Alteration of Bile Acid Metabolism by a High-Fat Diet Is Associated with Plasma Transaminase Activities and Glucose Intolerance in Rats

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2019;65(1):45-51. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.65.45.


Ingestion of a high-fat (HF) diet is known to enhance bile acid (BA) secretion, but precise information about the BA molecular species is lacking, especially information on the conjugated BAs in enterohepatic circulation. As cholesterol is the precursor of BAs, we analyzed alterations of the entire BA metabolic pathway in response to a HF diet without the addition of cholesterol and BA in the diet. Additionally, we evaluated the relationships between BA metabolism and some disorders, such as plasma transaminase activities and glucose intolerance induced by the HF diet. Acclimated WKAH/HkmSlc male rats (3 wk old) were divided into two groups fed a control or the HF diet for 22 wk. Fasting blood glucose was measured during the experimental period, and an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test was performed at week 21. As a result, ingestion of the HF diet selectively increased the concentration of taurocholic acid in the bile and small intestinal contents as well as deoxycholic acid in the large intestinal contents and feces. These results indicated a selective increase of 12α-hydroxylated BA concentrations in response to the HF diet. Moreover, fecal 12α-hydroxylated BA concentration was positively correlated with cumulative energy intake, visceral adipose tissue weight, and glucose intolerance. The present study suggests that fecal 12α-hydroxylated BA is a non-invasive marker that can detect the early phase of glucose intolerance.

Keywords: bile acids; energy intake; glucose tolerance; high-fat diet; liver damage.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Energy Intake / physiology
  • Fasting / blood
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Intestine, Large / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Steroid 12-alpha-Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Taurocholic Acid / metabolism
  • Transaminases / blood*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Blood Glucose
  • Taurocholic Acid
  • Steroid 12-alpha-Hydroxylase
  • Transaminases