodeoxycholic acid increased (p less than 0.001) from morning to evening, and glycine/glycine + taurine ratio for chenodeoxycholic acid was significantly (p less than 0.01) different from the controls in the sera collected in the evening. The results are consistent with the concept of a better intestinal conservation of chenyl, mainly of the glycine conjugated from, than of cholylconjugates, in patients with ileal resection; this is probably because of passive absorption in the intestine. The postprandial peaks of serum cholic acid conjugates may therefore be regarded as a test of ileal dysfunction, while peaks of chenodeoxycholic acid conjugates suggest colonic impairment.
Colonic motor activity was initiated by infusions of bile salts into the caecum or rectum of the anaesthetized rabbit. Primary bile acids were examined proximally and distally in the colon and elicited marked motor responses. Sinc dihydroxy bile acids are known to be potent inhibitors of electrolyte and water absorption in the colon, the secondary bile acid deoxycholic acid, the dihydroxyl compound most related to cholic acid which is the main bile acid in the rabbit, was examined distally and was also active, but to a lesser extent than cholic acid conjugates in this species. In man, a relationship was found between the faecal bile acid excretion and colonic motility: the introduction of bile acids directly into the human sigmoid colon and rectum also stimulated colonic motility. In man, the dihydroxy compound chenodeoxycholic acid was slightly more active than conjugates of cholic acid.
Insights into disease-specific mechanisms for liver repopulation are needed for cell therapy. To understand the efficacy of pro-oxidant hepatic perturbations in Wilson disease, we studied Long-Evans Cinnamon rats with copper toxicosis under several conditions. Hepatocytes from healthy Long-Evans Agouti rats were transplanted intrasplenically into the liver. A cure was defined as lowering of copper to below 250 micrograms per gram liver, presence of atp7b mRNA in the liver and improvement in liver histology. Treatment of animals with the hydrophobic bile salt, cholic acid, or liver radiation before cell transplantation produced cure rates of 14% and 33%, respectively; whereas liver radiation plus partial hepatectomy followed bv cell transplantation proved more effective with cure in 55%, p<0.01; and liver radiation plus cholic acid followed by cell transplantation was most effective, with cure in 75%, p<0.001. As a group, cell therapy cures in rats preconditioned with liver radiation plus cholic acid resulted in less hepatic copper indicating greater extent of liver repopulation. We observed increased hepatic catalase and superoxide dismutase activities in Long-Evans Cinnamon rats, suggesting chronic oxidative stress. After liver radiation and/or cholic acid, hepatic lipid peroxidation levels increased, indicating further oxidative injury., although we did not observe overt additional cytotoxicity. This contrasted with healthy animals where liver radiation and cholic acid produced hepatic steatosis and loss of injured hepatocytes. We concluded that pro-oxidant perturbations were uniquely effective for cell therapy in Wilson disease due to the nature of pre-existing hepatic damage.
Cell transplantation; Cholic acid; Liver; Radiation; Wilson disease