Combined loss of orphan receptors PXR and CAR heightens sensitivity to toxic bile acids in mice

Authors

  • Hirdesh Uppal,

    1. Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
    2. Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • David Toma,

    1. Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Simrat P.S. Saini,

    1. Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Songrong Ren,

    1. Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Thomas J. Jones,

    1. Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
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  • Wen Xie

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Pharmacogenetics and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
    2. Department of Pharmacology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Center for Pharmacogenetics, Salk Hall 656, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
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    • fax: 412-648-1664.


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

Efficient detoxification of bile acids is necessary to avoid pathological conditions such as cholestatic liver damage and colon cancer. The orphan nuclear receptors PXR and CAR have been proposed to play an important role in the detoxification of xeno- and endo-biotics by regulating the expression of detoxifying enzymes and transporters. In this report, we showed that the combined loss of PXR and CAR resulted in a significantly heightened sensitivity to bile acid toxicity in a sex-sensitive manner. A regimen of lithocholic acid treatment, which was tolerated by wild-type and PXR null mice, caused a marked accumulation of serum bile acids and histological liver damage as well as an increased hepatic lipid deposition in double knockout males. The increased sensitivity in males was associated with genotype-specific suppression of bile acid transporters and loss of bile acid–mediated downregulation of small heterodimer partner, whereas the transporter suppression was modest or absent in females. The double knockout mice also exhibited gene- and tissue-specific dysregulation of PXR and CAR target genes in response to PXR and CAR agonists. In conclusion, although the cross-regulation of target genes by PXR and CAR has been proposed, the current study represents in vivo evidence of the combined loss of both receptors causing a unique pattern of gene regulation that can be translated into physiological events such as sensitivity to toxic bile acids. (HEPATOLOGY 2005;41:168–176.)

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