Bile acids can function in the postprandial state as circulating signaling molecules in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism via the transmembrane receptor TGR5 and nuclear receptor FXR. Both receptors are present in the central nervous system, but their function in the brain is unclear. Therefore, we investigated the effects of intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of taurolithocholate (tLCA), a strong TGR5 agonist, and GW4064, a synthetic FXR agonist, on energy metabolism. We determined the effects of chronic icv infusion of tLCA, GW4064, or vehicle on energy expenditure, body weight and composition as well as tissue specific fatty acid uptake in mice equipped with osmotic minipumps. icv administration of tLCA (final concentration in cerebrospinal fluid: 1μM) increased fat oxidation (tLCA group: 0.083±0.006 vs control group: 0.036±0.023 kcal/h, F=5.46, p=0.04) and decreased fat mass (after 9 days of tLCA infusion: 1.35±0.13 vs controls: 1.96±0.23 g, p=0.03). These changes were associated with enhanced uptake of triglyceride-derived fatty acids by brown adipose tissue and with browning of subcutaneous white adipose tissue. Icv administration of GW4064 (final concentration in cerebrospinal fluid: 10μM) did not affect energy metabolism, body composition nor bile acid levels, negating a role of FXR in the central nervous system in metabolic control. Bile acids such as tLCA may exert metabolic effects on fat metabolism via the brain.
- Journal Article