1. The extent of biliary excretion of biphenyl, tetralin, stilboestrol and phenolphthalein was studied in the rat. 2. Biphenyl and its 4-hydroxy and 4,4′-dihydroxy derivatives are extensively excreted in the bile as glucuronides in amounts increasing in order of molecular weight. 3. Stilboestrol and its glucuronide are excreted almost quantitatively in the bile mainly as the monoglucuronide, as are also phenolphthalein and its glucuronide. 4. Tetralin is excreted to the extent of about 13% of the dose, mainly as ac-tetralyl glucuronides. 5. The results and those of Abou-El-Makarem, Millburn, Smith & Williams (1967) are discussed and it is concluded that the extent of biliary excretion of foreign compounds in rats depends on their molecular weight and their possessing a strongly polar anionic group. There appears to be a minimum value of this molecular weight below which little biliary excretion (i.e. not more than 5–10% of the dose) occurs. There is some latitude in the choice of this molecular weight, which is about 325±50. The necessary molecular weight and polar group can be acquired by metabolism. Above this minimum value biliary excretion increases with molecular weight. It is suggested that the mechanism of the biliary excretion of foreign compounds may be similar to that of conjugated bile acids, which are highly polar and whose molecular weights exceed 400.

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