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Pediatr Res. 1993 Mar;33(3):221-4.

The effects of bile acid feeding on the development of ileal bile acid transport.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


Sodium-dependent bile acid uptake is developmentally regulated in the rat ileum. Transport activity is abruptly expressed on postnatal d 17, although the mechanisms controlling this expression are poorly understood. Changes in bile salt metabolism and hepatic transport result in a marked increase in bile flow before postnatal d 17, and thus this study examined the effects of bile salt feeding on the development of ileal bile acid transport. Twelve-d-old rat pups were gavage-fed saline, taurocholate, or mannitol on a daily basis for 3 d. Sodium-dependent bile acid transport was studied by rapid filtration using ileal brush-border membrane vesicles prepared from the various experimental groups. Taurocholate feeding resulted in precocious development of sodium-dependent bile acid transport and induction of sucrase activity. Mannitol feeding, used as a control for the effects of diarrhea-induced stress, resulted in similar sucrase activity, yet sodium-dependent bile acid transport was induced to only half the level observed in taurocholate-fed animals (3.2 +/- 1.6 versus 6.9 +/- 2.0 pmol/mg protein/45 s, p < 0.001). Serum corticosterone levels were similar in the mannitol- and taurocholate-fed animals (3.8 +/- 1.3 versus 4.6 +/- 1.8 micrograms/dL). Both feedings lead to histologic maturation of the ileum, with a more pronounced effect in the taurocholate-fed pups. Bile salt feeding induces precocious expression of ileal bile acid transport, apparently by both diarrhea-induced stress and a bile salt-specific effect.

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