Triiodothyronine accelerates maturation of bile acid metabolism in infant baboons

D. S. Lewis, E. M. Jackson, G. E. Mott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We tested the hypothesis that triiodothyronine (T3) treatment accelerates the early postnatal maturation of bile acid metabolism in the baboon. Infant baboons were implanted with 21-day-release pellets containing T3 (n = 12), a placebo pellet (n = 6), or no pellet (n = 13). T3 treatment increased plasma T3 concentrations from 3.0 to 5.0 nmol/l between birth and 15 wk of age. At 15 wk of age, bile acid pool sizes, fractional turnover rates (FTR), and synthetic rates were determined by an isotope-dilution method with 3H- and 14C-labeled cholic (CA) and chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA). T3 treatment increased CA pool size by 47% and CA synthetic rate by 37% but did not significantly affect CDCA pool size or synthetic rate. Consequently CA-to- CDCA pool size ratio (0.77 vs. 0.42) and biliary CA-to-CDCA concentration ratio (0.88 vs. 0.46) were higher in the T3-treated infants than in combined placebo-treated and non-treated control infants. T3 treatment did not affect the bile acid glycine-to-taurine conjugate ratio, CA FTR, or CDCA pool size, FTR, and synthetic rate. T3 treatment lowered plasma high-density lipoprotein fraction 2 and 3 cholesterol concentrations by 22 and 40%, respectively. T3 treatment also increased hepatic low-density lipoprotein receptor mRNA levels but did not affect plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations. We conclude that modest elevation of plasma T3 during the preweaning period increases the CA-to-CDCA ratio at the end of the preweaning period to near adult values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E889-E896
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 31-5
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • chenodeoxycholic acid
  • cholic acid
  • lipoproteins
  • low-density lipoprotein receptor mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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