Taurine and glycine conjugation and sulfation of lithocholate in primary hepatocyte cultures

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1989 Jun 28;1003(3):250-3. doi: 10.1016/0005-2760(89)90230-0.


Rat primary liver cells were used to study taurine and glycine conjugation and sulfation of lithocholate. After addition of [14C]lithocholate to the tissue culture medium, synthesis and excretion of amidated and/or sulfated products were investigated for up to 24 h. After incubation for 1 h, more than 83% of the labeled bile salt was amidated but not sulfated and between 5 and 11% was sulfated, with more than 80% of the sulfated bile salts being also amidated. After 24 h, the proportion of sulfated lithocholate had increased to about 23% and more than 99% of the lithocholate sulfate was additionally conjugated with glycine or taurine. Both sulfates and non-sulfates were preferably amidated with taurine. We conclude that in primary rat hepatocytes, (1) lithocholate is rapidly and almost completely conjugated with glycine or taurine (amidated), whereas sulfation of lithocholate (and its amidates) proceeds slowly and even after 24 h represents only a small proportion of the total lithocholate metabolites, and (2) sulfated and unsulfated bile salts are both preferably amidated with taurine.

MeSH terms

  • Amides
  • Animals
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Glycine / metabolism*
  • Lithocholic Acid / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Sulfates / metabolism*
  • Taurine / metabolism*


  • Amides
  • Sulfates
  • Taurine
  • Lithocholic Acid
  • Glycine