The factors modulating the maximum secretory rate of cholic acid were investigated. Rats were infused intravenously with cholic acid in measured stepwise increasing doses (1, 2, 3, and 4 mumol X min-1 X 100 g body wt-1). Each dose was infused for 30 min and bile samples were collected every 10 min. Bile flow, bile acid, cholesterol, individual biliary phospholipids, and the fatty acid profiles of the biliary phospholipids were determined. Microsomal and bile canalicular membrane-enriched fractions were isolated from cholic acid-treated rats at the end of the experiment. Membranes were analyzed for cholesterol, phospholipid, and phospholipid fatty acid composition. During cholic acid infusion, the secretion rates of bile acid, cholesterol, phospholipid, and bile flow initially increased and then declined. No evidence of liver cell damage was observed by light or electron microscopy. Maximum phospholipid secretion rate (13.5 nmol X min-1 X g-1) occurred before peak bile flow and bile acid secretory rate maximum (4.72 microliter X min-1 X g-1 and 375 nmol X min-1 X g-1). When phospholipid output declined, the proportion of sphingomyelins and phosphatidylethanolamine relative to phosphatidylcholine increased. This was also reflected in the fatty acid composition. Cholic acid infusion caused a decline in microsomal and bile canalicular membrane phospholipid content without affecting their phospholipid composition. Depletion of membrane phospholipid resulted in an increase in the cholesterol:phospholipid ratio, which is suggested to be the underlying mechanism for modulating cholic acid secretion.
- Copyright © 1987 the American Physiological Society