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The bile salt export pump (BSEP, ABCB11) mediates bile acid efflux from hepatocytes into bile. Although the inhibition of BSEP has been implicated as an important mechanism of drug-induced liver injury (DILI), liver injury caused by BSEP-inhibiting drugs is rarely reproduced in experimental animals, probably due to species differences in bile acid composition between humans and rodents. In this study, we tested whether supplementation with sodium chenodeoxycholate (CDCA), a hydrophobic bile salt, could sensitize rats to liver injury caused by a BSEP-inhibiting drug. A potent BSEP inhibitor, ketoconazole (KTZ), which is associated with clinical DILI, was intragastrically administered simultaneously with CDCA at a nontoxic dose once a day for 3 days. Plasma transaminase levels significantly increased in rats receiving CDCA+KTZ, whereas neither treatment with CDCA alone, KTZ alone nor a combination of CDCA and miconazole, a safe analogue to KTZ, induced liver injury. In CDCA+KTZ-treated rats, most bile acid species in the liver significantly increased compared to treatment with vehicle or CDCA alone, suggesting that KTZ administration inhibited bile acid excretion. Furthermore, hepatic mRNA expression levels of a bile acid synthesis enzyme, Cyp7a1, and a basolateral bile salt influx transporter, Ntcp, decreased, while a canalicular phosphatidylcholine flippase, Mdr2, increased in the CDCA+KTZ group to compensate for hepatic bile acid accumulation. In conclusion, we found that oral CDCA supplementation predisposed rats to KTZ-induced liver injury due to the hepatic accumulation of bile acids. This method may be useful for assessing the potential of BSEP-inhibiting drugs inducing liver injury in vivo.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology
The bile salt export pump (BSEP) is the primary canalicular transporter responsible for the secretion of bile acids from hepatocytes into bile canaliculi, and inhibition of this transporter has been a...
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