Uremic solutes modulate hepatic bile acid handling and induce mitochondrial toxicity

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is accompanied by accumulating levels of uremic solutes in the circulation. Changes in the size and composition of the bile acid pool have also been observed. We investigated via which mechanisms uremic solutes may interfere with hepatocyte function and thus contribute to altered bile acid handling. We studied interference on the level of bile acid synthesis by cytochrome P450 7A1 (CYP7A1), explored effects on hepatic bile acid transporters, and investigated effects on mitochondrial function. In HEK293 cells overexpressing bile salt transporters, we observed that p-cresyl sulfate inhibited Na + -taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP)-mediated uptake of taurocholic acid (TCA), whereas organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1B1 (OATP1B1)-mediated TCA uptake was increased. Assays in transporter-overexpressing membrane vesicles revealed that kynurenic acid inhibited TCA transport via the bile salt efflux pump (BSEP), whereas p-cresyl glucuronide and hippuric acid increased TCA efflux via multidrug resistance-associated protein 3 (MRP3). Moreover, indoxyl sulfate decreased mRNA expression of NTCP, OATP1B3 and CYP7A1 in primary human hepatocytes. Transport studies confirmed a decreased TCA uptake in indoxyl sulfate-exposed hepatocytes. Decreased hepatocyte viability was found for all seven uremic solutes tested, whereas five out of seven also decreased intracellular ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential. In conclusion, uremic solutes affect hepatic bile acid transport and mitochondrial function. This can contribute to the altered bile acid homeostasis observed in CKD patients.




Weigand, K. M., Schirris, T. J. J., Houweling, M., van den Heuvel, J. J. M. W., Koenderink, J. B., Dankers, A. C. A., … Greupink, R. (2019). Uremic solutes modulate hepatic bile acid handling and induce mitochondrial toxicity. Toxicology in Vitro, 56, 52–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2019.01.003

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