A villin-driven FXR transgene modulates enterohepatic bile acid homeostasis and response to an N-6-enriched high-fat diet

Spencer N. Wren, Micah G. Donovan, Ornella I. Selmin, Tom C. Doetschman, Donato F. Romagnolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A diet high in n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may contribute to inflammation and tissue damage associated with obesity and pathologies of the colon and liver. One contributing factor may be dysregulation by n-6 fatty acids of enterohepatic bile acid (BA) metabolism. The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor that regulates BA homeostasis in the liver and intestine. This study aims to compare the effects on FXR regulation and BA metabolism of a palm oil-based diet providing 28% energy (28%E) from fat and low n-6 linoleic acid (LA, 2.5%E) (CNTL) with those of a soybean oil-based diet providing 50%E from fat and high (28%E) in LA (n-6HFD). Wild-type (WT) littermates and a transgenic mouse line overexpressing the Fxrα1 isoform under the control of the intestine-specific Villin promoter (Fxrα1TG) were fed the CNTL or n-6HFD starting at weaning through 16 weeks of age. Compared to the CNTL diet, the n-6HFD supports higher weight gain in both WT and FxrαTG littermates; increases the expression of Fxrα1/2, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ1 (Pparγ1) in the small intestine, Fxrα1/2 in the colon, and cytochrome P4507A1 (Cyp7a1) and small heterodimer protein (Shp) in the liver; and augments the levels of total BA in the liver, and primary chenodeoxycholic (CDCA), cholic (CA), and β-muricholic (βMCA) acid in the cecum. Intestinal overexpression of the Fxra1TG augments expression of Shp and ileal bile acid-binding protein (Ibabp) in the small intestine and Ibabp in the proximal colon. Conversely, it antagonizes n-6HFD-dependent accumulation of intestinal and hepatic CDCA and CA; hepatic levels of Cyp7a1; and expression of Pparγ in the small intestine. We conclude that intestinal Fxrα1 overexpression represses hepatic de novo BA synthesis and protects against n-6HFD-induced accumulation of human-specific primary bile acids in the cecum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7829
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Bile acids
  • Farnesoid X receptor
  • High-fat diet
  • Linoleic acid
  • N-6
  • Soybean oil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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