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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1869;

Dual Role of Bile Acids on the Biliary Epithelium: Friend or Foe?

Liver Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Viale Oxford 81, 00133 Rome, Italy
Department of Medical Physiology, Texas A&M University, College of Medicine 702 SW HK Dodgen Loop, Temple, TX 76504, USA
Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center and Indiana University, Gastroenterology, Medicine 1481 W 10th street, Dedication Wing–Room C-7151, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1481 W 10th street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Damage and Repair)
PDF [1753 KB, uploaded 16 April 2019]


Bile acids are a family of amphipathic compounds predominantly known for their role in solubilizing and absorbing hydrophobic compounds (including liposoluble vitamins) in the intestine. Bile acids also are key signaling molecules and inflammatory agents that activate transcriptional factors and cell signaling pathways that regulate lipid, glucose, and energy metabolism in various human disorders, including chronic liver diseases. However, in the last decade increased awareness has been founded on the physiological and chemical heterogeneity of this category of compounds and their possible beneficial or injurious effects on the biliary tree. In this review, we provide an update on the current understanding of the molecular mechanism involving bile acid and biliary epithelium. The last achievements of the research in this field are summarized, focusing on the molecular aspects and the elements with relevance regarding human liver diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: bile acids; cholangiocyte; cholestasis; TGR5; ABAT; cholangiocarcinoma bile acids; cholangiocyte; cholestasis; TGR5; ABAT; cholangiocarcinoma

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Baiocchi, L.; Zhou, T.; Liangpunsakul, S.; Lenci, I.; Santopaolo, F.; Meng, F.; Kennedy, L.; Glaser, S.; Francis, H.; Alpini, G. Dual Role of Bile Acids on the Biliary Epithelium: Friend or Foe? Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1869.

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