Metformin impacts cecal bile acid profiles in mice

Nina Sillner, Alesia Walker, Wendelin Koch, Michael Witting, Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Bile acids (BAs) are major components of bile synthesized from cholesterol and take part in the digestion of dietary lipids, as well as having signaling functions. They undergo extensive microbial metabolism inside the gastrointestinal tract. Here, we present a method of ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography coupled to ion trap mass spectrometry for quantification of 45 BAs in mouse cecum. The system was validated in regard to sensitivity with limits of detection and quantification (0.6–24.9 nM), interday accuracy (102.4%), interday precision (15.2%), recovery rate (74.7%), matrix effect (98.2%) and carry-over effect (<1.1%). Afterwards, we applied our method to investigate the effect of metformin on BA profiles. Diabetic mice were treated with metformin for 1 day or 14 days. One day of treatment resulted in a significant increase of total BA concentration (2.7-fold increase; db/db metformin 5.32 μmol/g, db/db control mice 1.95 μmol/g), most notable in levels of 7-oxodeoxycholic, 3-dehydrocholic and cholic acid. We observed only minor impact on BA metabolism after 14 days of metformin treatment, compared to the single treatment. Furthermore, healthy wild type mice had elevated concentrations of allocholic and ω-muricholic acid compared to diabetic mice. Our method proved the applicability of profiling BAs in cecum to investigate intestinal BA metabolism in diabetes and pharmacological applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2018


  • Bile acids
  • Metformin
  • Quantification
  • db/db mice


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