Taurine pp 45-54 | Cite as

Intestinal Taurine and the Enterohepatic Circulation of Taurocholic Acid in the Cat

  • Mary Anne Hickman
  • James G. Morris
  • Quinton R. Rogers
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 315)


Taurine’s most well defined role is the conjugation of bile salts in the liver. After synthesis from cholesterol, bile salts are conjugated with taurine and/or glycine before secretion into the bile canaliculi1. When taurine is limiting, most mammals have the ability to conjugate bile salts with glycine, exceptions being the dog2 and the cat3,4, which conjugate bile salts almost exclusively with taurine. The percentage of total bile salts conjugated with taurine is determined by both the hepatic taurine concentration and the affinity of the bile salt conjugase for glycine and taurine2,5-7. Taurine is the preferred substrate in most species with 90 percent taurine conjugation occurring in the rat when hepatic taurine and glycine concentrations are equal7. Hepatic taurine depletion in rats, caused by the infusion of cholic acid7 or by feeding guanidinoethanesulfonic acid5, results in a substantial increase in the amount of bile salts conjugated with glycine. In species that cannot conjugate bile salts with glycine (the dog and cat), hepatic taurine depletion leads instead to an increase in the proportion of unconjugated bile salts, the majority being free cholic acid2,3.


Bile Acid Bile Salt Enterohepatic Circulation Commercial Diet Taurocholic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Anne Hickman
    • 1
  • James G. Morris
    • 1
  • Quinton R. Rogers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiological Sciences School of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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