Gastroenterologia Japonica

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 93–97 | Cite as

Liquid crystal formation in ursodeoxycholate-rich human gallbladder bile

  • Hirotsune Igimi
  • Shohei Asakawa
  • Daisuke Watanabe
  • Hidehiko Shimura
Original Article


We studied liquid crystal formation in bile samples obtained from the patients with radiolucent gallstones who had been administered either ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) at a dose of 600 mg/day or chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) at 400 mg/day for one week preoperatively. The UDCA/total bile acids ratio was found to range from 50 to 60% and the CDCA/total bile acids ratio ranged from 70 to 80%. Cholesterol molar percent was 5 in UDCA-rich bile and 6 in CDCA-rich bile. Phospholipid molar percentage was about the same in both groups. Liquid crystal formation was confirmed only in the UDCA-rich bile samples but not in the CDCA-rich bile samples. This result suggests that cholesterol in the UDCA-rich bile samples is not solubilized by the bile salt and phospholipid mixed micells but also consumed to form liquid crystals.

Key words

ursodeoxycholic acid chenodeoxycholic acid phospholipid, liquid crystal spherical droplets 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1).
    Danzinger RE, et al: Dissolution of cholesterol gallstones by chenodeoxycholic acid. N Engl J Med 286: 1, 1972PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2).
    Sugata F, et al: Retrospective studies on gallstone disappearance. Jpn J Gastroenterol 71: 75, 1974 (Jpn)Google Scholar
  3. 3).
    Makino I, et al: Dissolution of cholesterol gallstones by ursodeoxycholic acid. Jpn J Gastroenterol 72: 690, 1975 (Jpn)Google Scholar
  4. 4).
    Tanigawa K, et al: Treatment of gallstone with ursodeoxycholic acid — Lipid and bile acid composition in bile. Jpn J Gastroenterol 75: 1196, 1979Google Scholar
  5. 5).
    Tokyo Cooperative Gallstone Study Group: Efficacy and indications of ursodeoxycholic acid treatment for dissolving gallstones. Gastroenterology 78: 542, 1980Google Scholar
  6. 6).
    Salen G, et al: Hepatic cholesterol metabolism in patients with gallstone. Gastroenterology 69: 676, 1975PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7).
    Hirabayashi N, et al: Effect of ursodeoxycholic acid on hepatic HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase of in vitro. Ōyō Yakuri 15: 125, 1978 (Jpn)Google Scholar
  8. 8).
    Igimi H, et al: Ursodeoxycholate in vitro cholesterol solubility and changes of composition of human gallbladder bile after oral treatment. Life Sci 21: 1373, 1977PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9).
    Igimi H, et al: pH-Solubility relations of chenodeoxycholic and ursodeoxycholic acid: physical-chemical basis for dissimilar solution and membrane phenomena. J Lipid Res 21: 72, 1980PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10).
    Igimi H, et al: Cholesterol gallstone dissolution in bile: dissolution kinetics of crystalline (anhydrate and monohydrate) cholesterol with chenodeoxycholate, ursodeoxycholate, and their glycine and taurine conjugates. J Lipid Res 22: 254, 1981PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11).
    Igimi H: Physicochemical differences between chenodeoxycholate and ursodeoxycholate on the gallstone dissolution. Fourth international conference on surface and colloid science. 53, (Abstract), 1981Google Scholar
  12. 12).
    Igimi H, et al: Dissolution mechanism of cholesterol gallstone in UDC-rich bile. Hepatology 2: 145 (Abstract), 1982Google Scholar
  13. 13).
    Corrigan OI, et al: Mesophase formation during cholesterol in ursodeoxycholate-lecithin solution: new mechanism for gallstone dissolution in humans. J Pharm Sci 69: 869, 1980PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14).
    Fausa O, et al: Quantitative determination of bile acids and their conjugates using thin-layer chromatography and a purified 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Scand J Gastroent 9: 249, 1974PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15).
    Gurantz D, et al: Enzymatic measurement of cholinecontaining phospholipids in bile. J Lipid Res 22: 373, 1981PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16).
    Igimi H: Ursodeoxycholate-A common bile acid in gallbladder bile of Japanese subjects. Life Sci 18: 993, 1974CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Gastroenterology 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hirotsune Igimi
    • 1
  • Shohei Asakawa
    • 1
  • Daisuke Watanabe
    • 1
  • Hidehiko Shimura
    • 1
  1. 1.First Department of Surgery, School of MedicineFukuoka UniversityJohnan-ku, FukuokaJapan

Personalised recommendations