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Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Dec 1;86(11):1517-24. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2013.08.015. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Bile acid receptors in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

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Department of Integrative Medical Sciences, Northeast Ohio Medical University, 4209 State Route 44, Rootstown, OH 44272, United States.


Accumulating data have shown that bile acids are important cell signaling molecules, which may activate several signaling pathways to regulate biological processes. Bile acids are endogenous ligands for the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and TGR5, a G-protein coupled receptor. Gain- and loss-of-function studies have demonstrated that both FXR and TGR5 play important roles in regulating lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and inflammatory responses. Importantly, activation of FXR or TGR5 lowers hepatic triglyceride levels and inhibits inflammation. Such properties of FXR or TGR5 have indicated that these two bile acid receptors are ideal targets for treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, one of the major health concerns worldwide. In this article, we will focus on recent advances on the role of both FXR and TGR5 in regulating hepatic triglyceride metabolism and inflammatory responses under normal and disease conditions.


Cholesterol; FXR; Inflammation; TGR5; Triglyceride

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