The hepatic bile acid transporters ntcp and Mrp2 are downregulated in experimental necrotizing enterocolitis

Nathan J. Cherrington, Teresa E. Estrada, Harrison A. Frisk, Mark J. Canet, Rhiannon N. Hardwick, Bohuslav Dvorak, Katie Lux, Melissa D. Halpern

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20 Scopus citations


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common gastrointestinal emergency of premature infants and is characterized by an extensive hemorrhagic inflammatory necrosis of the distal ileum and proximal colon. We have previously shown that, during the development of experimental NEC, the liver plays an important role in regulating inflammation in the ileum, and accumulation of ileal bile acids (BA) along with dysregulation of ileal BA transporters contributes to ileal damage. Given these findings, we speculated that hepatic BA transporters would also be altered in experimental NEC. Using both rat and mouse models of NEC, levels of Cyp7a1, Cyp27a1, and the hepatic BA transporters Bsep, Ntcp, Oatp2, Oatp4, Mrp2, and Mrp3 were investigated. In addition, levels of hepatic BA transporters were also determined when the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-18, which are both elevated in NEC, are neutralized during disease development. Ntcp and Mrp2 were decreased in NEC, but elevated ileal BA levels were not responsible for these reductions. However, neutralization of TNF-α normalized Ntcp, whereas removal of IL-18 normalized Mrp2 levels. These data show that the hepatic transporters Ntcp and Mrp2 are downregulated, whereas Cyp27a1 is increased in rodent models of NEC. Furthermore, increased levels of TNF-α and IL-18 in experimental NEC may play a role in the regulation of Ntcp and Mrp2, respectively. These data suggest the gut-liver axis should be considered when therapeutic modalities for NEC are developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G48-G56
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Bile acids
  • Hepatic bile acid transport
  • Inflammatory cytokines
  • Multidrug resistance-associated protein 2
  • Sodiumdependent taurocholate-transporting polypeptide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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