Effect of cholestasis on regulation of cAMP synthesis by glucagon and bile acids in isolated hepatocytes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology




1 36-1




Bile duct ligation; Isolated hamster hepatocytes; Protein kinase C; Ursodeoxycholic acid


Previously, we have reported that bile acids can directly inhibit hormone-induced adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) formation through a protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent mechanism [Bouscarel, B., T. W. Gettys, H. Fromm, and H. Dubner. Am. J. Physiol. 268 (Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 31): G300-G310, 1995]. Therefore, the regulation of cAMP synthesis by glucagon and bile acids was investigated in hepatocytes isolated after 2-day ligation of the common bile duct in Golden Syrian hamsters. The bile acid concentration was increased 30-fold in the serum, whereas it was not significantly different in the bile of duct-ligated vs. sham-operated hamsters. The glycine/taurine and cholate/chenodeoxycholate ratios were significantly increased four-fold and sevenfold, respectively, only in the serum of bile duct-ligated hamsters. Ligation of the bile duct decreased the efficacy of glucagon-stimulated cAMP synthesis by 40-50% without changing its potency. This attenuation of cAMP synthesis, which was also observed with forskolin, remained in the absence of any detectable amount of bile acids in the hepatocytes. The decrease in glucagon-stimulated cAMP production was also not attributable to changes in either the affinity or the number of receptors for this hormone. The potency and efficacy of the bile acids to inhibit glucagon- induced cAMP formation was also reduced in bile duct-ligated hamsters. The inhibitory regulation of cAMP synthesis through angiotensin II was similarly diminished after bile duct ligation. Although the total expression of PKC-α was not affected, an increased translocation by 60% from the cytosol to the membrane fraction was observed in hepatocytes isolated after bile duct ligation. Therefore, during cholestasis and prolonged exposure of the liver to bile acids, both the stimulatory and inhibitory regulatory mechanisms of cAMP synthesis are compromised in an irreversible manner because the effects persist even after isolation of the hepatocytes. This decreased regulation of cAMP synthesis is possibly mediated through PKC-α activation.

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