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Effect of twice-daily oral administration of hydrocortisone on the bile acids composition of gallbladder bile in dogs

Peter H. Kook Dr med vet1, Stefan Schellenberg Dr med vet2, Katharina M. Rentsch Prof Dr med3, Claudia E. Reusch Prof Dr med vet4, and Tony M. Glaus Prof Dr vet med5
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  • 1 Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
  • | 2 Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
  • | 3 Institute of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
  • | 4 Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
  • | 5 Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the effects of twice-daily oral administration of hydrocortisone on the bile acids composition of gallbladder bile in dogs.

Animals—6 placebo-treated control dogs and 6 hydrocortisone-treated dogs.

Procedures—Dogs received hydrocortisone (median dose, 8.5 mg/kg) or a gelatin capsule (control group) orally every 12 hours for 84 days. Gallbladder bile samples were obtained via percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis from each dog before (day 0 [baseline]), during (days 28, 56, and 84), and after (days 28p, 56p, and 84p) treatment for differentiated quantification of unconjugated bile acids and taurine-conjugated and glycine-conjugated bile acids via high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry.

Results—Treatment with hydrocortisone for 84 days resulted in significant and reversible increases in the concentrations of unconjugated bile acids (ie, cholic, chenodeoxycholic, and deoxycholic acids) and a significant and reversible decrease in the concentration of total taurine-conjugated bile acids, compared with baseline or control group values. Treatment with hydrocortisone had no effect on bile concentrations of glycine-conjugated bile acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs, hydrocortisone administration caused reversible shifts toward higher concentrations of the more hydrophobic unconjugated bile acids (chenodeoxycholic acid and deoxycholic acid) and toward lower concentrations of the amphipathic taurine-conjugated bile acids in gallbladder bile. These data suggest that similar bile acids changes could cause major alterations in gallbladder structure or function over time in hypercortisolemic dogs.

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the effects of twice-daily oral administration of hydrocortisone on the bile acids composition of gallbladder bile in dogs.

Animals—6 placebo-treated control dogs and 6 hydrocortisone-treated dogs.

Procedures—Dogs received hydrocortisone (median dose, 8.5 mg/kg) or a gelatin capsule (control group) orally every 12 hours for 84 days. Gallbladder bile samples were obtained via percutaneous ultrasound-guided cholecystocentesis from each dog before (day 0 [baseline]), during (days 28, 56, and 84), and after (days 28p, 56p, and 84p) treatment for differentiated quantification of unconjugated bile acids and taurine-conjugated and glycine-conjugated bile acids via high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry.

Results—Treatment with hydrocortisone for 84 days resulted in significant and reversible increases in the concentrations of unconjugated bile acids (ie, cholic, chenodeoxycholic, and deoxycholic acids) and a significant and reversible decrease in the concentration of total taurine-conjugated bile acids, compared with baseline or control group values. Treatment with hydrocortisone had no effect on bile concentrations of glycine-conjugated bile acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs, hydrocortisone administration caused reversible shifts toward higher concentrations of the more hydrophobic unconjugated bile acids (chenodeoxycholic acid and deoxycholic acid) and toward lower concentrations of the amphipathic taurine-conjugated bile acids in gallbladder bile. These data suggest that similar bile acids changes could cause major alterations in gallbladder structure or function over time in hypercortisolemic dogs.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Schellenberg's present address is Tierklinik Aarau West, Muhenstrasse 56, 5036 Oberentfelden, Switzerland.

Address correspondence to Dr. Kook (peterhendrikkook@gmail.com).