The interplay between contraction and relaxation in the gall-bladder muscularis leads to appropriate gall-bladder emptying and refilling during fasting and in the postprandial state in vivo. Several studies in both human and animal models have focused on cellular and molecular events in the gall-bladder wall in health and disease in vitro. Principal methods to study gall bladder smooth muscle function include receptor binding studies (at the level of plasmamembranes or histological sections), phase contrast microscopy (at the level of isolated smooth muscle cells), and tensiometry (at the level of smooth muscle strips or the whole gallbladder). At a very early stage, cholesterol gallstone disease is characterized by exposure of the gall-bladder wall to excess of biliary cholesterol and the cytotoxic effect of the bile salt deoxycholate. On a long-term basis, a form of gall-bladder leiomyopathy develops with defects involving the mechanisms of signal transduction at the level of plasmamembranes. The end-stage result is pathological contraction and/or relaxation of smooth musculature, impaired gall-bladder motility and gallbladder stasis, all key factors in the pathogenesis of biliary cholesterol crystallization and gallstones.
|Number of pages
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Supplement
|Published - 2000
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
- Pharmacology (medical)