Species differences of bile acid redox metabolism: Tertiary oxidation of deoxycholate is conserved in preclinical animals

Qiuhong Lin, Xianwen Tan, Wenxia Wang, Wushuang Zeng, Lanlan Gui, Mingming Su, Changxiao Liu, Wei Jia, Liang Xu, Ke Lan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


It was recently disclosed that CYP3A is responsible for the tertiary stereoselective oxidations of deoxycholic acid (DCA), which becomes a continuum mechanism of the host-gut microbial cometabolism of bile acids (BAs) in humans. This work aims to investigate the species differences of BA redox metabolism and clarify whether the tertiary metabolism of DCA is a conserved pathway in preclinical animals. With quantitative determination of the total unconjugated BAs in urine and fecal samples of humans, dogs, rats, and mice, it was confirmed that the tertiary oxidized metabolites of DCA were found in all tested animals, whereas DCA and its oxidized metabolites disappeared in germ-free mice. The in vitro metabolism data of DCA and the other unconjugated BAs in liver microsomes of humans, monkeys, dogs, rats, and mice showed consistencies with the BA-profiling data, confirming that the tertiary oxidation of DCA is a conserved pathway. In liver microsomes of all tested animals, however, the oxidation activities toward DCA were far below the murine-specific 6b-oxidation activities toward chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), ursodeoxycholic acid, and lithocholic acid (LCA), and 7-oxidation activities toward murideoxycholic acid and hyodeoxycholic acid came from the 6-hydroxylation of LCA. These findings provided further explanations for why murine animals have significantly enhanced downstream metabolism of CDCA compared with humans. In conclusion, the species differences of BA redox metabolism disclosed in this work will be useful for the interspecies extrapolation of BA biology and toxicology in translational researches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Species differences of bile acid redox metabolism: Tertiary oxidation of deoxycholate is conserved in preclinical animals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this