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Hepatology. 2001 Jun;33(6):1451-9.

Biliary cholesterol hypersecretion in gallstone-susceptible mice is associated with hepatic up-regulation of the high-density lipoprotein receptor SRBI.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine I and the Department of Medicine II, University Hospital of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.


Enhanced hepatocellular trafficking of cholesterol to the bile canaliculus and cholesterol hypersecretion appears critical for gallstone formation. Therefore, we studied in more detail the hepatic cholesterol transport pathways in a mouse model of cholesterol gallstone disease. Biliary lipid secretion rates, plasma lipoprotein levels, hepatic expression of lipoprotein receptors, lipid regulatory enzymes, and putative cholesterol transporting proteins were analyzed in gallstone-susceptible C57L/J and gallstone-resistant AKR/J mice, which were fed a lithogenic diet. Biliary cholesterol hypersecretion in C57L mice was associated with decreased plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and significant hepatic induction of the HDL receptor (SRBI) and cholesteryl ester hydrolase. In response to the lithogenic diet, fatty-acid binding protein of liver (FABPL) was markedly induced in both mouse strains. Caveolin 1 was elevated only in plasma membranes of gallstone-susceptible C57L mice, which also failed to down-regulate cholesterol synthesis. These data suggest a role of the reverse cholesterol transport pathway for genetically determined gallstone susceptibility in the mouse.

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