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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Aug;90(2):279-86. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2011.124. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Profile of serum bile acids in noncholestatic volunteers: gender-related differences in response to fenofibrate.

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Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Molecular Endocrinology and Oncology Research Center, CHUQ Research Center, Quebec, Quebec, Canada.


Fenofibrate belongs to the group of hypolipidemic fibrates that act as activators of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα), which is a regulator of bile acid synthesis, metabolism, and transport. The present study aimed at evaluating the effects of fenofibrate on the circulating bile acid profile in humans. A study population of 200 healthy individuals comprising both genders completed a 3-week intervention with fenofibrate, and 17 bile acid species were measured in serum samples drawn before and after fenofibrate treatment. Fenofibrate caused significant reductions in levels of chenodeoxycholic (CDCA) (-26.4%), ursodeoxycholic (UDCA) (-30.5%), lithocholic (LCA) (-18.4%), deoxycholic (DCA) (-22.3%), and hyodeoxycholic (HDCA) (-19.2%) acids. A gender-related difference was observed in the responses of various bile acids, and the total bile acid concentration was significantly reduced only in men (-18.6%), whereas it remained almost unchanged in women (+0.36%). This difference suggests that fenofibrate would be more efficient at reducing bile acid toxicity in men than in women in cholestatic liver diseases.

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