Effects of feeding chenodeoxycholic acid on metabolism of cholesterol and bile acids in germ-free rats

Bengt E. Gustafsson, Bo Angelin, Ingemar Björkhem, Kurt Einarsson, Jan-Ake Gustafsson

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10 Scopus citations


The aim of this investigation was to study the influence of chenodeoxycholic acid administration on cholesterol and bile acid synthesis in germ-free rats. Seven rats were fed a basal diet and 2 groups of 4 rats received the same diet supplemented with 0.4 and 1% chenodeoxycholic acid, respectively. After 6 weeks, feces were collected in one 3- and one 4-day pool for analysis of cholesterol and bile acids. When the sampling period was finished, the rats were killed and the liver microsomal fractions isolated. The activities of HMG CoA reductase and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase were determined, the 7α-hydroxylase by a mass fragmentographic method. The 2 dominating bile acids in the untreated rats were cholic acid and β-muricholic acid. During treatment with chenodeoxycholic acid, 60-70% of this bile acid was converted into α- and β-muricholic acid, indicating a high activity of the 6β-hydroxylase. The excretion of cholic acid was almost completely inhibited and the 7α-hydroxylase activity was decreased ca 75% in the rats fed 1% chenodeoxycholic acid. The activity of the hepatic HMG CoA reductase was unchanged. The fecal excretion of cholesterol increased 2-3 times. An accumulation of cholesterol was seen in the rats treated with 1% chenodeoxycholic acid, which was probably a result of the decreased catabolism of cholesterol to bile acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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