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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Gallbladder muscle dysfunction in patients with chronic acalculous disease.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: The mechanisms responsible for the abnormalities of gallbladder emptying in patients with chronic acalculous gallbladder disease (AGD) have not been elucidated. This study was designed to determine whether a muscle defect could explain this gallbladder dysfunction. METHODS: Gallbladder contraction induced by a continuous intravenous cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8) infusion was determined by ultrasonography in control subjects, patients with AGD, pigment stones, and cholesterol stones. Muscle cells were obtained by enzymatic digestion. (125)I-CCK-8 binding and [(35)S]guanosine triphosphate gamma S (GTP gamma S) binding studies were performed. RESULTS: In vivo gallbladder contraction induced by CCK-8 was significantly lower in AGD (29.4%) and cholesterol stones (28.8%) than in pigment stones (59.8%) and normal controls (57.8%; P < 0.01). In vitro muscle cell contraction induced by CCK-8 was also lower in AGD than in pigment stones. It remained impaired in AGD after stimulation with the G-protein activators GTP gamma S and AlF(4) and with the second messenger 1,2-dioctanoyl-sn-glycerol. However, GTP gamma S binding induced by CCK-8 and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide and the binding capacity of CCK receptors were not different between AGD and pigment stones. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that there is a good correlation between in vivo and in vitro gallbladder response to CCK-8 in patients with AGD. Unlike those found in cholesterol stones, the muscle defects in AGD appear to reside in the contractile apparatus.[1]


  1. Gallbladder muscle dysfunction in patients with chronic acalculous disease. Amaral, J., Xiao, Z.L., Chen, Q., Yu, P., Biancani, P., Behar, J. Gastroenterology (2001) [Pubmed]
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