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Biomolecules. 2019 Jun 15;9(6). pii: E232. doi: 10.3390/biom9060232.

The Biosynthesis, Signaling, and Neurological Functions of Bile Acids.

Author information

1
Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University, Shido 1314-1, Kagawa, Sanuki 769-2193, Japan. kiriyamay@kph.bunri-u.ac.jp.
2
Kagawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokushima Bunri University, Shido 1314-1, Kagawa, Sanuki 769-2193, Japan. nochi@kph.bunri-u.ac.jp.

Abstract

Bile acids (BA) are amphipathic steroid acids synthesized from cholesterol in the liver. They act as detergents to expedite the digestion and absorption of dietary lipids and lipophilic vitamins. BA are also considered to be signaling molecules, being ligands of nuclear and cell-surface receptors, including farnesoid X receptor and Takeda G-protein receptor 5. Moreover, BA also activate ion channels, including the bile acid-sensitive ion channel and epithelial Na+ channel. BA regulate glucose and lipid metabolism by activating these receptors in peripheral tissues, such as the liver and brown and white adipose tissue. Recently, 20 different BA have been identified in the central nervous system. Furthermore, BA affect the function of neurotransmitter receptors, such as the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor and γ-aminobutyric acid receptor. BA are also known to be protective against neurodegeneration. Here, we review recent findings regarding the biosynthesis, signaling, and neurological functions of BA.

KEYWORDS:

ALS; Alzheimer’s disease; FXR; Huntington’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; SHP; TGR5; bile acids

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