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The Bile Acid Synthesis Pathway Is Present and Functional in the Human Ovary

  • Background: Bile acids, end products of the pathway for cholesterol elimination, are required for dietary lipid and fatsoluble vitamin absorption and maintain the balance between cholesterol synthesis in the liver and cholesterol excretion. They are composed of a steroid structure and are primarily made in the liver by the oxidation of cholesterol. Cholesterol is also highly abundant in the human ovarian follicle, where it is used in the formation of the sex steroids. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we describe for the first time evidence that all aspects of the bile acid synthesis pathway are present in the human ovarian follicle, including the enzymes in both the classical and alternative pathways, the nuclear receptors known to regulate the pathway, and the end product bile acids. Furthermore, we provide functional evidence that bile acids are produced by the human follicular granulosa cells in response to cholesterol presence in the culture media. Conclusions/Significance: These findings establish a novel pathway present in the human ovarian follicle that has the capacity to compete directly with sex steroid synthesis.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Laura P. Smith, Maik Nierstenhoefer, Sang Wook Yoo, Alan S. Penzias, Edda Tobiasch, Anny Usheva
Parent Title (English):PLoS ONE
First Page:7333
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=19806215
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg
Date of first publication:2009/10/06
Fellowship funding to Laura Smith, NIH funding to Anny Usheva.
(c) 2009 Smith et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Angewandte Naturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Entry in this database:2015/08/21
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 3.0