Intrahepatic bile ducts transport water in response to absorbed glucose

Anatoly I. Masyuk, Tatyana V. Masyuk, Pamela S. Tietz, Patrick L. Splinter, Nicholas F. Larusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The physiological relevance of the absorption of glucose from bile by cholangiocytes remains unclear. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that absorbed glucose drives aquaporin (AQP)-mediated water transport by biliary epithelia and is thus involved in ductal bile formation. Glucose absorption and water transport by biliary epithelia were studied in vitro by microperfusing intrahepatic bile duct units (IBDUs) isolated from rat liver. In a separate set of in vivo experiments, bile flow and absorption of biliary glucose were measured after intraportal infusion of D-glucose or phlorizin. IBDUs absorbed D-glucose in a dose- and phlorizin-dependent manner with an absorption maximum of 92.8 ± 6.2 pmol·min-1·mm-1. Absorption of D-glucose by microperfused IBDUs resulted in an increase of water absorption (Jv = 3-10 nl·min-1·mm-1, Pf = 40 × 10-3 cm/sec). Glucose-driven water absorption by IBDUs was inhibited by HgCl2, suggesting that water passively follows absorbed D-glucose mainly transcellularly via mercury-sensitive AQPs. In vivo studies showed that as the amount of absorbed biliary glucose increased after intraportal infusion of D-glucose, bile flow decreased. In contrast, as the absorption of biliary glucose decreased after phlorizin, bile flow increased. Results support the hypothesis that the physiological significance of the absorption of biliary glucose by cholangiocytes is likely related to regulation of ductal bile formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C785-C791
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number3 52-3
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Absorption
  • Aquaporins
  • Cholangiocytes
  • Intrahepatic bile duct units
  • Liver
  • Microperfusion
  • Phlorizin
  • Secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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