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Taurine increases bile acid pool size and reduces bile saturation index in the hamster

Open AccessPublished:September 01, 1987DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-2275(20)38617-X
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      There is evidence that increased availability of taurine enhances the proportion of taurine-conjugated bile acids in bile. To explore the possibility that taurine treatment could also influence hepatic cholesterol and bile acid metabolism, we fed female hamsters for 1 week and measured both the biliary lipid content and the microsomal level of the rate-limiting enzymes of cholesterol and bile acid synthesis. In these animals the cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity was significantly greater in respect to controls (P less than 0.05). The total HMG-CoA reductase activity, as well as that of the active form, was similarly increased. The stimulation of 7 alpha-hydroxycholesterol synthesis was associated with an expansion of the bile acid pool size in taurine-fed animals. Taurine feeding was observed to induce an increase in bile flow as well as in the rate of excretion of bile acids, whereas the secretion rate of cholesterol in bile was decreased. As a consequence, the saturation index was significantly lower in taurine-fed animals (P less than 0.05). The possible mechanisms through which taurine exhibits the modification of the enzyme activities and of the biliary lipid composition are discussed.

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