A study was performed to determine quantitative differences in the total protein concentration of gallbladder bile from gallstone patients and to isolate nucleation-promoting factors from the bile. Total protein concentrations in cholesterol gallstone bile (3.6±0.6 mg/ml, mean±SD, n=10), calcium bilirubinate gallstone bile (4.2±1.1 mg/ml, n=10), black pigment gallstone bile (1.9±0.6 mg/ml, n=4) and control gallbladder bile (2.3±0.5 mg/ml, n=9) were not significantly different. Also no statistically significant differences in cholesterol saturation index were found among these groups. Gallbladder bile from cholesterol gallstone patients showed significantly faster nucleation than that of contorls, calcium bilirubinate gallstone, or black pigment gallstone patients. We partially purified biliary glycoproteins from cholesterol gallstone bile or calcium bilirubinate gallstone bile by chromatography on concanavalin A Sepharose. Nucleation time was measured following the addition of these proteins to control bile in vitro. The glycoproteins obtained from cholesterol gallstone bile had significant nucleation-promoting activity, but nucleation time was not changed following the addition of biliary glycoproteins from calcium bilirubinate gallstone patients. These results suggest that qualitative differences in individual proteins of gallbladder bile are responsible for nucleation-promoting activity in vitro.
concanavalin A-binding biliary glycoprotein nucleation time total biliary protein concentration
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