1. Isolated rat liver was perfused with heparinized whole blood under physiological pressure resulting in the secretion of bile at about the rate observed in vivo. 2. The preparation remained metabolically active for 4h and was apparently normal in function and microscopic appearance. 3. When the perfusate plasma and liver cholesterol pool was labelled by the introduction of [2-14C]mevalonic acid the specific radioactivity of the perfusate cholesterol increased. The biliary acids (cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid) were labelled and had the same specific radioactivity. 4. Livers removed from rats immediately after, and 40h after, the start of total biliary drainage, were perfused; increased excretion rates of both cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid were found when the liver donors had been subjected to biliary drainage. 5. The incorporation of [2-14C]mevalonic acid or rat lipoprotein labelled with [14C]cholesterol into bile acids was studied. 6. A dissociation between the mass of bile acid excreted and the rate of incorporation of 14C was found. This was attributed to the changing specific radioactivity of the cholesterol pool acting as the immediate bile acid precursor.
- © 1970 The Biochemical Society