The effect of jejunal infusion of glycochenodeoxycholic acid and glycocholic acid on small bowel transit time, fasting jejunal motility and serum bile acid concentrations was investigated in groups of five to six healthy subjects. Glycochenodeoxycholic acid at a concentration of 15 mmol/l (total amount: 5 mmol) and glycocholic acid 15 mmol/l (total amount: 5 mmol), both with lecithin 2.5 mmol/l, delayed (p less than 0.02) small bowel transit when compared with a bile acid free infusion [158.3 (12.5) min v 111.7 (17.6) min and 103.3 (21.8) min v 70.0 (14.9) min], inhibited (p less than 0.01 and p less than 0.05 respectively) the percentage duration of pressure activity of phase 2 [13.1 (1.8)% v 28.1 (3.4)% and 29.2 (5.5)% v 34.9 (3.9)%], but did not change duration of migrating motor complex, or of its phases. Glycochenodeoxycholic acid 10 mmol/l (total amount: 3.3 mmol), either with or without lecithin, did not delay small bowel transit significantly [145.0 (13.2) min v 115.0 (19.5) and 90.0 (11.7) min v 84.0 (8.3)]. When bile acids were infused, serum bile acid curves were similar to those obtained after a liquid meal and the peak serum bile acid concentration occurred 33.7 (6.6) min before (p less than 0.001) completion of small bowel transit. These observations suggest a role for endogenous bile acids in the regulation of small gut motility.
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