Hegade VS, Jones DE, Hirschfield GM et al.
Institute of Cellular Medicine, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Digestive diseases (Basel, Switzerland). 2017.
Bile acids (BAs) have gained mainstream attention since the discovery of their key role as signalling molecules in health and disease. The apical sodium-dependent transporter (ASBT) protein located in the terminal ileum plays an important physiological role in the enterohepatic circulation of BAs and therefore essential for the BA homeostasis. Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), the 2 most common cholestatic liver diseases are characterised by altered BA flow and BA composition, which contribute to disease progression and symptom (pruritus) development. Therefore, changing the circulating BA pool in patients with PBC and PSC may have therapeutic implications. To this end, pharmacological inhibition of ASBT is fast emerging as an interesting target. In this review, we discuss the recent evidence for potential therapeutic use of ASBT inhibitors to treat PBC and PSC patients.