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PLoS One. 2013 May 20;8(5):e64721. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064721. Print 2013.

Ageing Fxr deficient mice develop increased energy expenditure, improved glucose control and liver damage resembling NASH.

Author information

1
AstraZeneca R&D, Mölndal, Sweden. mikael.bjursell@astrazeneca.com

Abstract

Nuclear receptor subfamily 1, group H, member 4 (Nr1h4, FXR) is a bile acid activated nuclear receptor mainly expressed in the liver, intestine, kidney and adrenal glands. Upon activation, the primary function is to suppress cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1), the rate-limiting enzyme in the classic or neutral bile acid synthesis pathway. In the present study, a novel Fxr deficient mouse line was created and studied with respect to metabolism and liver function in ageing mice fed chow diet. The Fxr deficient mice were similar to wild type mice in terms of body weight, body composition, energy intake and expenditure as well as behaviours at a young age. However, from 15 weeks of age and onwards, the Fxr deficient mice had almost no body weight increase up to 39 weeks of age mainly because of lower body fat mass. The lower body weight gain was associated with increased energy expenditure that was not compensated by increased food intake. Fasting levels of glucose and insulin were lower and glucose tolerance was improved in old and lean Fxr deficient mice. However, the Fxr deficient mice displayed significantly increased liver weight, steatosis, hepatocyte ballooning degeneration and lobular inflammation together with elevated plasma levels of ALT, bilirubin and bile acids, findings compatible with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cholestasis. In conclusion, ageing Fxr deficient mice display late onset leanness associated with elevated energy expenditure and improved glucose control but develop severe NASH-like liver pathology.

PMID:
23700488
PMCID:
PMC3659114
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0064721
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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