Unaltered Liver Regeneration in Post-Cholestatic Rats Treated with the FXR Agonist Obeticholic Acid.


de Haan LR(1)(2), Verheij J(3), van Golen RF(4), Horneffer-van der Sluis V(5), Lewis MR(5), Beuers UHW(6), van Gulik TM(2), Olde Damink SWM(7)(8), Schaap FG(7)(8), Heger M(1)(2)(9), Olthof PB(2)(10).
Author information:
(1)Jiaxing Key Laboratory for Photonanomedicine and Experimental Therapeutics, Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Medicine, Jiaxing University, Jiaxing, Zhejiang 314001, China.
(2)Department of Surgery, Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
(3)Department of Pathology, Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
(4)Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands.
(5)National Phenome Centre, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK.
(6)Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Research, Amsterdam Gastroenterology & Metabolism, Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
(7)Department of Surgery & NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Center, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
(8)Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, RWTH University Hospital Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.
(9)Department of Pharmaceutics, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, 3584 CG Utrecht, The Netherlands.
(10)Department of Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


: In a previous study, obeticholic acid (OCA) increased liver growth before partial hepatectomy (PHx) in rats through the bile acid receptor farnesoid X-receptor (FXR). In that model, OCA was administered during obstructive cholestasis. However, patients normally undergo PHx several days after biliary drainage. The effects of OCA on liver regeneration were therefore studied in post-cholestatic Wistar rats. Rats underwent sham surgery or reversible bile duct ligation (rBDL), which was relieved after 7 days. PHx was performed one day after restoration of bile flow. Rats received 10 mg/kg OCA per day or were fed vehicle from restoration of bile flow until sacrifice 5 days after PHx. Liver regeneration was comparable between cholestatic and non-cholestatic livers in PHx-subjected rats, which paralleled liver regeneration a human validation cohort. OCA treatment induced ileal Fgf15 mRNA expression but did not enhance post-PHx hepatocyte proliferation through FXR/SHP signaling. OCA treatment neither increased mitosis rates nor recovery of liver weight after PHx but accelerated liver regrowth in rats that had not been subjected to rBDL. OCA did not increase biliary injury. Conclusively, OCA does not induce liver regeneration in post-cholestatic rats and does not exacerbate biliary damage that results from cholestasis. This study challenges the previously reported beneficial effects of OCA in liver regeneration in cholestatic rats.