Long-term intervention of taurocholic acid over-expressing in cholestatic liver disease inhibits the growth of hepatoma cells

Xiujuan Zhang, De Nan, Chunting Zha, Gaohong He, Wenjun Zhang, Zhijun Duan


Bile acids usually build up in patients with cholestatic liver disease. It was found that the concentration of taurocholic acid (TCA), one of the taurine conjugates of primary bile acids in serum, was elevated the most. While the role played by TCA in the disease is unclear, there is concern whether TCA contributes to the development of hepatocarcinoma from cholestasis. In the present study, the cell viability, flow cytometry, real-time polymerase chain reaction, intracellular ROS measurement, and intracellular Ca2+ measurement were used to investigate the effects of TCA on THLE-2 and HepG2 cells. The results showed that TCA is capable of inhibiting HepG2 cell growth whereas it has relatively little or no impact on that of THLE-2 cells until later stages of 16-day treatment. The growth inhibition is a result of cell apoptosis induced by the increase of Ca2+ and ROS level, and also associated with the increased expression of c-Myc, CEBPα, TNF-α, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, CXCL-2, Egr-1. HepG2 growth inhibition could contribute to the research on the treatment methods of patients already with hepatocarcinoma.


Taurocholic acid; HepG2 cells; THLE-2 cells; Apoptosis; Hepatocarcinoma.

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