Cholestyramine, a Bile Acid Sequestrant, Increases Cecal Short Chain Fatty Acids and Intestinal Immunoglobulin A in Mice

Biol Pharm Bull. 2020 Mar 1;43(3):565-568. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b19-00923. Epub 2019 Dec 18.


Bile acid sequestrants are used as medicinal drugs to treat dyslipidemia and type 2 diabetes. We found that cholestyramine, a bile acid sequestrant, increases cecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and intestinal immunoglobulin A (IgA) in C57BL/6J mice. In a 12-week high-fat diet study, feeding cholestyramine (2% (w/w)) significantly promoted C2-C4 SCFAs in the cecum by approximately 1.6-fold and fecal IgA by 1.8-fold. In an 8-week normal-fat diet study, feeding cholestyramine (1 and 2%) increased the cecal propionic acid content by approx. 2.0-fold. Fecal IgA was also significantly increased at 4 weeks (1%: 1.7-fold; 2%: 2.1-fold) and 8 weeks (1%: 1.8-fold; 2%: 2.0-fold) in the normal-fat diet study. These results indicate that bile acid sequestrants may exert their physiological functions, such as intestinal IgA production, through SCFA-dependent signaling pathways.

Keywords: bile acid sequestrant; cholestyramine; intestinal immunoglobulin A; short chain fatty acid.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / analysis
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Cecum / metabolism*
  • Cholestyramine Resin / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Cholestyramine Resin