Farnesoid X Receptor Agonist Treatment Alters Bile Acid Metabolism but Exacerbates Liver Damage in a Piglet Model of Short-Bowel Syndrome

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Background & Aims Options for the prevention of short-bowel syndrome–associated liver disease (SBS-ALDs) are limited and often ineffective. The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a newly emerging pharmaceutical target and FXR agonists have been shown to ameliorate cholestasis and metabolic disorders. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of obeticholic acid (OCA) treatment in preventing SBS-ALDs. Methods Piglets underwent 75% small-bowel resection (SBS) or sham surgery (sham) and were assigned to either a daily dose of OCA (2.4 mg/kg/day) or were untreated. Clinical measures included weight gain and stool studies. Histologic features were assessed. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry was used to determine bile acid composition in end point bile and portal serum samples. Gene expression of key FXR targets was assessed in intestinal and hepatic tissues via quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Results OCA-treated SBS piglets showed decreased stool fat and altered liver histology when compared with nontreated SBS piglets. OCA prevented SBS-associated taurine depletion, however, further analysis of bile and portal serum samples indicated that OCA did not prevent SBS-associated alterations in bile acid composition. The expression of FXR target genes involved in bile acid transport and synthesis increased within the liver of SBS piglets after OCA administration whereas, paradoxically, intestinal expression of FXR target genes were decreased by OCA administration. Conclusions Administration of OCA in SBS reduced fat malabsorption and altered bile acid composition, but did not prevent the development of SBS-ALDs. We postulate that extensive small resection impacts the ability of the remnant intestine to respond to FXR activation.




Pereira-Fantini, P. M., Lapthorne, S., Gahan, C. G. M., Joyce, S. A., Charles, J., Fuller, P. J., & Bines, J. E. (2017). Farnesoid X Receptor Agonist Treatment Alters Bile Acid Metabolism but Exacerbates Liver Damage in a Piglet Model of Short-Bowel Syndrome. CMGH, 4(1), 65–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcmgh.2017.02.008

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