Hypercholeresis with cholate infusion in dogs with pigment gallstones

Jon S. Matsumura, Karen Neri, Robert V Rege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We previously reported that dogs with pigment gallstones infused with taurocholate produce higher bile flow than normal dogs due to an increase in bile-acid independent bile flow. Since dogs with pigment gallstones are taurine-depleted and secrete large amounts of unconjugated bile salt, we hypothesized that the observed increased bile flow is secondary to the presence of unconjugated bile salts in the biliary tract, and cholate infusion was compared in normal and pigment gallstone dogs. Cholate increased bile flow significantly (P < 0.05) from 5.2 and 8.2 to 31 and 57 μl/kg/min in normal and pigment gallstones dogs, respectively. Plots of bile flow versus bile acid output yielded separate linear relationships with a higher slope in gallstone dogs, but mannitol clearance indicated that excess flow originated in the canaliculus. Extended cholate infusion (570 min) severely taurine depleted normal dogs and increased cholate secretion, but bile flow remained significantly lower (P < 0.05) in normal dogs than in gallstone dogs. Choleretic activity of cholate in normal dogs was similar to that of taurocholate, but was nearly twice that of taurocholate in gallstone dogs. Choleretic activity. increased in both groups with extended cholate infusion, suggesting adaptive changes in a biliary system bathed with unconjugated bile salts. These results are important since the increased bile flow in dogs with pigment gallstones would increase delivery of all biliary components to the gallbladder contributing to the high concentrations of gallbladder bile calcium previously observed in these dogs. It also has important physiological implications concerning the formation of bile in the proximal biliary tree. The data are most consistent with either direct hepatocyte stimulation to secrete another anion or with cholate/anion exchange at the canalicular, rather than ductal, level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 19 1996


  • Bile acid-independent flow
  • Hypercholeresis
  • Pigment gallstones
  • Unconjugated bile salts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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