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Gastroenterology. 2003 Sep;125(3):825-38.

Role of farnesoid X receptor in determining hepatic ABC transporter expression and liver injury in bile duct-ligated mice.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Cholestasis induces changes in hepatic adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette (ABC) transporter expression. We aimed to investigate the role of the nuclear bile acid receptor (farnesoid X receptor [FXR]) in mediating changes in ABC transporter expression and in determining liver injury.

METHODS:

Hepatic ABC transporter (multidrug resistance-associated proteins [Mrp] 2-4 and bile salt export pump [Bsep]) expression and localization were studied in common bile duct-ligated (CBDL) FXR knockout (FXR(-/-)), wild-type (FXR(+/+)), and sham-operated mice. Serum alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin and bile acid levels, hepatic bile acid composition, and liver histology were investigated. Cholangiomanometry and bile duct morphometry were performed.

RESULTS:

CBDL induced expression of Mrp 3 and Mrp 4 in FXR(+/+) and even more in FXR(-/-), whereas Mrp 2 expression remained unchanged. Bsep expression was maintained in CBDL FXR(+/+) but remained undetectable in CBDL FXR(-/-). Alanine aminotransferase levels and mortality rates did not differ between CBDL FXR(+/+) and FXR(-/-). CBDL increased biliary pressure and induced bile ductular proliferation and bile infarcts in FXR(+/+), whereas FXR(-/-) had lower biliary pressures, less ductular proliferation, and developed disseminated liver cell necroses.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overexpression of Mrp 3 and Mrp 4 in CBDL mice is FXR independent and could play an important role in the adaptive hepatic ABC transporter response to cholestasis. Maintenance of Bsep expression strictly depends on FXR and is a critical determinant of the cholestatic phenotype. Lack of bile infarcts in CBDL FXR(-/-) suggests that development of bile infarcts is related to bile acid-dependent bile flow and biliary pressure. This information is relevant for the potential use of FXR modulators in the treatment of cholestatic liver diseases.

PMID:
12949728
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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