Early stages of gallstone formation in guinea pig are associated with decreased biliary sensitivity to cholecystokinin

G. J. Poston, Pomila Singh, E. Draviam, C. Z. Yao, G. Gomez, J. C. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to measure differences in gallbladder sensitivity to cholecystokinin (CCK)in vivo during the early stages of gallstone formation and to correlate these findings to gallbladder CCK receptors. Guinea pigs were placed on either a normal diet or a two-week cholelithogenic diet, after which gallbladder emptying pressure to exogenously administered CCK was measured in vivo, according to the presence or absence of gallstones. At all doses of CCK tested (except 10-10 mol/kg), the gallbladder response to CCK of guinea pigs that did not develop gallstones (on the cholelithogenic diet) was more sensitive than that of guinea pigs that did develop gallstones. Neither group was different from guinea pigs on a normal diet. In a second experiment, CCK receptors were measured on gallbladder muscularis from guinea pigs after two weeks on the same diet as in the first experiment. Those guinea pigs that did not develop gallstones had greater concentrations of CCK receptors (149±9 fmol/mg protein) than those that did develop gallstones (70±23 fmol/mg protein). Neither group was different from normal diet guinea pigs (119±57 fmol/mg protein). At the time point measured, there were no differences in the lipid chemistry, or protein concentrations of gallbladder bile between the guinea pigs on the cholelithogenic diet that did or did not develop gallstones, or those on normal guinea pig chow. We conclude that the early stages of gallstone formation in guinea pigs are associated with decreased gallbladder sensitivity to CCK and that this change may be due to a lower concentration of CCK receptors on the gallbladder smooth muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1244
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1992



  • biliary motility
  • cholecystokinin
  • cholecystokinin receptors
  • gallbladder
  • gallstones
  • guinea pig

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

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