Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Phenotypic characterization of lith genes that determine susceptibility to cholesterol cholelithiasis in inbred mice. Pathophysiology Of biliary lipid secretion.

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Animal, Bile, Bile-Acids-and-Salts, Cholelithiasis, Cholesterol-Dietary, Diet, Enterohepatic-Circulation, Female, Genetic-Predisposition-to-Disease, Kinetics, Lipids, Liver, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-AKR, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Microscopy, Phenotype, Sex-Factors, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Time-Factors

JAX Source

J Lipid Res 1999 Nov; 40(11):2066-79.




The inbred C57L strain but not the AKR strain of mice carry Lith genes that determine cholesterol gallstone susceptibility. When C57L mice are fed a lithogenic diet containing 15% fat, 1% cholesterol, and 0.5% cholic acid, gallbladder bile displays rapid cholesterol supersaturation, mucin gel accumulation, increases in hydrophobic bile salts, and rapid phase separation of solid and liquid crystals, all of which contribute to the high cholesterol gallstone prevalence rates (D. Q-H. Wang, B. Paigen, and M. C. Carey. J. Lipid Res. 1997. 38: 1395;-1411). We have now determined the hepatic secretion rates of biliary lipids in fasting male and female C57L and AKR mice and the intercross (C57L x AKR)F(1) before and at frequent intervals during feeding the lithogenic diet for 56 days. Bile flow and biliary lipid secretion rates were measured in the first hour of an acute bile fistula and circulating bile salt pool sizes were determined by the "washout" technique after cholecystectomy. Compared with AKR mice, we found that i) C57L and F(1) mice on chow displayed significantly higher secretion rates of all biliary lipids, and larger bile salt pool sizes, as well as higher bile salt-dependent and bile salt-independent flow rates; ii) the lithogenic diet further increased biliary cholesterol and lecithin outputs, but bile salt outputs remained constant. Biliary coupling of cholesterol to lecithin increased approximately 30%, setting the biophysical conditions necessary for cholesterol phase separation in the gallbladder; and iii) no gender differences in lipid secretion rates were noted but male mice exhibited significantly more hydrophobic bile salt pools than females.We conclude that in gallstone-susceptible mice, Lith genes determine increased outputs of all biliary lipids but promote cholesterol hypersecretion disproportionately to lecithin and bile salt outputs thereby inducing lithogenic bile formation.

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