Myclobutanil-mediated alteration of liver-gut FXR signaling in mice

Rulaiha Taylor, Laura Armstrong, Anisha Bhattacharya, Zakiyah Henry, Anita Brinker, Brian Buckley, Bo Kong, Grace Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The effects of exposure to Myclobutanil, a triazole fungicide, on the development and progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are unclear, but activation of nuclear receptors (NRs) is a known mechanism of azole-induced liver toxicity. Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a NR and is highly expressed in the liver and intestine. Activation of FXR tightly regulates bile acid (BA), lipid and glucose homeostasis, and inflammation partly through the induction of fibroblast growth factor 15 (FGF15; human ortholog FGF19). FXR activation is downregulated during NAFLD and agonists are currently being explored as potential therapeutic strategy. In this study, we aimed to clarify the effects of Myclobutanil exposure on FXR activation and NAFLD development. Reporter assay showed Myclobutanil treatment, following FXR activation with potent FXR agonist (GW4064), resulted in a dose-dependent decrease of FXR activity. Furthermore, a 10-day study in male mice demonstrated that cotreatment with Myclobutanil led to an 80% reduction of GW4064-induced ileal expression of Fgf15. In a diet-induced NAFLD study, low-fat diet (LFD) fed mice administered myclobutanil displayed decreased FXR activity in the liver and ileum, while high-fat-high-sugar-diet (HFHSD) fed mice showed an increase in hepatic FXR activity and an induction of target genes regulated by constitutive androstane receptor and/or pregnane X receptor. Our work demonstrates Myclobutanil inhibits FXR activity and modulates FXR activity differentially in mice fed LFD or HFHSD. Our studies suggest the importance of understanding how Myclobutanil could contribute to BA dysregulation in disease states such as NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-399
Number of pages13
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


  • environmental chemicals
  • liver
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • nuclear receptors
  • pesticides


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