The aim of this study was to elucidate the role and the pathways used by bile acid receptor TGR5 in transmitting satiety signals. We showed TGR5 colocalized with cholecystokinin type A (CCK-A) receptors in a subpopulation of rat nodose ganglia (NG) neurons. Intra-arterial injection of deoxycholic acid (DCA) dose-dependently increased firing rate in NG while a subthreshold dose of DCA and CCK-8 increased firing rates synergistically. TGR5-specific agonist oleanolic acid induced NG neuronal firing in a dose-dependent manner. However, the same units did not respond to GW4064, a nuclear receptor–specific agonist. Quantity of DCA-activated neurons in the hypothalamus was determined by c-Fos expression. Combining DCA and CCK-8 caused a 4-fold increase in c-Fos activation. In the arcuate nucleus, c-Fos–positive neurons coexpressed cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript and proopiomelanocortin. DCA-induced c-Fos expression was eliminated following truncal vagotomy or silencing of TGR5 in the NG. Feeding studies showed intravenous injection of 1 μg/kg of DCA reduced food intake by 12% ± 3%, 24% ± 5%, and 32% ± 6% in the first 3 hours, respectively. Silencing of TGR5 or CCK-A receptor in the NG enhanced spontaneous feeding by 18% ± 2% and 13.5% ± 2.4%, respectively. When both TGR5 and CCK-A receptor were silenced, spontaneous feeding was enhanced by 37% ± 4% in the first 3 hours, suggesting that bile acid may have a physiological role in regulating satiety. Working in concert with CCK, bile acid synergistically enhanced satiety signals to reduce spontaneous feeding.


Xiaoyin Wu, Ji-Yao Li, Allen Lee, Yuan-Xu Lu, Shi-Yi Zhou, Chung Owyang


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