Organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1b2 (Oatp1b2) is important for the hepatic uptake of unconjugated bile acids: Studies in Oatp1b2-null mice

Hepatology. 2011 Jan;53(1):272-81. doi: 10.1002/hep.23984. Epub 2010 Oct 14.


The organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1b family (Oatp1b2 in rodents and OATP1B1/1B3 in humans) is liver-specific and transports various chemicals into the liver. However, the role of the Oatp1b family in the hepatic uptake of bile acids (BAs) into the liver is unknown. Therefore, in Oatp1b2-null mice, the concentrations of BAs in plasma, liver, and bile were compared with wild-type (WT) mice. It was first determined that livers of the Oatp1b2-null mice were not compensated by altered expression of other hepatic transporters. However, the messenger RNA of Cyp7a1 was 70% lower in the Oatp1b2-null mice. Increased expression of fibroblast growth factor 15 in intestines of Oatp1b2-null mice might be responsible for decreased hepatic expression of Cyp7a1 in Oatp1b2-null mice. The hepatic concentration and biliary excretion of conjugated and unconjugated BAs were essentially the same in Oatp1b2-null and WT mice. The serum concentration of taurine-conjugated BAs was essentially the same in the two genotypes. In contrast, the serum concentrations of unconjugated BAs were 3-45 times higher in Oatp1b2-null than WT mice. After intravenous administration of cholate to Oatp1b2-null mice, its clearance was 50% lower than in WT mice, but the clearance of taurocholate was similar in the two genotypes.

Conclusion: This study indicates that Oatp1b2 has a major role in the hepatic uptake of unconjugated BAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent / deficiency
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent / metabolism*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Independent
  • Slco1b2 protein, mouse