Spontaneous cholecysto- and hepatolithiasis in Mdr2-/- mice: a model for low phospholipid-associated cholelithiasis.

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Animals, Bile, Bile-Ducts, Cholelithiasis, Cholesterol, Crystallization, Disease-Models-Animal, Female, Gallbladder, Liver, Male, Mice, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Mice-Knockout, P-Glycoproteins, Phenotype, Phospholipids, Sex-Factors

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Hepatology 2004 Jan; 39(1):117-28.


Previously, we identified needle-like and filamentous, putatively "anhydrous" cholesterol crystallization in vitro at very low phospholipid concentrations in model and native biles. Our aim now was to address whether spontaneous gallstone formation occurs in Mdr2 (Abcb4) knockout mice that are characterized by phospholipid-deficient bile. Biliary phenotypes and cholesterol crystallization sequences in fresh gallbladder biles and non-fixed liver sections were determined by direct and polarizing light microscopy. The physical chemical nature and composition of crystals and stones were determined by sucrose density centrifugation and before mass and infrared spectroscopy. Gallbladder biles of Mdr2(-/-) mice precipitate needle-like cholesterol crystals at 12 weeks of age on chow. After 15 weeks, more than 50% of Mdr2(-/-) mice develop gallbladder stones, with female mice displaying a markedly higher gallstone-susceptibility. Although gallbladder biles of Mdr2(-/-) mice contain only traces (

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