A comprehensive time course and correlation analysis of indomethacin-induced inflammation, bile acid alterations and dysbiosis in the rat small intestine

Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 Aug:190:114590. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2021.114590. Epub 2021 May 1.


It has been proposed that changes in microbiota due to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) alter the composition of bile, and elevation of hydrophobic secondary bile acids contributes to small intestinal damage. However, little is known about the effect of NSAIDs on small intestinal bile acids, and whether bile alterations correlate with mucosal injury and dysbiosis. Here we determined the ileal bile acid metabolome and microbiota 24, 48 and 72 h after indomethacin treatment, and their correlation with each other and with tissue damage in rats. In parallel with the development of inflammation, indomethacin increased the ileal proportion of glycine and taurine conjugated bile acids, but not bile hydrophobicity. Firmicutes decreased with time, whereas Gammaproteobacteria increased first, but declined later and were partially replaced by Bilophila, Bacteroides and Fusobacterium. Mucosal injury correlated negatively with unconjugated bile acids and Gram-positive bacteria, and positively with taurine conjugates and some Gram-negative taxa. Strong positive correlation was found between Lactobacillaceae, Ruminococcaceae, Clostridiaceae and unconjugated bile acids. Indomethacin-induced dysbiosis was not likely due to direct antibacterial effects or alterations in luminal pH. Here we provide the first detailed characterization of indomethacin-induced time-dependent alterations in small intestinal bile acid composition, and their associations with mucosal injury and dysbiosis. Our results suggest that increased bile hydrophobicity is not likely to contribute to indomethacin-induced small intestinal damage.

Keywords: Bile acid; Correlation; Enteropathy; Inflammation; Microbiota; Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / toxicity*
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Dysbiosis / chemically induced
  • Dysbiosis / metabolism*
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Indomethacin / toxicity*
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism*
  • Intestine, Small / microbiology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Indomethacin