We previously identified that Y′ bile acid binders (3α- hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases) interact with bile acids in intact rat hepatocytes using [3β-3H, C24-14C]bile acids and that indomethacin, a competitive inhibitor of 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, inhibits 3H-loss from the C3-position of bile acids as well as inhibits hepatic bile acid removal and excretion. To study the kinetics of these inhibitory effects, glycocholate transport was studied in the absence and presence of indomethacin in the single-pass perfused rat liver. Indomethacin decreased net hepatic glycocholate uptake in the perfused liver, which was confirmed in isolated hepatocytes and basolateral liver plasma membrane vesicles. However, indomethacin markedly increased the sinusoidal efflux and decreased the biliary excretion of glycocholate in the perfused liver. These observations indicate that the effect of indomethacin to delay biliary glycocholate excretion is related to either intracellular or canalicular glycocholate transport. The latter possibility seemed unlikely because indomethacin did not inhibit electrogenic or adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent glycocholate uptake by canalicular liver plasma membrane vesicles. Thus, the current data support an important role for binding of bile acids to cytosolic proteins in overall hepatic transport and suggest that specific interference with cytosolic binding can interfere with the excretion of bile acids.