Regulation of biliary cholesterol output in the rat: Dissociation from the rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis, the size of the hepatic cholesteryl ester pool, and the hepatic uptake of chylomicron cholesterol

S. D. Turley, J. M. Dietschy

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These studies were designed to determine the importance of the rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis, the size of the hepatic cholesteryl ester pool, the amount of chylomicron cholesterol reaching the liver, and the rate of bile acid transport into bile as determinants of the rate of biliary cholesterol output. Female rats that had been subjected to diurnal light cycling, fasting for 48 hr, intravenous administration of chylomicrons, and diets containing either cholestyramine, cholesterol, or bile acid underwent total biliary diversion for 2 hr. The animals were then killed and the rates of hepatic cholesterol synthesis and levels of hepatic esterified cholesterol were measured along with biliary lipid concetrations. Despite a 1000-fold variation in the rate of hepatic cholesterogenesis and a 100-fold variation in the levels of cholesteryl esters, the 40-fold and molar percentage of cholesterol in bile remained essentially constant with the exception of an approximate doubling in the output of cholesterol, as well as of bile acid and phospholipid in those animals fed bile acid. However, in this latter group the molar percentage of each component was unchanged. The administration of a bolus of chylomicrons did not alter output or molar percentage of cholesterol. Total biliary diversion for 36 hr and bile acid infusion were used to markedly vary the rate of biliary bile acid output. Cholesterol and phospholipid output remained tightly coupled to bile acid output over almost a 40fold range. In other experiments it was shown that biliary cholesterol output could be driven by bile acid infusion to a similar extent in rats in which the rate of hepatic cholesterogenesis had been varied over a 26-fold range. It was concluded that the rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis, the level of hepatic cholesteryl esters, and the amount of cholesterol absorbed from the diet play no role in determining the rate of biliary cholesterol secretion, at least in this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-934
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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