The cause of Cystic fibrosis liver disease (CFLD), is unknown. It is well recognized that hepatic exposure to hydrophobic bile salts is associated with the development of liver disease. For this reason, we hypothesize that, CFTR dependent variations, in the hepatic handling of hydrophobic bile salts, are related to the development CFLD. To test our hypothesis we studied, in Cftr-/- and control mice, bile production, bile composition and liver pathology, in normal feeding condition and during cholate exposure, either acute (intravenous) or chronic (three weeks via the diet). In Cftr-/- and control mice the basal bile production was comparable. Intravenous taurocholate increased bile production to the same extent in Cftr-/- and control mice. However, chronic cholate exposure increased the bile flow significantly less in Cftr-/- mice than in controls, together with significantly higher biliary bile salt concentration in Cftr-/- mice. Prolonged cholate exposure, however, did not induce CFLD like pathology in Cftr-/- mice. Chronic cholate exposure did induce a significant increase in liver mass in controls that was absent in Cftr-/- mice. Chronic cholate administration induces a cystic fibrosis-specific hepatobiliary phenotype, including changes in bile composition. These changes could not be associated with CFLD like pathological changes in CFmouse livers. However, chronic cholate administration induces liver growth in controls that is absent in Cftr-/- mice. Our findings point to an impaired adaptive homeotrophic liver response to prolonged hydrophobic bile salt exposure in CF conditions.,
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Bodewes, F., Bijvelds, M., De Vries, W. (Willemien), Baller, J.F.W. (Juul F. W.), Gouw, A., de Jonge, H., & Verkade, H. (2015). Cholic acid induces a Cftr dependent biliary secretion and liver growth response in mice. PLoS ONE, 10(2). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117599