Activation of PPARα decreases bile acids in livers of female mice while maintaining bile flow and biliary bile acid excretion

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Fibrates are hypolipidemic drugs that act as activators of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα). In both humans and rodents, females were reported to be less responsive to fibrates than males. Previous studies on fibrates and PPARα usually involved male mice, but little has been done in females. The present study aimed to provide the first comprehensive analysis of the effects of clofibrate (CLOF) and PPARα on bile acid (BA) homeostasis in female mice. Study in WT male mice showed that a 4-day CLOF treatment increased liver weight, bile flow, and biliary BA excretion, but decreased total BAs in both serum and liver. In contrast, WT female mice were less susceptible to these CLOF-mediated responses observed in males. In WT female mice, CLOF decreased total BAs in the liver, but had little effect on the mRNAs of hepatic BA-related genes. Next, a comparative analysis between WT and PPARα-null female mice showed that lack of PPARα in female mice decreased total BAs in serum, but had little effect on total BAs in liver or bile. However, lack of PPARα in female mice increased mRNAs of BA synthetic enzymes (Cyp7a1, Cyp8b1, Cyp27a1, and Cyp7b1) and transporters (Ntcp, Oatp1a1, Oatp1b2, and Mrp3). Furthermore, the increase of Cyp7a1 in PPARα-null female mice was associated with an increase in liver Fxr-Shp-Lrh-1 signaling. In conclusion, female mice are resistant to CLOF-mediated effects on BA metabolism observed in males, which could be attributed to PPARα-mediated suppression in females on genes involved in BA synthesis and transport.HighlightsFemale mice were resistant to clofibrate-induced effects on bile acid metabolism observed in males.PPARα deficiency in female mice induced mRNAs of genes involved in bile acid synthesis and transport in the liver.The increase of Cyp7a1 in PPARα-null female mice was associated with an increase in liver Fxr-Shp-Lrh-1 signaling.Clofibrate had little effect on bile acid homeostasis and mRNAs of bile acid-related genes in PPARα-null mice.

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