Involvement of Trihydroxyconjugated Bile Salts in Cholesterol Assimilation by Bifidobacteria
To determine the conditions of cholesterol assimilation, various strains of Bifidobacterium species were cultured in the presence of cholesterol and bile salts. During culturing, Bifidobacterium breve ATCC 15700 assimilates cholesterol in the presence of oxgall at pH values lower than 6. This strain was selected to study the influence of conjugated (taurocholic acid) and deconjugated (cholic acid) bile salts on cholesterol assimilation. B. breve ATCC 15700 assimilated cholesterol (up to 51%) when cultures were undertaken in the presence of taurocholic acid, whereas less than 13% of the initial amount of cholesterol was measured in the cells in the presence of cholic acid. Cultured in the presence of six individual di- or trihydroxyconjugated bile salts, bifidobacteria strains assimilated cholesterol. This assimilation appeared to be more important in the presence of trihydroxyconjugated bile salts (tauro- and glycocholic acids). It is concluded that trihydroxyconjugated bile salts are involved in the assimilation of cholesterol by bifidobacteria.
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