Bile acid-independent secretion and the choleretic response to taurocholate were determined in rhesus monkeys fitted with indwelling silastic cannulas in the common bile ducts. Bile acids were infused intravenously in random order at 3.5, 7.0, or 10.5 μmol/min for 1.5 h each. When data were analyzed with a single regression line, bile flow increased in proportion to the level of bile acid secretion, although the y-intercepts (the conventional measurement of bile acid-independent secretion) varied widely (77.9±40.9 ml/24 h). The variation in y-intercepts was observed between animals and with repeated studies in the same animal and could not be explained by sex differences or the effects of the indwelling silastic cannulas, but seemed to be related to the order of bile acid infusion. With only two taurocholic acid infusion rates (7.0 and 3.5 μmol/min), [14C]erythritol clearance was greater per mole of secreted bile acid when the initial bile acid infusion was at the high level, but approached zero at low bile acid secretion rates, which suggests that so-called bile acid-independent canalicular flow is closely related to bile acid secretion or is small in size. The augmentation in [14C]erythritol clearance when the high infusion rate was given first was also associated with an increase in biliary clearance of [3H]inulin, which indicates that the premeability to inulin was also enhanced. Identical experiments which substituted equimolar infusions of a nonmicelle-forming bile acid (taurodehydrocholate) for taurocholate failed to demonstrate any difference in choleretic response or biliary clearance of [3H]inulin with the order of bile acid infusion. These experiments demonstrate that a micelleforming bile acid, taurocholate, can increase the permeability of the biliary system to large molecular weight solutes and simultaneously modify the y-intercept and the volume of bile secreted in response to the transported bile acid. Taurocholate may, therefore, modify its own choleretic response, perhaps by altering the structure or function of bile secretory membranes, and appears to be a major determinant of so-called bile acid-independent flow in rhesus monkeys.
Alfred L. Baker, R. A. B. Wood, A. R. Moossa, James L. Boyer