Emerging roles of bile acids in control of intestinal functions

Jiufang Yang, Anna Palmiotti, Folkert Kuipers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Bile acids and their signalling pathways are increasingly recognized as potential therapeutic targets for several diseases. This review summarizes new insights in bile acid physiology, focussing on regulatory roles of bile acids in intestinal functions.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have highlighted the interactions between bile acids and gut microbiome: interfering with microbiome composition may be beneficial in treatment of liver and metabolic diseases by modulating bile acid composition, as different bile acid species have different signalling functions. In the intestine, bile acid receptors FXR, VDR and TGR5 are involved in control of barrier function, paracellular ion transport and hormone release. Specific microbial bile acid metabolites modulate immune responses of the host. In addition, new functions of bile acids in regulation of gastric emptying and satiation via brain-gut-liver axis have been discovered. Identification of Cyp2c70 as the enzyme responsible for generation of hydrophilic mouse/rat-specific muricholic acids has allowed the generation of murine models with a human-like bile acid composition.

SUMMARY: Specific bile acids act as important signalling molecules affecting whole body metabolism, specific transport processes and immunity in different segments of the intestinal tract. Their relevance for human (patho)physiology is emerging. Novel mouse models with human-like bile acid composition will aid to accelerate translational research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care
Issue number2
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2021

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