Biliary bile acid composition of the human fetus in early gestation

C. Colombo, G. Zuliani, M. Ronchi, J. Breidenstein, K. D. Setchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using analytical techniques, which included capillary column gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, detailed bile acid profiles were obtained for 24 fetal bile samples collected after legal abortions were performed between the 14th and 20th wk of gestation. Qualitatively, the bile acid profiles of all fetal bile samples were similar. The predominant bile acids identified were chenodeoxycholic and cholic acid. The presence of small but variable amounts of deoxycholic acid and traces of lithocholic acid suggested placental transfer of these bile acids from the maternal circulation. 3/?-Hydroxy-5-chole-noic acid was detected at higher levels than lithocholic acid. A conspicuous feature of the profiles was the presence of bile acids with hydroxyl groups at positions C-l and C-6, and one other nuclear position of unknown origin, indicating fetal hepatic synthesis via pathways different from those normally seen in the adult. Quantitatively total biliary bile acid concentrations were extremely low (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-200
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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