Adenosine nucleotides in bile

Ravi S. Chari, S. M. Schutz, J. E. Haebig, Gayle H. Shimokura, Peter B. Cotton, J. Gregory Fitz, William C. Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Activation of purinergic receptors by ATP stimulates Cl- efflux in biliary epithelial cells. To determine whether purinergic agonists are present under physiological conditions, we have assayed mammalian bile for nucleotides and assessed whether hepatoma and cholangiocarcinoma cell lines are capable of nucleotide release. Bile samples were collected from human, rat, and pig donors and assayed for nucleotide concentrations by luminometry. ATP, ADP, and AMP were present in bile from each species, and the average total nucleotide concentration in human bile was 5.21 ± 0.91 μM (n = 16). In an in vitro model of HTC rat hepatoma cells or Mz-ChA-1 cholangiocarcinoma cells on a superfused column, nucleotides were present in the effluent from each cell type. Addition of α,β-methyleneadenosine 5'-diphosphate (50 μM) to inhibit 5'-nucleotidase activity increased AMP concentrations two- to threefold. Exposure to forskolin (100 μM) or ionomycin (2 μM) stimulated nucleotide release from cholangiocarcinoma but not hepatoma cells. These studies indicate that adenosine nucleotides are present in bile in concentrations sufficient to activate purinergic receptors. Purinergic receptor activation by local nucleotide release might constitute an autocrine and/or paracrine mechanism for modulation of biliary secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G246-G252
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number2 33-2
StatePublished - 1996


  • adenosine triphosphate
  • bile duct
  • liver
  • purinergic receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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