The Farnesoid X receptor: a molecular link between bile acid and lipid and glucose metabolism

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005 Oct;25(10):2020-30. doi: 10.1161/01.ATV.0000178994.21828.a7. Epub 2005 Jul 21.


Bile acids are the end products of cholesterol metabolism. They are synthesized in the liver and secreted via bile into the intestine, where they aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and dietary fat. Subsequently, bile acids return to the liver to complete their enterohepatic circulation. The Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily and has emerged as a key player in the control of multiple metabolic pathways. On its activation by bile acids, FXR regulates bile acid synthesis, conjugation, and transport, as well as various aspects of lipid and glucose metabolism. This review summarizes recent advances in deciphering the role of FXR in the context of hepatic lipid and glucose homeostasis and discusses the potential of FXR as a pharmacological target for therapeutic applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / physiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • farnesoid X-activated receptor
  • Glucose