The bile acid TUDCA and neurodegenerative disorders: An overview

Life Sci. 2021 May 1:272:119252. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119252. Epub 2021 Feb 23.


Bear bile has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years due to its therapeutic potential and clinical applications. The tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), one of the acids found in bear bile, is a hydrophilic bile acid and naturally produced in the liver by conjugation of taurine to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Several studies have shown that TUDCA has neuroprotective action in several models of neurodegenerative disorders (ND), including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, based on its potent ability to inhibit apoptosis, attenuate oxidative stress, and reduce endoplasmic reticulum stress in different experimental models of these illnesses. Our research extends the knowledge of the bile acid TUDCA actions in ND and the mechanisms and pathways involved in its cytoprotective effects on the brain, providing a novel perspective and opportunities for treatment of these diseases.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Bile acids; Huntington's disease; Neurodegeneration; Neuroprotection; Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / methods
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid / metabolism
  • Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid / metabolism
  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid / pharmacology


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid
  • ursodoxicoltaurine
  • Ursodeoxycholic Acid