Bile Salts

L. Maillette de Buy Wenniger, T. Pusl, U. Beuers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Bile salts play a crucial role in hepatobiliary and intestinal homeostasis and digestion. The liver synthesizes primary bile salts from cholesterol. Enzymatic modifications during their enterohepatic circulation lead to the formation of secondary and tertiary bile salts. The solubilization of dietary lipids and fat-soluble nutrients are key digestive functions of bile salts. Furthermore, they represent potent transcriptional and posttranscriptional signaling molecules in the liver and intestine. When elevated in liver tissue, bile salts may induce cholestasis, apoptosis, and necrosis. Therapeutic nontoxic bile salts are applied in clinical practice to modify the circulating bile salt pool to minimize bile salt toxicity while optimizing hepatobiliary function.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biological Chemistry
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780123786319
ISBN (Print)9780123786302
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2013


  • Bile acids
  • Bile salts
  • Cholestasis
  • Cholesterol
  • Enterohepatic circulation
  • Nuclear hormone receptors
  • Ursodeoxycholate

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