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Arch Pharm Res. 2012 Nov;35(11):1969-77. doi: 10.1007/s12272-012-1114-7. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

Alteration of bile acid metabolism in pseudo germ-free rats [corrected].

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  • 1Molecular Recognition Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 136-791, Korea.

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  • Arch Pharm Res. 2012 Dec;35(12):2219.


To characterize the impact of gut microbiota on host bile acid metabolism, we investigated the metabolic profiles of oxysterols and bile acids (BAs) in a conventional rat model (SD) (n=5) and its pseudo germ-free (GF) equivalent (n=5). GF rats were developed by the oral administration of bacitracin, neomycin and streptomycin (200 mg/kg, each) twice a day for 6 days. Urinary levels of oxysterols and bile acid metabolites were quantified using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The activity levels of enzymes involved in the bile acid metabolic pathway were determined through urinary concentration ratio between product to precursor. Cholic acid (CA) and α-/β-muricholic acid (α-/β-MCA) were significantly elevated at pseudo germ-free condition. An increase of hydroxylase (cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase, oxysterol 7α-hydroxylase and cytochrome P450 scc) and a significant decrease of 7α-dehydroxylase were observed. The urinary concentration ratio of primary bile acids, a marker for hepatotoxicity, increased in pseudo germfree conditions. Therefore, it was found that gut microbiota could play a significant role in the bile acids homeostasis and metabolism.

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