Analysis of metabolome changes in the bile acid pool in feces and plasma of antibiotic-treated rats

C. Behr, M. Slopianka, V. Haake, V. Strauss, S. Sperber, H. Kamp, T. Walk, K. Beekmann, I.M.C.M. Rietjens, B. van Ravenzwaay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The bile acid-liver-gut microbiota axis plays an important role in the host's health. The gut microbiota has an impact on the bile acid pool, but also the bile acids themselves can influence the gut microbiota composition. In this study, six antibiotics from five different classes (i.e. lincosamides, glycopeptides, macrolides, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides) were used to modulate microbial communities of Wistar rats to elucidate changes in the bile acid metabolism and to identify key metabolites in the bile acid pool related to gut microbial changes. 20 primary and secondary bile acids were analyzed in plasma and feces of control and treated animals. Antibiotics treatment induced significant changes in primary and secondary bile acids in both matrices. Taurine-conjugated primary bile acids significantly increased in plasma and feces. Contrary, cholic acid and most of the analyzed secondary bile acids significantly decreased in plasma, and cholic acid accumulated in the feces after treatment with all antibiotics but roxithromycin. Despite the different activity spectra of the antibiotics applied against gut microbes, the overall effect on the bile acid pool tended to be similar in both matrices except for streptomycin. These results show that changes in the gut microbial community affect the bile acid pool in plasma and feces and that changes in the bile acid profile can be indicative of alterations of the gut microbiome. Due to the important role of bile acids for the host, changes in the bile acid pool can have severe consequences for the host.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • Antibiotics
  • Bile acid profiling
  • Gut microbiome
  • Metabolomics
  • Microbiome-related metabolites
  • Repeated dose oral toxicity study


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