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

Effect of glycoursodeoxycholate on precipitation of calcium carbonate.

The potential role of bile salts in preventing calcium carbonate precipitation was investigated by studying their interaction of Ca2+ and their inhibitory effects on calcium carbonate formation. Glycochenodeoxycholate micelles bound more calcium than did glycocholate. At bile salt concentrations exceeding 12.5 mM, glycoursodeoxycholate bound calcium as well as glycochenodexycholate did. Similar results for calcium binding were observed in mixed micelles of bile salts and lecithin. In bicarbonate (25 or 50 mM) and CaCl2 (10 mM) solutions, calcium carbonate formation was inhibited by the bile salts. Glycoursodeoxycholate and glycochenodeoxycholate (25 mM) prevented calcium carbonate formation which was delayed by glycocholate. This effect is not due to differences between both series of bile salts for calcium binding since glycoursodeoxycholate or glycochenodeoxycholate (25 mM) more efficiently prevented calcium carbonate precipitation than did 35 mM glycocholate in spite of the same Ca2+ binding. These results suggest that some bile salts may have a specific role in preventing calcium precipitation in bile. The mechanism is unknown. The physical properties of glycoursodeoxycholate and glycochenodeoxycholate do not support a role for CaCO3 precipitation in gallstone calcification during litholytic therapy.[1]


  1. Effect of glycoursodeoxycholate on precipitation of calcium carbonate. Marteau, C., Portugal, H., Pauli, A.M., Gerolami, A. Hepatology (1985) [Pubmed]
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