Published online Jan 16, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i2.308
Peer-review started: July 6, 2020
First decision: September 12, 2020
Revised: September 28, 2020
Accepted: October 20, 2020
Article in press: October 20, 2020
Published online: January 16, 2021
Bile acids (BAs) are classically known to play a vital role in the metabolism of lipids and in absorption. It is now well established that BAs act as signaling molecules, activating different receptors (such as farnesoid X receptor, vitamin D receptor, Takeda G-protein-coupled receptor 5, sphingosine-1-phosphate, muscarinic receptors, and big potassium channels) and participating in the regulation of energy homeostasis and lipid and glucose metabolism. In addition, increased BAs can impair cardiovascular function in liver cirrhosis. Approximately 50% of patients with cirrhosis develop cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. Exposure to high concentrations of hydrophobic BAs has been shown to be related to adverse effects with respect to vascular tension, endothelial function, arrhythmias, coronary atherosclerotic heart disease, and heart failure. The BAs in the serum BA pool have relevant through their hydrophobicity, and the lipophilic BAs are more harmful to the heart. Interestingly, ursodeoxycholic acid is a hydrophilic BA, and it is used as a therapeutic drug to reverse and protect the harmful cardiac effects caused by hydrophobic elevated BAs. In order to elucidate the mechanism of BAs and cardiovascular function, abundant experiments have been conducted in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this review was to explore the mechanism of BAs in the cardiovascular system.
Core Tip: In the literature, there are some reviews on the relationship between bile acids (BAs) and the cardiovascular system. However, this is the first review to use molecular and cellular mechanisms of related pathways to explore the possible mechanism of BAs in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease and to classify the role of BAs in heart and other organs using a tabular form. The goal was to provide readers a more comprehensive, deeper, and clearer understanding of the function of BAs.