Gallbladder Mucin Glycoprotein Hypersecretion in Experimental Cholelithiasis: Role of Mucin Gel in Nucleation of Cholesterol Gallstones

  • J. Thomas LaMont
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 144)


The emphasis of gallstone research in the past decade has focused on the role of cholesterol supersaturation in bile and reduction in bile salt pool size in the pathophysiology of cholelithasis. However it is now recognized that cholesterol supersaturation is a frequent finding in normal individuals (1), and that a nucleation factor (2) is present in lithogenic gallbladder bile. Womack (3) first suggested that gallbladder mucus glycoproteins could serve as a nucleating agent for cholesterol stones, and noted that nucleation of cholesterol crystals occured in mucus aggregates in the gallbladder of hamsters fed a lithogenic diet. Increased concentrations of gallbladder mucus glycoproteins has been described in experimental cholelithiases in rabbits (4) and dogs (5) and in gallbladder bile from patients with cholesterol stones. (6) Analysis of human gallstones reveals the presence of mucus glycoproteins which may form a matrix for the stones. (7)


Cholesterol Gallstone Cholesterol Crystal Hepatic Bile Gallbladder Bile Cholesterol Stone 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Thomas LaMont
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Gastroenterology, Evans Memorial Department of MedicineUniversity Hospital, Boston University Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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