Bile acid supplementation decreases body mass gain in C57BL/6J but not 129S6/SvEvTac mice without increasing energy expenditure

Sci Rep. 2019 Jan 15;9(1):131. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37464-z.


Supplementation of cholate to a high fat diet can protect mice from diet-induced, increased body mass gain. It has been hypothesized that uncoupling protein 1 dependent, non-shivering thermogenesis in brown adipocytes provides the mechanism of increased energy expenditure to counteract excessive energy intake. We scrutinized this conjecture in wildtype mice and mice genetically devoid of a functional uncoupling protein 1 gene (C57BL/6J) as well as mice of the 129S6/SvEvTac strain that, in comparison, display an extraordinary capacity to recruit ectopic brown adipocytes. Protection from diet-induced, increased body mass gain by cholate supplementation was absent in 129S6/SvEvTac mice, a consequence of much lower bile acid absorption and spillover in this strain. Conversely, Ucp1-KO mice did not differ from C57BL/6J wildtype controls in any parameter assessed. Daily energy expenditure and resting metabolic rate of C57BL/6J mice remained unaffected by cholate supplementation. We conclude that protection of mice from diet-induced, increased body mass gain by cholate supplementation depends on the specific genetic background of C57BL/6J mice, does not involve increased energy expenditure and is independent of uncoupling protein 1 dependent non-shivering thermogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basal Metabolism
  • Bile Acids and Salts / pharmacology
  • Bile Acids and Salts / therapeutic use*
  • Cholic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cholic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Species Specificity
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Cholic Acid