Farnesoid X receptor alpha (FXRα) is a critical actor of the development and pathologies of the male reproductive system

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019 Dec;76(24):4849-4859. doi: 10.1007/s00018-019-03247-6. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


The farnesoid-X-receptorα (FXRα; NR1H4) is one of the main bile acid (BA) receptors. During the last decades, through the use of pharmalogical approaches and transgenic mouse models, it has been demonstrated that the nuclear receptor FXRα controls numerous physiological functions such as glucose or energy metabolisms. It is also involved in the etiology or the development of several pathologies. Here, we will review the unexpected roles of FXRα on the male reproductive tract. FXRα has been demonstrated to play functions in the regulation of testicular and prostate homeostasis. Even though additional studies are needed to confirm these findings in humans, the reviewed reports open new field of research to better define the effects of bile acid-FXRα signaling pathways on fertility disorders and cancers.

Keywords: Bile acid signaling; Cancer; Fertility.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Genitalia, Male / growth & development*
  • Genitalia, Male / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Prostate / growth & development*
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Testis / growth & development*
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Transcription Factors
  • farnesoid X-activated receptor