Vertical sleeve gastrectomy reduces hepatic steatosis while increasing serum bile acids in a weight-loss-independent manner

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Feb;22(2):390-400. doi: 10.1002/oby.20548. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


Objective: Our objective was to investigate the role of bile acids in hepatic steatosis reduction after vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG).

Design and methods: High fat diet (HFD)-induced obese C57Bl/6 mice were randomized to VSG, Sham operation (Sham), Sham operation with pair feeding to VSG (Sham-PF), or nonsurgical controls (Naïve). All mice were on HFD until sacrifice. Mice were observed postsurgery and data for body weight, body composition, metabolic parameters, serum bile acid level and composition were collected. Further hepatic gene expression by mRNA-seq and RT-PCR analysis was assessed.

Results: VSG and Sham-PF mice lost equal weight postsurgery while VSG mice had the lowest hepatic triglyceride content at sacrifice. The VSG mice had elevated serum bile acid levels that positively correlated with maximal weight loss. Serum bile composition in the VSG group had increased cholic and tauroursodeoxycholic acid. These bile acid composition changes in VSG mice explained observed downregulation of hepatic lipogenic and bile acid synthetic genes.

Conclusion: VSG in obese mice results in greater hepatic steatosis reduction than seen with caloric restriction alone. VSG surgery increases serum bile acids that correlate with weight lost postsurgery and changes serum bile composition that could explain suppression of hepatic genes responsible for lipogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / blood*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Cholic Acid / blood
  • Cholic Acid / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Down-Regulation
  • Fatty Liver / etiology
  • Fatty Liver / prevention & control*
  • Gastroplasty*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lipogenesis
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Postprandial Period
  • Random Allocation
  • Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid / blood
  • Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid / metabolism
  • Triglycerides / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation*
  • Weight Loss*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Triglycerides
  • Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid
  • ursodoxicoltaurine
  • Cholic Acid