Biliary Glutathione and Some Amino Acids Are Markedly Diminished When Biliary Pressure Is Elevated

Mary Treinen Moslen, Mary F. Kanz, Jatinder Bhatia, Charles V. Smith, David K. Rassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We studied the effects of a transient elevation in biliary pressure on biliary glutathione and amino acids in rats. Other biliary solutes monitored were total bile salt, Pi, which is a putative marker of paracellular leakage, and glucose, which is reabsorbed from the biliary tract. Experiments were carried out on anesthetized rats intraduodenally infused with taurocholate to maintain bile flow during a 2-hr basal period, a 4-hr pressure period during which the bile duct cannula was elevated until bile flow decreased to 1 3 the basal rate, and a 2-hr period after release of hydrostatic biliary pressure. We found that pressure treatment caused biliary concentrations of glutathione to progressively decrease by 80%, while biliary Pi rapidly rose ˜3- to 4-fold, bile salt gradually increased ˜3-fold, and biliary glucose concentration progressively rose 15-fold. HPLC analysis of monobromobimane-derivatized biliary thiols indicated that the decline in biliary glutathione was not accompanied by an increase in its breakdown products, cysteine and cysteinylglycine. Pressure treatment led to four patterns of change in biliary amino acid concentrations: (1) increases of 29 to 76% for the basic amino acids lysine and arginine, which have very low bile/plasma ratios of about 0.1; (2) no change for the more water soluble amino acids with bile/plasma ratios close to 1.0, e.g., histidine and urea; (3) modest decreases of 16 to 48% for a variety of amino acids including serine, glutamate, and glycine; and (4) marked, progressive decreases of >50% for aromatic and branched chain amino acids. By 2 hr after release of pressure, only the alterations in biliary glucose and some amino acids, particularly the branched chains, persisted. This is the first report of cholestasis-induced alterations in biliary amino acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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