Acute Changes of Bile Acids and FGF19 After Sleeve Gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

  • Yutao Chen
  • Jun LuEmail author
  • Reza Nemati
  • Lindsay D. Plank
  • Rinki MurphyEmail author
Original Contributions



Gastric bypass (GBP) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) are both effective bariatric treatments that cause sustained weight loss as well as improvement of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The underlying mechanisms are under investigation, including the contribution of alterations in bile acids (BAs) in achieving or maintaining the beneficial metabolic effects after bariatric surgery.


The aim of this study is to investigate the acute and short-term effects of GBP and SG on BA compositions and fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) in obese individuals with T2DM and to evaluate any correlations between changes in these measures with glucose metabolic improvements.


The levels of both fasting and postprandial plasma BA compositions after oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), fasting FGF19 and various metabolic indices were measured 1 day before and at 3 days and 3 months after GBP and SG in 19 obese patients (GBP = 8, SG = 11) with T2DM.


Body weight loss was observed after both GBP and SG 3 months post-operatively, with no significant difference between the two intervention groups (15.0 ± 3.1% vs. 13.9 ± 5.2%, P = 0.761).

At 3 days post-operation, FGF19 levels increased significantly in both surgery groups (GBP, 118.3 ± 57.3 vs. 363.6 ± 131.0 pg mL−1, post-operation P = 0.008; SG, 173.2 ± 127.8 vs. 422.0 ± 243.6 pg mL−1, post-operation P = 0.001). Fasting and postprandial increases from pre-operative values in secondary (r = 0.57, P = 0.02; r = 0.58, P = 0.01), conjugated (r = 0.50, P = 0.01; r = 0.48, P = 0.04), glycine-conjugated (r = 0.52, P = 0.05; r = 0.46, P = 0.05) and secondary-conjugated (r = 0.53, P = 0.02; r = 0.60, P = 0.01) BAs correlated with decreases in the postprandial states of glucose (defined by area under the curve (AUC) over 120 min (AUC0-120min)). Increases in postprandial primary-conjugated BAs were found to be associated with decreases in HOMA-IR (r = 0.45, P = 0.05). However, increases in fasting and postprandial taurine-conjugated BA correlated with decreases in both basal insulin secretion rate (r = 0.47, P = 0.04; r = 0.48, P = 0.04) and C-peptide level (r = 0.45, P = 0.05; r = 0.47, P = 0.04).

After 3 months, fasting and postprandial increases in secondary (r = 0.51, P = 0.03; r = 0.48, P = 0.04), secondary-conjugated (r = 0.52, P = 0.02; r = 0.51, P = 0.03) and non-12α-OH (r = 0.51, P = 0.02; r = 0.58, P = 0.01) BAs were found to correlate with increases in Stumvoll Insulin Sensitivity Index. Increases in both fasting and postprandial 12α-OH BAs were correlated with the decreases in glucose AUC (r = 0.46, P = 0.05; r = 0.41, P = 0.04).


Both GBP and SG achieve increases in many BA species as early as 3 days post-operation, which are sustained at 3 months post-operation. Rises in secondary BA and conjugated forms are correlated with early improvements in glucose metabolism at 3 days post-operation. These along with 12α-OH BA correlated with improved glucose metabolism at 3 months post-operation, suggesting they may contribute to the observed T2DM remission after bariatric surgery.


Diabetes Sleeve gastrectomy Gastric bypass Bile acids FGF19 



We thank all the participants who took part in this study and the larger clinical research team who made this study possible.

Author Contributions

R.M., J.L. and L.P. conceived the project and designed study. Y.C., R.N. and J.L. performed the sample and/or data collection. Y.C., R.N., J.L., L.P. and R.M. analysed the data. Y.C., R.M., L.P. and J.L. wrote the manuscript. All authors have read and agreed with the final version of this manuscript.


The main clinical trial was funded by the Waitemata District Health Board. Additional grant for biochemical analyses was obtained from the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, Auckland University of Technology. The funders had no role in the analyses, interpretation of findings, manuscript review or decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Statement

All procedures performed consistent with the ethical standards of the New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life and Marine SciencesShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.School of Science and School of Interprofessional Health Studies, Faculty of Health and Environmental SciencesAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.Institute of Biomedical TechnologyAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.College of Food Engineering and Nutrition SciencesShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anChina
  5. 5.Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  6. 6.Auckland Diabetes CentreAuckland District Health BoardAucklandNew Zealand
  7. 7.Whitiora Diabetes DepartmentCounties Manukau District Health BoardAucklandNew Zealand
  8. 8.Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  9. 9.Maurice Wilkins Centre for BiodiscoveryAucklandNew Zealand

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